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Local zero-waste grocers to help you reduce your carbon footprint

The average person in America produces nearly five pounds of waste every day. By the end of the year, one individual accumulates a total of 1,361.4 pounds of trash—enough to sink a small fishing boat.

In recent years, many global efforts have been made towards reducing the amount of waste humans produce, including implementing zero waste, bulk and refill strategies in big corporations. Retailers are realizing their negative contributions to the amounts of waste produced each year and have been trying to get their foot out the door and into effective ways of cutting down the amount of trash tossed out each year.

Some of the largest grocery store franchises like Sprouts, Whole Foods, WinCo Foods and H-E-B have already begun the environmentally conscious journey by supplying dry ingredients in bulk and encouraging shoppers to bring their own reusable plastic or glass containers for their groceries. 

Graduate student Christopher Kyle, who is an avid shopper at Sprouts, said that every day he tries his best to stay “as green as possible” and that stores like Sprouts help him in sticking to his goals of preserving the ecosystem.

“When I can, I bring my own empty containers for things like oatmeal and even candy,” Kyle said. “I love seeing my containers empty over time and then washing them and using them again. It’s satisfying and makes me feel like I’m doing something for the environment.”

When it comes to non-food items, stores like Natural Grocers and Lush sell many products that have little to no packaging. Both stores sell items like soaps, body washes and shampoo in the form of a bar that either have a band of recyclable cardboard with information on the product or nothing at all. 

Shoppers like second-year theatre major Alisha Hannah said  she enjoys walking into Lush and browsing through the store’s merchandise, which is not only zero-waste friendly, but also cruelty-free.

“It’s become one of my favorite stores because I appreciate how conscious they try to stay in the environment,” Hannah said. “They do have some products that have heavier packaging, but I always try to throw them away correctly so that I follow what Lush stands for even when I’m outside the store.”

With the constant increase in pollution and the continuously growing landfills that occupy about 160,000 acres of the country’s land, many businesses are trying to join the zero-waste movement to help make the Earth last more years than it has been reported to last. Many coffee shops, hair salons and even major cities have all made the conscious decision to lessen the amount of trash made daily.

The town of Denton has been known for its eco-friendliness for many years now, and also partakes in environment saving programs and activities such as Food Not Bombs and Keep Denton Beautiful. For residents of Denton who want to join in promoting and practicing sustainability, some businesses near Denton and the Dallas/Fort Worth area that, too, follow the movement are:

Zero-waste methods continue to gain popularity and interest within the eco-friendly community. For more information on the movement, visit

Gakenia Njenga can be reached via email at

Featured image courtesy of Angelica Monsour.

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