Picture by Laura Mitulla
The pandemic has had a significant impact on access to unpackaged food, but there are different ways to shop in a way that's not detrimental to the planet.
Here are some alternatives to conventional grocery stores in Portland, OR.
Picture by The Realm Refillery
1. The Realm Refillery
The Realm Refillery is a specialty grocery store focused on making a beneficial impact in our community and on the planet through the creation of a circular economic system. Our goal is to create an accessible store which provides a more sustainable way of shopping through the option to buy as much or as little of all products as needed. This mode of shopping produces less food waste and eliminates unnecessary packaging.
We are on a mission to make a difference in the lives of folks in our community by supporting local BIPOC farmers, by presenting our shoppers with the most ethical food options, and by intentionally shifting our daily consumption habits.
Picture by Anne Preble
2. Farmers' markets
Besides growing my own food, buying produce straight from the farmer is my favorite way to shop. Supporting small farms, cutting down the middle-man is good for the people and good for the earth.
Find out where your closest farmers' market is, when it start, and which day it's held at Portland Farmers' markets.
Picture by Farsai Chaikulngamdee
3. U Pick Farms on Sauvie Island
OK I might have lied, maybe picking your own food is second best after growing it.
There are quite a few farms in Oregon where you can harvest fruit, Sauvie Island might be the hotspot.
Check out this list of U Pick Farms and plan a fun family outing!
Picture by Conscious by Chloé
4. Co-ops: People's (SE), Alberta (NE), Food Front (NW)
Fact: I Own a Grocery Store with Some Friends. You don't believe me but it's true, because I'm a member of a co-op!
Co-ops are yet another way to buy responsibly and make sure that suppliers and employees are paid fair wages. Also, the aforementioned co-ops have bulk aisles (check with them to know what the guidelines are during the pandemic - some let you fill your own containers, other will do it for you - let's all remember that the goal is for everyone to stay safe).
I wrote a whole article about shopping in the bulk aisle. I LOVE MY CO-OP!
Picture by Elisabeth Allie for Bob's Red Mill
5. Bob's Red Mill
World-famous Bob's Red Mill based here in Oregon and we're lucky to have access to its Whole Grain Store. They have a whole guide to How to Shop the Bulk Bins. Check it out!
Picture by Sheridan Fruit Company
6. Sheridan Fruit Company
Sheridan Fruit Company offers a huge bulk selection, from flour to olives. Pandemic update: "You may have noticed our bulk bins are empty, however the product is available. Just ask a staff member for assistance."
Many other more conventional stores also have bulk aisles, check them out below and don't forget that you can upload the Zero Waste PDX map on your phone or computer to see what's the closest bulk store.
7. New Seasons
8. Whole Foods
10. Fred Meyer
11. The Portland Bulk Inventory app
Our amazing friend Shannon Tivona created this comprehensive Portland Bulk Inventory app, so if you're looking for an item in particular, check it out.
As always, the Zero Waste Portland Guide lists every single resource you might need to lead sustainable life in Portland!
And don't miss my list of Portland Zero Waste Essentials and Refill Stores too!