By Annie Jiang ’19
Living a zero waste lifestyle may seem crazy and impossible, but who says it can’t be easy and fun?
Package Free Shop is a zero waste shop on Grand Street, Brooklyn that sells products to help people reduce their waste and lighten the harmful impact they make on the environment. This shop sells everyday goodies from deodorant to glass water bottles to shampoo bars and even bamboo toilet paper.
These products are eco-friendly and can either be recycled or composted. They are meant to replace everyday items that are harmful to the environment and get thrown out as trash.
“I’m really into the Zero Waste Movement, and since it’s really important to me, I wanted a job that is consistent with my values,” said Emma Tao, a sales associate at Package Free.
“Ever since working here, I’ve become even more dedicated to the zero waste lifestyle. Working here makes me push myself, and so I even quit packaged food.”
Package Free also has an online shop where descriptions of all the products are available. There, customers have access to products’ ingredients, care instructions, and end of life descriptions to know how to responsibly dispose of the products.
This shop was founded by Lauren Singer, an environmental activist, entrepreneur and blogger. Along with the Package Free Shop, she also started The Simply Co., a company that sells vegan laundry detergent made from natural and organic ingredients.
Products from The Simply Co. are available to buy in bulk at the Package Free Shop and all you have to do is bring your own containers. You can also buy other cleaning and bathroom products in bulk at Package Free such as soap, face and body oils, facial toner, and grapefruit and lavender deodorant.
Some might say that the products at Package Free are overpriced, but in the long run, these products can save customers a lot of money. For instance, a glass water bottle can save customers money from continuously buying single use and unsustainable plastic water bottles. Their beeswax food wraps can also save customers money from buying plastic wraps. Not only are customers saving money, but they can also feel good about saving the environment.
Singer’s blog, Trash is for Tossers, offers fun, simple and easy ways to incorporate zero waste in everyday life including zero waste swaps for common kitchen items and a zero waste hair care routine. This blog also talks
about cost-effective and free alternatives to reduce waste so that anyone can easily make the transition to a zero waste lifestyle without spending a lot of money.
If you want to start living a zero waste lifestyle but don’t want to spend money on products, you might want to check out Singer’s YouTube channel, Trash is for Tossers, where she teaches people how to make their own sustainable and zero waste products like toothpaste, body lotion and even deodorant.
We’ve all heard the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” but no one brings this saying to life like Daniel Silverstein.
Silverstein is the co-founder of Package Free as well as a clothing designer and a zero waste advocate. He started the first zero waste clothing line, Zero Waste Daniel, where all the products are made from fabric scraps that would otherwise end up in landfills.
The store sells eco-friendly, handmade and unisex apparel in a variety of styles from t-shirts and tank tops to sweatpants and denim shorts. Since all the clothes are made from fabric scraps, they have unique and stylish geometric patterns.
The products can be purchased at the Package Free Shop, the online store or at the Zero Waste Daniel store located on Hooper Street, Brooklyn. Products from the Zero Waste Daniel store may be more on the pricey side, but it pays off to know that your money is going towards reducing textile waste and supporting fair labor.
Transitioning to a zero waste lifestyle is a powerful choice and with such easy access to sustainable home goods, why not start today?