We dream of a plastic-free future and believe zero waste is the way to get there.
If you’re new here, you may be asking “Why is zero waste so important? Isn’t recycling enough?” The short answer is no, it’s not (for the long answer, read here).
Basically, most recyclables don’t get recycled at all or are recycled improperly which contaminate whole batches of recycling. Some even get shipped overseas for processing, which sort of defeats the point.
That’s why we set out to find the USA’s best zero waste online stores and stores that sell bulk food online (mostly dry goods and non-perishables).
Zero waste stores sell plastic-free items which help people reduce their own waste generation. You’ll find everything from reusable items (like safety razors and stainless steel straws) to personal care products that come in zero waste packaging like reusable jars or compostable paper.
This list is a compilation of the best stores we could find, broken down into two parts:
- online zero waste stores and
- online bulk grocery stores.
We also included a handful of small Etsy shops, which has many sustainably-minded sellers.
QUICK LINKS FOR THE BEST ONLINE ZERO WASTE STORES
ZERO WASTE ONLINE STORES IN THE USA
EcoRoots’ Zero Waste Selection
EcoRoots stocks a wide range of sustainably and ethically sourced products for home, kitchen, bath, and beauty. All personal care products are free of plastic and palm oil, SLS, and animal byproducts. We found just about every item we consider an essential part of our zero waste kit here, so it’s a good resource if you’re new to (or well acquainted with) the no-waste game.
This Colorado company is part of what they call 1% for the Ocean. Meaning they donate 1% of all profits to the Ocean Conservancy to fund the removal of plastic in the ocean.
They ship to you using recycled and reused biodegradable materials. They promise no plastic with your shipment. If you see packing peanuts, rest assured these cornstarch bits are 100% compostable.
Etee’s Zero Waste Selection
For zero waste personal care and home essentials, Etee has got you covered. You can shop food storage containers (think colorful beeswax wraps), dish cleaning soaps and fully compostable scrubbers, body care products like lip balms and tooth tabs and a zero waster’s favorite to-go items like stainless steel straws and reusable cutlery sets.
What we really love about Etee is that they make all their own products. Even the tooth tabs! The benefit being complete oversight of their supply chain. Which not a lot of brands or stores can claim to have.
Etee has a cool novel origin story. We won’t go into the specifics but let’s just say it has something to do with kayaking and beeswax burns! You can read the full story here.
Everything Etee ships is plastic-free, including their cellulose packing tape. The only exception are their mask filters due to regulations.
As for charitable initiatives, each time you buy a face mask they’ll donate one to those who can’t afford them. They’re also working on putting together a program for marginalized communities – more info to follow.
Their factory is powered by fully renewable energy and within 2 years of launching they estimate their customers’ conscious consumerism has eliminated more than 100 million pieces of single use plastic!
Earth Hero’s Zero Waste Online Selection
Earth Hero is the closest sustainable alternative we’ve found to Amazon. They stock a huge range of sustainable products including a wide range of Zero Waste Gear.
Their zero waste online range includes everything you need for a zero waste kitchen (including cleaning, storage, utensils and grocery bags), a zero waste bathroom (including personal care and beauty products) and of course, other zero waste gear for the home including laundry!
You can also buy Zero Waste Terracycle recyling boxes direcly from Earth Hero including boxes for coffee capsules, plastic packaging, candy wrappers, pencils & markers, beauty packaging and many more!
About Earth Hero
Earth Hero is based in Boulder, Colorado and was founded by Ryan Lewis. Their goal is to “make buying responsibly second-nature. We’re on a mission to make it normal to consume in a way that’s easier on the environment, while meeting the convenience we’ve come to expect.”
What we’re excited about is the huge range of sustainable products that Earth Hero stocks – over 150 brands! And they are all chosen for their sustainability attributes – see the range of sustainability logos here and more on their impact here. They cover clothing, baby, travel, audo & tech and even pets (which we love)!
Earth Hero is a registered B-Corp and a member of 1% for the Planet. They partner with CarbonFund to offset carbon emitted through the shipping and transport of their products, as well as their day-to-day operations.
They are also zero waste in their own day to day operations. For shipping, they re-use boxes and their shipping box stickers are FSC certified, made from the highest possible percentage of post-consumer recycled paper, with low-impact dyes and non-toxic glue. Read more on their footprint and other initiatives here.
Well Earth Goods’ Zero Waste Selection
Well Earth Goods offers a healthy selection of green-goods including personal care, laundry, kitchen and dining, coffee and tea, clean up and food storage. They also have produce and bulk bags, totes and backpacks, travel, and compost collection bins for you to collect food scraps (which is absolutely part of our own composting strategy!).
About Well Earth Goods
Well Earth Goods comes to us from Oregon. It’s a family founded and run company dedicated to helping keep the earth and your family clean and healthy. They ship in minimally sized, totally paper-based parcels down to the tape!
RemiUsables’ Zero Waste Selection
Here are your zero waste alternatives to everyday paper products, courtesy of RemiUsables. For a small, Etsy-based shop, their selection is impressive.
They sell things like unpaper towels and napkins, unsponges, burlap scrubbies, baby bum wipes, and sandwich bags. You’ll also find makeup remover wipes, coffee filters, various bags, and family cloth and wet bags (what are these?).
Everything is totally cloth-based, meaning it’s washable and reusable.
Owner and mother of 3, Remi handmakes everything from her home in Michigan. Since everything is also made-to-order to reduce overstock waste, expect a slightly longer shipping time (1-3 weeks).
Mailers are 100% recycled and they recently replaced their recycled poly mailers with compostable kraft paper ones. Any paperwork (like invoices, business cards, and shipping labels) is also printed on recycled paper. And even then, she only prints invoices upon request or for large orders.
Marleys Monsters’ Zero Waste Selection
This small eco-shop makes “eco-friendly living essentials for a crunchy family”. Let’s face it: kids are messy! While you may not be able to minimize the mess, you can minimize the waste.
Marleys Monsters is here to help with their selection of fabric zero waste paper replacers. This includes UNpaper® towels (with in pre-rolled packs of 6, 12, or 24 on compostable cardboard tube centers), bibs, nursing pads, facial rounds, washable duster pads, linen bowl covers, and reusable snack bags. The reusable cloth wipes in packs of up to 40 are a must for mamas with really messy little ones.
Everything comes in colorful patterns and prints that almost make cleaning seem like fun. You can also choose plain, unprinted organic cotton cloths and unpaper towels if you want to be extra sustainable.
About Marley’s Monsters
This shop is named after owner Sarah Dooley’s first wild child. They’re located in Eugene, Oregon where they also operate a brick-and-mortar store. It is there that Sarah and her team hand make every fabric reusable and wooden product. They offer global shipping, all of which is entirely plastic-free.
They’re also a certified BRING rethink business but are working toward upping that to a BRING true zero-waste certification.
Life Without Plastic’s Zero Waste Selection
When it comes to the size of the inventory, Life Without Plastic is one of the best zero waste online stores. They carry non-toxic and ethically made items for the home and kitchen (like plastic-free coffee makers), childcare, drinking, and eating. Their Plastic Pollution Coalition Store is great if you want to openly sport your support for a zero waste lifestyle.
Each item has a detailed and transparent description, which includes the material, who made it, where it was made, and how to dispose of it if need be.
About Life Without Plastic
They use plastic-free packing materials such as paper or cellulose-based tape and compostable cornstarch packing peanuts for shipping. However, because they try to reuse boxes and materials sent to them where possible, there may be some residual plastic.
Be sure to check out their sustainable living resources as well, there’s loads of articles about plastic types and their negative effects, as well as plastic alternatives. Their Action section can help connect you to local and widespread environmental initiatives.
Tiny Yellow Bungalow’s Zero Waste Selection
At Tiny Yellow Bungalow, you can find an assortment of beauty, cleaning, dining, baby, and bath products (seriously SO MANY different organic soap bars). You can use the Subscribe & Save feature to make sure you never go without.
In their Vintage section, you can find all sorts of unique pre-loved pieces, as well as the story behind where founder Jessie acquired them.
About Tiny Yellow Bungalow
This blog-turned-zero waste store gets its name from its own 2015 humble origins… inside a tiny yellow bungalow! They upcycle as much as possible and ship in reused boxes collected from friends and family.
Jessie is also a graduate of the Plant Based Nutrition program at the T. Colin Campbell Center of Nutrition Studies. She put this knowledge to use writing The Zero Waste Vegan Cookbook, which you can also find in the shop.
Zerovana’s Zero Waste Selection
Sourced from handmade small businesses around the US, Zerovana stocks categories like kitchen, cleaning, palm oil free beauty and personal care, to-go items, zero waste kits, and bags. They even sell compostable bamboo band-aids for plastic-free first aid.
Check out their holiday section for plantable seed paper ornaments and cards.
Zerovana is a family-owned plastic-free shop based in Texas. You’ll receive your items in paper wrapping and recycled boxes due to their plastic-free promise for products and shipping materials.
Plus, they donate 1% of their profits to the National Forest Foundation, which plants one tree in US National Forests per dollar donated.
A Drop in the Ocean’s Zero Waste Selection
A Drop in the Ocean’s zero waste product categories are personal care, household, pet care, children, and TSA approved travel essentials. The handmade section includes some cute cotton crochet facial rounds and cup cozies. Shop by category, product type, or tags such as “Made in the USA.”
Look for eco-credentials clearly labeled on each product denoting if the product is a B Corp product, palm oil free, cruelty free, fair trade certified, vegan, or Washington local. While some personal care products do contain palm oil, A Drop in the Ocean only stocks RSPO-certified palm products.
They also sell a small supply of bulk raw materials and empty containers for zero wasters who prefer to get their products DIY style.
About A Drop in the Ocean
This young zero waste shop is the brainchild of “zero waste wannabe” Krystina in Tacoma, Washington. If you’re local, keep an eye out for pop-ups where you can get product refills in your own container.
With the aim of helping the planet, they fund the planting of ten trees for every purchase. Their 1% for the Ocean commitment means they donate 1% of profits toward marine-specific environmental non-profits.
For shipping, they reuse materials, which means your box may have logos other than their own. Either way, they seal these boxes with paper tape and post consumer recycled paper labels.
The Refill Shoppe’s Zero Waste Selection
This one is perhaps the most unique bulk online store in the US.
The Refill Shoppe specializes in mostly vegan refillable bath/beauty products, essential oils, and home cleaning items. A small sampling of their refillable products is yoga mat spray, soap nuts, and massage oils.
Uniquely, any liquid product features the choice of a customizable scent blend. Choose between a bottle, jar, or refill pouch, then select up to 6 scents in order of desired strength (as well as the overall strength).
If you order a refill pouch, you can send it back with prepaid postage and they will pressure wash, UV sanitize and refill for the next person. According to the refill counter on their website, this refill program has saved over 40,000 new bottles at the time of writing.
About The Refill Shoppe
Established in 2010, this award-winning certified B Corp is “making a difference, one bottle at a time”. As a member of 1% for the Planet, they support nearly 30 different environmental non-profits. See which ones here.
They ship to customers via USPS with minimally sized packing materials that are both reused and reusable. For instance, their “Sudscriptions” come in recycled compostable boxes with a reusable envelope for shipping the container back.
If you want to get your refills in the flesh visit their storefront in Ventura, California.
Eco Collective’s Zero Waste Selection
Their main categories are On the Go, Home, Wellness & Beauty, and Office & School. You’ll find subcategories to cover just about every area of your life, from pet care to plant-derived breath mints. Check out their alum stone deodorants, a naked deodorant stone that lasts for up to 2 years!
Their beauty and personal care products are cruelty free and come in zero waste packaging. Even their dropper bottles have bamboo and natural rubber tops.
We particularly like their Office & School section, since we didn’t find many other stores that sold zero waste office supplies. Here you can find refillable fountain pens, recycled paper notebooks, and stainless steel tiered lunch tiffins (because lunch is the most important hour of the day, amiright?)
Each product description specifies where each product is from, who makes it, and what to do at its end of life.
About Eco Collective
Based in Seattle, Washington, Eco Collective aims for “sustainable living, made easy.” They do this both through their products and their helpful blog which is full of eco-living advice.
All products are mailed in either reusable/recyclable cardboard, crinkle paper, or kraft paper. The tape they use is also paper-based.
No Tox Life’s Zero Waste Selection
We previously mentioned No Tox Life’s Dish Block but they make and sell a lot more than just zero waste dish soap and cleaning products. You can also find many other vegan, cruelty-free, and ungendered bath/beauty products, and a handful of other unique items.
Impressively, No Tox Life makes all their own products!
About No Tox Life
Founded by a mother/daughter power duo, No Tox Life is based in L.A., where they offer discounts for LA-based locals AND in-store refills. For those who can’t get in-store refills, they ship using recycled materials, biodegradable paper envelopes, and cornstarch packing peanuts.
Lots going on with this company, but their charitable giving is definitely high on the ethical pro list. They currently organize neighborhood trash pickups, fund their employees’ membership with Youth Climate Strike, and donate soap to two different nonprofits that provide showers for the local homeless populations.
ZERO WASTE ONLINE GROCERY STORES IN THE USA
When it comes to groceries, always try to buy local. Zero Waste Home’s Bulk Finder App is a great resource for finding bulk grocers near you.
Farmer’s markets are another awesome zero waste resource.
However, sometimes life gets in the way. If you don’t have any good bulk retailers near you (or just don’t have the time to seek one out!), we’ve found a handful of online zero waste grocery stores that will ship some plastic-free pasta right to your door!
Admittedly, this list isn’t as long as we would have liked. Finding bulk online stores in the USA that sell food was trickier than we anticipated. Especially considering the UK has quite a few options for online bulk grocery shopping.
Unfortunately, the USA has a way to go. While companies like Boxed have started bringing online grocery shopping to fruition, they’re lacking on the eco-packaging front. They’re only “bulk” insofar as they sell large quantities at discounted prices.
We were disappointed to find the number of USA based zero waste grocery stores online is pretty paltry. But maybe given the size of the country and shipping logistics, it’s not surprising?
Azure Standard’s Bulk Foods Online
If you’re looking for bulk health foods online in the USA, Azure Standard may be your answer. This store sells mostly certified organic and minimally processed foods in bulk. Including beans, grains, pasta, flour, cereal, dried fruit, nuts, spices, herbs, pet food and more.
These can be bought in sizes ranging anywhere from 1 to 25 pounds, and either in individual purchases or through a subscription. Most bulk supplies come in compostable paper bags.
Note that one review we found did mention her bulk soybean purchase came in a small plastic bag (which she was sure to reuse). This may be due to strange US FDA regulations, but it’s worth requesting no plastic in the order notes. They do try to accommodate requests if possible.
To be clear: Azure Standard is NOT a totally zero waste grocer. They also sell plenty of traditionally packaged items. This includes most of their frozen foods, meat, dairy products, nutritional supplements, outdoor and garden supplies, health and beauty products, and general household supplies.
About Azure Standard
Based in Moro, Oregon, Azure is less about home delivery grocery and more about delivery drops (which greatly reduced shipping emissions!). This means they have delivery drop locations.
If you don’t live near one of these drops, don’t worry. They will still ship through UPS or USPS if necessary; it’s just not their first choice. They’ll even put groceries on barges to Hawaii and Alaska. Strangely enough, the only states they flat out don’t ship to are a select number in the far Northeast.
The boxes they ship in are minimally sized to snugly fit the shipment and are generally recycled from other shipments they’ve received. This means there may be some remnant plastic, though it is reduced.
The Wally Shop’s Bulk Organic Foods Online
The Wally Shop sells local and Fair Trade bulk organic foods online. Some of their many zero waste grocery offers include granola, pickled goods, baking supplies, bottled coffee and kombucha, nut butters, herbs and spices, grains, pasta, legumes, bread, fruits, veggies, eggs, and nut milk.
The goods are delivered to your door (provided you live in one of these zip codes) in mesh bags, glass jars, and totes. You have to give a deposit on these, but you get that deposit back by returning it to the courier at a future delivery date.
About The Wally Shop
Based in New Hampshire, Founder Tamara Lim started The Wally Shop to provide a healthy and low impact grocery solution for busy people who might not have time to seek out farmer’s markets and bulk stores.
Just to clarify – currently The Wally Shop only offers plastic-free bulk grocery delivery to select areas around New York City and New Hampshire. As a small startup, they don’t yet have the funds to expand beyond that, having said that they recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for this purpose.
While still a limited scope, we included them here because we have hopes of their expansion. The business model seems solid, so we can only hope more people will get to experience the benefits of bulk grocery delivery. Keep an eye out for your zip code as this company continues to grow.
Ethical Bean’s Bulk Foods Online
Sure, coffee isn’t food. But for some of us, it’s arguably just as important (if not more so!). Ethical Bean sells bulk certified organic (USDA and Canada Organic), non-GMO Arabica whole bean, Fairtrade coffee. Choose a range of roasts from medium to super dark.
They also do decaf via the Mountain Water Process, a chemical-free and safe way to remove caffeine. All coffees are also gluten-free, keto-friendly, and kosher.
These coffees come in foil-lined flexible bags, which are not recyclable except in special facilities. Even so, these bags still generate 75% fewer emissions than recyclable plastic tubs.
They’re working on finding a more eco-friendly bag, but in the meantime, they urge you to participate in their bag return program. The incentive? A free bag of coffee for every 12 empties you return to them.
They also sell coffee pods which are certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute as 100% compostable within 5 weeks (in municipal composting facilities only). No tossing them in your backyard – although you could cut the coffee out for home composting and save up the pod for munical drop off.
About Ethical Bean
Ethical Bean is based in British Columbia, but they ship widely throughout the US as well.
As a company, they’ve been Fair Trade certified since 2003 and ethically source beans from mostly high altitude regions in Central and South America.
They regularly donate money to Child Aid’s FUNDIT program (which provides children in Guatemala with school supplies, uniforms, and more) and to Project Somos (an eco-village for at-risk mothers in Guatemala).
Arbor Teas’ Bulk Foods Online
And now for those who prefer a good cuppa. Arbor Teas sells USDA Organic Certified loose leaf teas (many of which are also Fair Trade Certified), totally tea bag free. They have a wide selection of tea varieties, including black, green, white, oolong, pu-erh, rooibos, herbal, and decaf.
They also sell zero waste teaware, such as mugs, teapots, matcha accessories, milk whiskers, reusable strainers, and kombucha home brew kits.
About Arbor Teas
Arbor Teas is a gold member of Green America’s Green Business Network and is certified organic by Global Organic Alliance. They hold many other sustainability honors and partnerships as part of their Carbonfree® business model. This also means their USA packing facility runs on solar power and they compost all their bio-waste.
They’re based in Michigan, and they source domestic USA-grown teas where they can. Still, due to climate and growing constraints, they have to source many teas and herbs from several exotic locations, like China, India, Nepal, Vietnam, Japan, and Sri Lanka. Either way, they prioritize teas from Fair Trade, biodynamic farms that employ low water growing methods.
They prioritize sea freight and ground transportation, avoiding air transit unless there is no other option. They also offset all emissions through Carbon Fund.
The shipping materials are plastic-free and come from post consumer recycled waste.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON ONLINE ZERO WASTE AND BULK STORES
The plethora of plastic-free zero waste stores on this list really shows how far the movement has come in the last decade. We’re ecstatic to see this growth and want to help accelerate it as much as we can.
Now it’s your turn to have some input. What’s your favorite online zero waste shop? Is it missing from this list? Are there any great stores that sell bulk food online we’ve missed? If so, we would love to know in the comments below.
If you found this article helpful in your war on all things disposable (we so hope you did!), consider sharing it. Help us spread the word about the many wonderful zero waste resources at our disposal.