Where do I Bulk Buy in London
As of 2019, I’m starting to go zero-waste in my lifestyle. By zero-waste I mean recycling, reusing, and avoiding plastic packaging like the plague!
To start with I bought a few, inexpensive, muslin cloth bags to hold food, a reusable water bottle, food caddies for storage, and tote bags.
Then I started to look for local bulk-buy shops where I could buy dry foods, and occasionally wet items too, inexpensively and without plastic packaging.
My two local zero-waste shop options are:
Harmless is a vegan bulk buy store in Wood Green, London. Housed in a tiny yellow shed in the Blue House Yard, this quirky little store is run by the lovely Tami.
There is only enough room in the shed for Tami and the purchaser so I would recommend if you go, that you email her in advance for a stocklist, make a shopping list and bring the exact containers so that you can leave them with her to fill them up at her own pace.
Recently when I went I was the first person there so she and I had a natter whilst she filled up my small order.
This consisted of:
- Risotto rice
- Cous Cous
- Porridge Oats
- Organic Demerara sugar
I had recently done my local food shop at Lidl – pre-lifestyle change – so I was pretty well stocked on other options. But since I’ve now been, know the stock list and the process I feel that when I start to run low of items I will be able to place a bigger order.
The total of my order was £3.69. A pittance for what I got – four containers of food perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next 3-5 days.
Next up on my list was Bulk Market.
Bulk Market is fairly famous in the zero-waste circle as it was arguably the first zero-waste store in the entirety of London.
Now a permanent store – previously it was a pop-up, it can be found outside Hackney Central station and is very airy and lovely.
Again, I only had a small shop, but I was focused on the wet goods and cleaning products this time around.
Here’s what I picked up:
- Cornflakes – £3.47 – 630g
- Risotto rice (really wanted to stock up as I eat it so often!) – £2.29 -382g
- Pink Grapefruit Essential oil (and bottle) – 96p bottle/£1.80 – 10ml
- Peppermint tea (loose) – 68p – 10g
- Oat milk – £2.85 (manufactured by Mylk in a reusable bottle)
- A reusable glass bottle – 96p – 300ml
- A black spray trigger – 96p
This order came to £13.99. And I got enough Cornflakes to last me the whole of January, and possibly February. I bought extra large muslin bags by mistake… oops. Oh well, I’m well stocked!
I got the glass bottle, spray trigger, and grapefruit essential oil to make my own kitchen cleaner.
I’m now using vinegar, water, and the essential oil to clean my flat and it works! When I got home I tried it out and cleaned my bathroom. After briefly smelling like a fish and chip shop (the smell lasts about 10 mins then goes) it was sparkling.
I’ve never had Oat milk but people always recommend it to me, as I cannot drink the nut versions due to allergies. I’m not vegan but I thought I would give it a go, and since it is in a glass bottle it could be a good alternative to regular cow’s milk.
There are a few other zero-waste shops that I want to try over the coming weeks, after payday, but so far I’m quite happy.
They offer a lot of healthy dry goods like lentils, chickpeas, nuts, rice, popcorn, chocolate, and more but I’ve typically gone in on days when they’re on the last of their stock or I’ve already got the items in my cupboard.
I really want to sample their cleaning products like laundry detergent and washing up liquid, plus their cosmetic options too as these are next on my lifestyle change list. But each time I went they were out of stock.
When I get into a regular routine I think it will be a beneficial lifestyle choice. I look forward to trying it out.
What do you think? Is zero-waste a lifestyle choice you would be interested in trying out – let me know!