Especially for visitors with limited time it’s not so easy to find the one supermarket with bulk aisle, the butcher who accepts customer owned packaging and the tiny shop that sells zero waste products.
But the more people can buy packaging free, plastic free, the better for the environment and for everyone of us.
You can help residents and visitors of your city finding the hidden Zero Waste Gems.
But there are many, many cities not yet available in the app yet and we are constantly working on adding more.
Add your city! Please contact us using this form:
About the email addresses: We’ll be sending you an invite for a google spreadsheet. Many people have a google email they don’t use as the main email address. Therefore the form contains fields for both. The main email will be used for communications, the google address for the invite for the spreadsheet.
What do you get?
By helping us gathering the information for your city you’ll:
help visitors and residents navigate your city in a Zero Waste Friendly manner. That’s less waste created in your city!
be added to our contributors page including your website link.
be on the author page in the city details including your website link.
get access to contributors only information.
Together we can make Zero Waste easier for our homies and out-of-towners.
There are many amazing Zero Waste initiatives out there already. We’re going to introduce you to the pioneers of Zero Waste shopping, dining, living… Our first guest post was written by Eunice, co-owner of Maria Granel, the first Zero Waste Store in Portugal.
He brings in his memory that lush green of the islands, the endless pastures that only end up in the cobalt blue of the ocean, between the embrace of the hydrangeas and the gentle rhythm of the seasons. He grew up among gardens and plantations of pineapple, passion fruit and banana trees, ran and played barefoot, learned to listen to the whisper of the Earth.
She belongs to a family of farmers who cultivated the land for several generations. The same green, perhaps more shredded among farms, abundant with springs, pulsating between the granite massifs and the streams, running between the corn and the vine. The same murmur of the earth, ancestral, unfathomable, magical.
And what to do when life drags us to other places, far from our origins? The answer is to bring a little of this world to the city, close to us, and offer nature’s best.
This is how the idea of Maria Granel was born.
Maria Granel is an organic bulk grocery store, the first Portuguese “Zero Waste Store”. We’ve opened its doors in Alvalade in November 2015.
The store concept recovers the collective imagination of our old neighborhood grocers: the wonderful smell of coffee and nuts, the personalized and attentive service of those who always know our name and our tastes, and, of course, the selling in bulk, but with a touch of modernity and assuming sustainability as main concern.
Our products are presented in individual dispensers, from which people can serve directly.
We are the first store in Portugal, and one of the pioneers in Europe with no packaging selling exclusively in bulk. We were also very proud, internationally referenced as the introducers of the BYOC (“Bring your own container”) system in the national market.
Those who visit us can bring their containers from home, to refill them with the products they need. This choice is deliberate, conscious. A contribution. A gesture to have a considerable impact on the reduction of CO2 emissions and the amount of waste destined for landfills and incinerators.
In addition, by encouraging the purchase only of the amount you actually need, we will also be reducing food waste.
The commitment to sustainability also extends to the fact that our products are 100% certified organic, free of genetically modified organisms, respecting the soil and the rhythm of the seasons and the earth. They are more nutritious, free of pesticides and herbicides, and therefore preserving their minerals and a high content of vitamins, slowly produced in fertile soils, respecting the cycles and rhythms of nature (“There is a time to sow and another to harvesting “) and thus promoting sustainable practices with a positive impact on the ecosystem. We started with 240 products and at the moment we have almost 500.
And if our inspiration is traditional, our mission is totally committed to the present and dedicated to the future. We believe it is possible to consume more sustainably, reducing waste, valuing quality, rather than quantity. So we will do our part for future generations to inherit a better world.
We were welcomed in the Alvalade neighborhood (one of the most vibrants neighborhoods of Lisbon) with open arms, with affection and with enthusiasm. People encouraged our concept and our mission. We were aware that we were changing minds and that we have contributed to a more responsible and sustainable consumption.
One of the most striking initiatives of our (short) history was precisely the support of the city council of Alvalade and its president, Dr. André Caldas: we were the hosts of the visit to Portugal (for the first time) of Bea Johnson, the founder of the international movement “Zero Waste Home”, to which CNN, the Financial Times and the New York Times, among other media, have dedicated reports, highlighting her philosophy of life, centered on minimalism and sustainability .
Together, we held a presentation conference on the “Zero Waste Lifestyle” in the council’s auditorium on July 8, 2016. We believe that this opportunity has changed national consciousnesses and mentalities.
The event attracted the attention of the media, who dedicated numerous articles and reports to the initiative and lifestyle of Bea.
Following this conference, we contacted Editorial Presença, suggesting the publication in Portugal of the translation of Bea, Zero Waste Home, a best seller in its category on Amazon. And we did it! In September of 2016, the book was on the pews and was released in our store, including our preface.
Two years after our opening, we continue to actively intervene in the community, encouraging the adoption of environmentally friendly gestures: we have a “Zero Program” in place, which rewards those who bring their jars, reusing and refilling them, to stock up in the store, thus avoiding the use of plastic; we promote consulting, conferences and informal conversations in a corporate environment, sharing our path and testimony of sustainability with national and international companies, NGOs and other entities; regular workshops in the store on the theme.
Recently we accompanied a group of students from a local high school for a week, supervising a “Change it” project on the steps the school could take to be a greener space (garbage collection; installation and artistic exhibition with collected waste, conference with Ana Pêgo, marine biologist responsible for the “Plasticus Maritimus” project.
In October 2017 we were invited to share our experience as a zero waste store at the International Zero Waste Week in Brazil.
We are now consolidating our presence in the market and we have already online sales. Since July, with our participation in the Plastic Free July challenge, we added zero waste accessories to our portfolio .
We hope to have the privilege of receiving you when you come to Portugal. We’re going to love to meet you!
Find Maria Granel in Lisboa, Portugal on Rua José Duro, 22B
I’d like to take a moment to respond to feedback and questions we received about Zero Waste App.
The most asked question first:
Is there an Android version of Zero Waste App?
Yes there is!
It’s not the exact same as the iOS version but we’re working on getting all the features in.
Why do I have to pay to unlock a city?
App development is quite costly and keeping it up running is expensive too. There are costs for the development itself and for the hosting. And for the hosting of the website and blog too. And for tools. And we’re just two people doing this in our free time, paying all this from our own money. In order to make sure that the Zero Waste App can survive and thrive for a long time we’re asking for a small amount of money which helps us paying the bills. And it is the lowest price level possible for in-app purchases. See it as a tiny donation towards a tool that helps the Zero Waste Movement.
We do know that there are maps available online where people can add locations to a map and you can use them for free. Please go ahead and use them! They might be somewhat complicated to use on a phone though. We’re also aware that there is google out there and you can search for things and businesses. Please go ahead and use it! Anything that helps you reduce your waste is great! Google-ing in order to find those small stores that have a couple of gravity bins might be a bit tricky though. And hardly anyone mentions on their website that they are a Zero Waste Friendly cafe or restaurant, even if they are. I could go on and on….
Alternatively you can ask the Zero Waste Expert of a city that you’d like to visit using Zero Waste App and s/he gives you a huge amount of information for just a tiny bit of money that helps us pay for the app cost.
We like to keep the app advertisement free and asking for the small amount for your city that is our way to achieving that.
Important to know:
Once you’ve unlocked a city, all locations that are added to that city in the future will be downloaded automatically to your phone. Your map will show more and more markers.
Even more important to know:
We’ll keep working on the app in order to make it better and better. More cities are coming, translations of the app and all the data in it and also new features are in the making.
2. You can not add a business for a city that is not yet unlocked.
We don’t want you to send us things that are already in because that would produce even more work on our end. So we would like you to check first if the business is already in or not. After all, we don’t want to receive any spam either.
3. You can not add a business for a city that is not yet available in Zero Waste App.
When you unlock a city, you’ll notice that many locations for this city are available. Many if not most have high quality pictures too.
For Vienna for example your phone will download this number of locations if you unlock it right now:
Also there is a lot of information in the general city information available which is helpful for Zero Wasters.
This is the general information about Vienna:
All this information (general information and the location details) was gathered for you by a local Zero Waste Expert or a local Zero Waste Group. You can see who gathered the information in the city details and also on the contributors page.
To get all the data for Vienna together, Sophie has done an amazing job and she is a local expert.
Those where the three most discussed topics behind the scenes. Please don’t hesitate sending us your questions and comments.
If you like this project and would like to help us, there are many ways to get involved, just check out this page: Get Involved.
Finding those wonderful Zero Waste Friendly places around the world is our mission. One example is La Recyclerie in Paris. Beautiful and the perfect place for Zero Wasters.
Help us find those places all over the world!
Since version 1.0.33 you can recommend a place to Zero Waste App.
All you need is the app’s version 1.0.33:
and the city for which you’d like to recommend a new place must be unlocked.
You can recommend bulk shops, zero waste shops, packaging free shops, plastic free shops, zero waste friendly cafes and restaurants, zero waste activities, composting locations, 2nd hand shops, rental places, repair cafes and businesses, things on tap (like drinking water, beverages, alcoholic beverages, oils, vinegar… any type of liquid).
Check out this video about how to recommend a new place:
You can also use this feature to send us a picture and a comment for a place that is already in the app. There are lots of locations still without picture and we would love it if you can help us fill the gaps.
Ok, new version is out, I’m excited, and so here is a brief overview about the changes. The Version number is 1.0.32 just in case you were wondering.
We’ve updated some things for a better performance in the background. Ok, good to know but there is nothing to see.
So, let’s move onto the things we can see:
The city markers have changed:
We hope to make it clearer and easier to find with the new colors and style.
There are no more red markers, we found them to be too scary.
The turquoise markers point to cities that you can unlock.
The bigger markers with city symbol and turquoise border point to the unlocked cities.
Grey markers point to cities that are coming soon.
Green markers point to cities, that can be unlocked for free.
‘Buy now’ button has changed
The big scary ‘Buy now’ button has changed into a friendly turquoise ‘Unlock now’ button. What you’re doing when you’re clicking that button and paying $0.99 is that you’re unlocking a Zero Waste Location Finder in that city that will keep growing over time. More and more locations are added and your map will update automatically. So you’ll find out about new Zero Waste shopping options right on your map.
Additionally you’re supporting this project and helping us to make it bigger and better. More features are coming, more cities are coming, more languages are coming. So by unlocking a city, you’re paying a small amount but making a big difference for all Zero Wasters on the hunt for good Zero Waste Friendly locations.
And here is the cool new feature: The new City List
In the map view on the upper right corner you can see the word ‘List’. Tap that and you’ll get the list of cities that are currently available in the app. That gives an easier overview about what’s already there. And also about what’s coming. A grey city symbol will be in front of the city name for each ‘coming soon’ city.
You can tap the city name and will get the city details next. Or you tap the ‘Map’ in the upper left corner to get back to the map view.
Right now it’s alphabetically sorted. In the future it will be organized into countries, maybe continents too. Also we want to add a list like that for each city with all locations. Step after step, version after version…
Druuummm roll please!! It’s here! The very first version of Zero Waste App!
Find it in the app store, install it, open it and check it out:
Keep in mind, this is a baby. It was just born. It’s completely new. But soon it’s going to evolve into your new friend who knows all the great Zero Waste Friendly places in different cities in the world. And that friend learns about more and more places all the time.
So, say Hi to the newborn Zero Waste App!
What’s in it?
What you see when you open the app depends on where in the world you are. I’m in the Netherlands, so I see Europe, Africa, some of Western Asia. It looks like this for me:
If you’re somewhere on the American Continent, it might look like this for you:
and if you’re in Asia, you might see this:
Let’s check out Europe first, because there are all those red markers on the map. They point to those 12 cities that are currently available in the app:
You can tap on the markers and will see a little pop-up saying ‘Click here to show details.’ Tap on the pop-up and you’ll see the city preview, just like this:
You’ll see a short description about how zero waste friendly the city is and a list showing how many locations per category are included. Scroll down and you’ll see the full list:
And I’m sure you saw the big red button saying ‘Buy it now for $ 0.99’. This is how you can get all the location information that is mentioned in the list above. And that’s not all actually. When ever there is a new location becoming available for a city you already bought, it will be downloaded on your phone automatically and it won’t cost a penny. All locations coming in the future are free.
Now let’s move over to the American Continent and check out the details for a city. Can you find Antigua? It’s in Guatemala, Central America. It has this green marker pointing to it. Tap on that! This one says ‘It’s free!’.
Now if you tap on that you can see details about what locations this city contains. You should actually try it and so I’m not posting a screenshot of it here.
Antigua currently includes the following:
4 Bulk stores
3 Cafes and Restaurants
2 Farmers’ markets
Tap on the green button that says ‘GET IT NOW FOR FREE!’. You will have to enter your apple id password again but it won’t cost a penny. It will download the locations and you can then zoom in and tap on each one of the location markers. Tap on the little pop-up to go to the location screen.
I won’t tell you more at this point, I think you should try it out for yourself!
While the development of the Zero Waste App is still ongoing, we can already give you a sneak peek.
Here we go:
The Zero Waste App will help you find Zero Waste Friendly locations in a city. That can be a city you’re visiting, since it’s extremely hard to stay Zero Waste when you’re in a new town and just have limited time to search around for everything you need. But it can also be in your home town. You pick the according city you need and unlock the information.
You’ll get all the locations for the city that are currently available plus all locations that will be added in the future.
You’ll see a map with lots of markers of available cities when you open the app.
Here is an example:
A red marker points to an available city that is not unlocked yet. The turquoise marker points to a city that is already unlocked.
Each of the available cities contains location information that is useful for Zero Wasters!
You’ll have bulk shops, yes!
And supermarkets which have a bulk aisle, aha!
And small stores that allow you to bring your own container, for take-out food, for tortillas, for meat, milk, honey…
Also Zero Waste Friendly cafés and restaurants (vegan, vegetarian & omnivore)…
And rental places and repair workshops….
And 2nd hand stores and making and mending places….
Local Zero Waste groups (online and offline) because together it’s more fun anyways
Plus composting options!
Here is an overview of the location categories in Zero Waste App. Rental and On-Tap will be added soon.
I’m currently working on adding the data for Antigua, a beautiful old town in Guatemala. It’s a place many backpackers visit while traveling through Central America. And due to the huge number of good Spanish Schools in the city, many volunteers start their Central America journey here as well. To get the language right before starting their work in one of the many projects throughout the region.
And this is how a map with locations looks like:
Keep in mind, I’m still adding data, so more markers will be on the map.
The utensils symbol on the lower end of the screen marks Caoba Farms. Here is what you see when you tap that marker:
If you scroll down a little, the text will also tell you how to order your drinks by saying ‘Sin pajilla!’ which means ‘No straw!’.
The description for each of the available locations was written by a fellow Zero Waster. I’ll write details about the Authors that participated in this project in another blog post.
That’s the sneak peek into Zero Waste App for today. I have to go. More soon!
Find out when Zero Waste App goes live!
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Please let me know your questions in the comment section below!! I’d love to hear them.
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