Beginner Breakdown

Tare It Up

tare /ter/ noun:
an allowance made for the weight of the packaging in order to determine the net weight of goods.

After completing a trash audit, you will probably notice that a large portion of what you are sending to the landfill is packaging—boxes, wrappers, bags, cartons, cans, bottles. Some of it is likely recyclable and should be sorted accordingly; but in keeping with the Five R’s, the goal is to find ways to prevent this packaging from ever entering your home.

Goodbye, Packaging

Shop bulk.

Bring your own container and fill up on everyday essentials. You can find bulk food, cleaning supplies, deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, spices, teas, coffees, and more! Refilleries are popping up all over the world in an effort to reduce packaging that requires additional resources to recycle, or worse, ends up in a landfill. By bringing your own container, you are doing your part to save the planet (and a surprising amount of money too).

Shop local.

Shopping local reduces the amount of emissions and packaging used when items are ordered online and shipped to individuals. Your local economy also benefits when you frequent community retail. Sustainability is more than reducing waste, it’s about creating and benefiting from a system that serves the greater good.

If you live in the Greater Philadlephia region, head down to the bottom of this post for local resources. If you don’t, check out the online compilation of bulk grocery stores compiled by Literless. Some of the information might be outdated or incorrect, but it’s worth reaching out to see if the store still (or ever did) allow customers to bring their own containers. National chains, like MOM’s Organic Market and Whole Foods (depending on the location) are happy to comply. Plus, farmers markets typically have naked food available, and some will take back their containers for reuse.

Main Line + Greater Philadelphia

If you live in the Greater Philadelphia region, check out the step-by-step guides below to learn how each location helps you accomplish your low-waste goals.

*more coming soon

SHIFT Sustainable Goods + Services
Household Staples

Popping up in and around Narberth, SHIFT offers a full-service refillery. Simply bring your clean containers to fill with household staples, such as cleaning supplies and personal care needs.

Refillery Menu Schedule

Weavers Way Co-Op
Pantry Items

With locations in Mt. Airy, Ambler, and Chestnut Hill, Weavers Way offers an excellent selection of bulk items, focusing on pantry staples that include flour, nuts, spices, pasta, and more.

  1. At the Mt. Airy location, naked bread bins are located downstairs, but a majority of the bulk is found upstairs.
  2. Bring your own jars and bags to fill. If you forgot, or if you have extra, Weavers Way offers a Jar Library for reuse.
  3. Place your container on the provided scale to get the tare. The scale is automatically set to show the weight; but if you are having trouble, ask a staff member for help.
  4. Write the tare weight on your container. This weight will be deducted at checkout.
  5. Fill your container with awesome bulk goodies! The gravity bins work best with bags, while the scoop bins accommodate any kind of container. Funnels are available in a basket next to the scale if needed.
  6. Write the PLU number on your container or chalkboard notepad so that the cashier can easily see it during checkout.