There is no need to explain why it is important to reduce our plastic waste and thus eliminate our negative impact on Earth. Plastics are littering our planet and killing wildlife, eventually harming us too by getting into our bodies inside the fish we consume. There is a plastic garbage island 1.6 million square kilometers wide floating in the Pacific ocean and reports of dead animals killed by fishing nets and plastic trash are flooding the news every day. It is estimated that about eight million metric tons of plastic find their way into the world’s oceans every year. While a lot of countries including France and the UK have already declared a war on plastic, banning microbeads and plastic cutlery, there is still a long way to go. The best way to help? To start with ourselves.
I’m happy to live in a country where zero waste shops have been existing for some time and where there are countless opportunities to buy organic, fare-trade products from people who care about the environment as well as human welfare. I was even happier when I found out Bratislava opened its first zero-waste shop U Dobrožrúta, which means those of you who live there can finally go for a plastic-free shopping.
However, Vienna has been and always will be ahead of us, with shops offering zero waste beer, wine, bread, coffee and other specialties on top of cosmetics and basic products like fruit and veg. From the many scattered across the city, I picked ones that really caught my attention. Here are three zero-waste shops to look for if you’re visiting or living in Vienna and would like to minimize your footprint on Earth.
1/ LUNZERS MASS- GREISSLEREI
It’s safe to say that this eco-friendly shop has everything green, but the best thing must be the wooden toothbrush with badger hair. Yup. A top tip is to enjoy a cup of organic tea or coffee in their in-house coffee shop after your shop.
Where: 35 Heinestrasse
2 / NATURKOST SPITTELBERG
Stock up on Tupperware or a glass/plastic alternative, then give this place a visit to get package-free food, such as grains, nuts, cheese, fruit and veg. Look out for fresh turmeric which has many health benefits and can be used as a daily cleansing routine. (They really do have everything)
Where: 24 Spittelberggasse
3/ WARENHANDLUNG WENIGHOFER AND WANITS
Come for a piece of caramel-hazelnut cheesecake and leave with the items to make your own. What’s even better is their wine on tap and fresh bread. The two sisters behind this zero-waste café shop know how to make a business, while also helping the planet.
Where: 13 Marxergasse
Save the planet. Buy in bulk!