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Tips for Zero Waste shops reopening after Covid-19 ease

Posted by Pawan Saunya on

Zero waste and bulk stores are not exactly Covid-19 friendly, as they most often operate on a self service basis and encourage reusing containers and bottles, as well as being in close contact with products and food items.

Here are a few things you can put in place in preparation to reopen:

Social distancing

  • Keep entrance door open so no one has to touch it, similarly with door to back room or any frequently touched areas

  • 2 meters distance between any person in store and in the queue

  • A limit of 2/3/4 customers in at once depending on the size of your shop, one in one out rule is useful here so customer in line know when to come in without a staff member monitoring

  • Advise customers to come shop alone if possible and make a list prior so that those in line do not wait too long

  • Markings inside and outside the store to keep customer aware of social distancing rules

  • A limited number of staff members on the shop floor, till, or back room so as not to overcrowd a space

  • Placing the customer’s shopping away from you when packing and paying so that they can grab their items without being too close

  • Card/ contactless payment preferred

Personal Protective Equipment


  • More regular and robust cleaning checklist and sanitisation protocol may be required for staff to go through daily, especially on frequent touch points such as card machines, door handles, scoops, utensils, baskets, liquid taps, and food containers, lids, or jars

  • Customers may not be allowed for some time to bring their own containers to refill, unless they have been sterilised beforehand or are only touched by the customer

  • Products may have to be pre-packaged into paper bags of varying quantities for customers to grab and go, preventing them from touching surfaces, food, or utensils and staying in store for too long

Staff members

  • Checking for best before dates and discounting items that are nearing their out of dates

  • Opening hours may have to be reduced, as staff members that are high risk may not be able to come into work and as more time is needed to clean and sanitise at the beginning and end of each day

  • Minimum spend of £10 so daily sales targets are achieved despite limited opening hours and decrease in customers

Supply chain

  • Suppliers negatively affected by Covid-19 and the consequences of lockdown may have limits on their supply

  • many items may not be available or take longer to be delivered in store, which affects stocks and waiting time for certain items, communicate this to customers so they are not disappointed if what they are looking for is unavailable

  • In particular staple items such as flour, baking yeast, oats, rice, pasta etc can be harder to procure, offer alternatives such as spelt flour, lentil pasta, barley flakes, baking soda etc.

Click and collect + Deliveries

  • Introducing a click and collect service allows customers to shop and pay online, and pick up in store without having to come in or touch anything

  • Deliveries within a few km radius helps those that may not be able to come to the store for pick up - this will be more work for staff but does ensure the safety of customers and limits the flow of people in store

  • A click&collect and delivery service may be a way for the shop to reopen for business without having customers in at all


Salomé Savary

writes blog posts on all things zero waste, from cooking tips to travelling hacks. She is passionate about encouraging others to adopt low waste habits in any and every aspect of their lives.


Mother's Day 2020: sustainable gifts ideas

Posted by Pawan Saunya on

Mother’s Day is the day that you can show how much you love her (grand)mother. Do you want to stay away from all the cliché gifts? And be more original? Go green this year. Sustainable gifts for Mother's Day, with which you not only pamper your mother, but also Mother Nature and the climate.

‘Stay home, stay safe', has been the advice for weeks. Luckily, there’s online shopping! If you open the worldwide web, you’ll discover many beautiful, sustainable gifts for Mother's Day. And what stands out? The range of gifts with a green touch grows with the year. Certainly, in this bizarre quarantine time in which we’re confronted with a large sum of (temporary) sacrifices, we will be examining our lives including lifestyle. And that's great! Who knows, maybe your mother is at the beginning of her zero-waste journey, has she already taken the first steps in the green direction? Either way here are three tips on how to turn Mother's Day green:


  • Another Mother’s Day gift that not only makes your mom, but also local do-gooders happy, is a culinary gift card. A smart idea that many restaurants have embraced. Okay, it’s a pity that you can’t have fun with your mom on Mother’s Day, but hey, she can look forward to the finger lickin’ good food date! Check which restaurants have created a culinary voucher. Do you want to go for the most sustainable option? Then vegan restaurants are your preferred choice. #SupportYourLocals.


  • Of course, you can also make this Mother's Day very special with a video call with your favourite woman of this globe. Have a shot of caffeine or a cup of tea and start chitchatting. A smile from ear to ear will be the result. And that, that’s priceless!


The State of Our Environment 2020

Posted by Pawan Saunya on

News of varying environmental issues comes across our screens everyday. Because the environment is ever-changing and our impact on it is ever-evolving, it’s hard to keep up with where we stand with many of these environmental issues. Here’s a breakdown of the state of our environment in 2020. 

Climate Change

  • 2019 was .95 degrees celsius warmer than the 20th century average

  • Atmospheric carbon concentrations are at an all time high 

  • 19 of the 20 warmest years have all occurred since 2001

  • Arctic sea ice is declining at a rate of 12.85% per decade 

  • Sea levels are steadily rising, with each inch of sea-level rise moving the ocean 50 to 100 inches inland

  • Indonesia is having to move its capital city because the current one is sinking

  • The U.N. says the world is on track for up to 3.9 degrees celsius warming by 2100 

  • In 2018, just 15% of world energy consumption is from renewable energy 

  • This past January was the warmest on record, putting 2020 on track to be one of the top 10 warmest years in history 

  • This warming is increasing storm intensity and making weather patterns more variable


  • The world is losing an area of forest the size of the UK every year

  • 17% of the Amazon has been destroyed in the past 50 years

  • Cattle ranching and soy production are the two largest contributors to deforestation in the Amazon

  • In tropical and subtropical countries, 73% of deforestation is linked to agriculture

  • Soy producing countries are rapidly being deforested, mostly to grow soy for livestock 

  • Deforestation is the second largest source of human carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere

  • Stopping deforestation could have the same carbon impact as removing all cars off earth

Biodiversity Loss

Water Scarcity 

  • Water scarcity impacts one in three people

  • One in nine people lack access to safe water 

  •  60% of water used in agriculture is wasted due to leaky irrigation 

  • Have of the world’s wetlands have been destroyed since 1990 

Plastic Pollution 

  • 8 million pieces of plastic find their way into our oceans every day 

  • 12.7 million tons of plastic enters the ocean each year

  • 7.9% of the 8.3 billion tons of plastic that has been produced since 1950s has ended up in landfills or oceans 

  • Drink companies produce 500 billion single-use plastic bottles annually 

  • Starbucks produces 4 billion disposable coffee cups each year

So, what can you do? 

  • Vote, protest, call your politicians, and be generally politically active 

  • Vote with your dollars each and every day 

  • Write and call environmentally unsustainable companies and encourage them to change their policies

  • Eat less meat 

  • Carry around a zero waste kit to avoid creating waste on the go 

  •  Buy used items when possible


Kayla Guilliams

is the blog manager for Zero Waste Club, combining her love for writing with her passion for all things environmental sustainability. She is currently a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she is studying journalism, environmental studies, and food studies in hopes of building a career in environmental activism. You can find her on Instagram as @kaylaguilliams.