INTRODUCING TARE MARKET: A ZERO WASTE STORE
In the Spring of 2017, I attended a Zero Waste Grocery Shopping class at Seward Co-Op. Even though I already knew about zero waste living, I left the class astounded at what I had heard.
In the two-hour class I learned about the effect that Americans’ consumption habits were having on our local and global environment. Issues like the release of methane (a greenhouse gas roughly 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide) from landfills causing abnormal and catastrophic weather events; the presence of microplastics in our drinking water and in the bellies of marine life; and the overwhelming amount of petroleum used to manufacture single-use plastic items, like straws, that were being thrown away and would not decompose in our lifetime.
I realized, right then, that I wanted to make a change in my own life to create less waste. I wanted to use materials that were reusable and better for the planet. But more than just changing my own behavior, I wanted to educate others to do the same and provide a place where they could shop in an environmentally-friendly way.
This led me to create my site, Zero Wasted, as an avenue to provide information and education about zero waste living. I was also able to tap into an awesome network of other zero waste enthusiasts and eco-entrepreneurs in the Twin Cities.
Through this networking, I met Kate and her Zeroish team at an eco-fair, and Nate through the Be Zero Twin Cities meetup group. Both of them were like me–eager to do more to educate others and bring sustainable living to more people. As a team, we developed the idea for Tare Market, Minnesota’s first zero waste store.
The mission of Tare Market is to make sustainable living convenient and accessible to everyone.
Tare Market will be a zero waste store located in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, focused on access to package-free, local, and bulk food; bulk liquid food products, cleaners, and beauty products; and unpackaged or plastic-free sustainable living products. We will also provide community education classes and workshops on an array of sustainable living topics.
A large part of our focus will be aimed at supporting our local community in any way we can, through avenues such as donating to environmental initiatives, partnering with and supporting local small businesses and farmers, working with disadvantaged populations, and being an open resource for all things related to sustainability.
We feel that the most important part of increasing interest in eco-friendly living, and continuing the momentum of the zero waste movement, is providing the answers to “why” it is important and “how” one can do his/her part to improve the health of our planet.
We will host workshops, educational talks, social events, community gatherings, movie nights, etc., as well as just providing a place for community members to gather.
Our store will not just be a store–it will be a place for people to share ideas, motivate each other, and learn from one another through our educational classes and community events.
LOCAL AND PACKAGE-FREE FOOD ACCESS
While “local” can be a relative term and is not always a possible stipulation, it is a focus of ours to provide items that are “as local as possible.” Tare Market will partner with local vendors, when possible, to offer shelf-stable items unpackaged and in bulk. We also hope to partner with local farmers to offer a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shareholder pick-up, as well as “ugly produce” that conventional grocers would let go to waste.
When shopping our bulk section, we encourage customers to bring their own reusable containers as much as possible, or use the available paper or glass vessels.
SUSTAINABLE LIVING PRODUCTS
At Tare Market, we feel it is our duty to vet eco-friendly and sustainably made products of all types so that our customers can reduce their carbon footprint, live more sustainably, and live more in tune with the natural environment.
The “sustainable living product” category includes items such as: reusable food wraps (to replace plastic wrap), bamboo cutlery to-go kits (to replace single-use plastic cutlery), reusable straws (to replace single-use plastic straws), compostable dental floss (to replace plastic dental floss), bamboo toothbrushes (to replace plastic toothbrushes), and so much more!