What is Zero Waste?

In this day and age of mass consumption, taking the time to step back and consider where your products are sourced from; and the cost, waste, and environmental impact involved, can be eye opening. Zero Waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. The goal is for no trash to be sent to landfills or incinerators. Did you know that one plastic bag can take up to 1000 years to decompose in a landfill? While a plastic bottle takes roughly 450 years to break down.

Here are Bird on a Wire, it’s our mission to support the local community in all ways, and we strive to be conscious about reusing and recycling to avoid excess waste. We are excited about the leaps and bounds our fellow local businesses are making in order to achieve a zero waste Vancouver. We have compiled a list of our favourite shops and organizations that are making an impact towards change.

Ways To Conserve In Vancouver

The Soap Dispensary & Kitchen Staples

You won’t find a shred of plastic at The Soap Dispensary on 3718 Main St. The shop, which opened in 2011 carrying bulk cleaning supplies and kitchen wares, recently unveiled it’s expansion into a wide range of lifestyle goods and bulk groceries. Bring your own reusable shopping bags and containers, and stock up on local, organic and fair-trade products.

Nada Grocery

Opened in 2018, Nada joins The Soap Dispensary as Vancouver’s second permanent zero waste retailer. As the name suggests, they are decreasing waste by carrying food in bulk, without any packaging or frills. Buy as little or as much as you need from their selection of responsibly sourced package-free foods, from right here in Vancouver and the lower mainland.

Bulk Barn

Bulk Barn has two locations just outside of Vancouver, in Richmond and New Westminster. They proudly call themselves a Zero Waste shopping experience. You are encouraged to bring your own reusable containers to fill with product (they do not accept any plastic) or use their own jars. Bulk Barn feels like a traditional grocery store, and carry everything in bulk form from baking ingredients to pet food, vitamins, and snacks. Ask anyone who is eco-conscious where they shop, and they will point you towards this trailblazing brand.

The Last Straw Initiative

We love The Last Straw and their mission to reduce amount of disposable straws used in homes, bars, and restaurants around the world. Did you know that over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the United States alone? The Last Straw is a Vancouver based project that provides businesses and homes with easy-to-clean, reusable, and affordable glass straws, so you never have to use plastic again.

In our very own Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, The Cascade Room on 2616 Main St has embraced The Last Straw initiative and is officially plastic straw free as of Fall 2017!

How to Reduce Waste With At Bird On A Wire


Abeego is the original reusable food wrap, although many brands have followed in their footsteps. Each wrap is made with beeswax, tree resin, organic jojoba oil infused into a hemp and organic cotton cloth. Calling themselves a zero waste brand, their all natural ingredients are biodegradable and durable. Wrap your cheeses, fruits and veg in Abeego for longer lasting freshness!



Stepping away from plastic bags couldn’t be easier thanks to gogoBags! Their salad bags will extend the freshness of your vegetables, reducing waste and saving you money. Lined with 100% cotton, these great bags are waterproof, breathable, and most importantly – reusable.


Einai Designs

Made in North Vancouver, Einai Designs have a great selection of reusable on-the-go snack bags in a wide variety of prints. Eco-friendly and durable, keep these on you at all times and fill them with sandwiches, sliced apples, and other snacks. They’re easy to wash and the quirky prints will make it easy to go zero waste!

How have you been inspired to reduce waste in your life? What are your go-to tips and tricks for shrinking your carbon footprint? Tell us below!

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