A zero waste lifestyle transition can be daunting. There has been a huge shift in the number of reusable bags available at grocery stores over the past few years. This is wonderful, but when we looked at our weekly waste, the majority was still made up of single-use plastic packaging for produce and dry goods.
We have found the biggest impact on our waste comes down to a very simple switch. Our family now uses glass jars and mesh or cotton produce bags as much as possible when buying fresh produce and dry goods. Buying in bulk in reusable containers and collecting produce items from markets and grocery stores in reusable produce bags removes most of the food packaging we used to discard as waste.
We have been pleasantly surprised by how many stores now carry bulk items in Halifax. It helps to have a variety of options readily available. In this article, I would like to share some of our top locations for reducing our carbon footprint and making the most of local produce and products available here in Halifax.
The Tare Shop: Helping Your Zero Waste Lifestyle Transition in Halifax
One of our number one stops in the city is The Tare Shop, located at 5539 Cornwallis Street in the North End. The Tare Shop features a wide array of zero waste products, ranging from dry goods (including beans and a variety of different flours and spices) to nuts and seeds, sweeteners such as maple syrup and coconut sugar, a selection of oil and vinegar, tea and coffee, and cleaning and body care products.
We love that they also carry cotton produce and gift bags as well as dental care products including bamboo toothbrushes and refillable floss pots. In addition to their store, they also feature a lovely cafe with a selection of tea, coffee, lattes, and locally made baked goods.
You are welcome to bring in a clean container that you weigh with a staff member at the counter prior to filling it with your desired item. The container is then weighed a second time and you complete your purchase using cash or card. If you find yourself stopping in without a container in tow, The Tare Shop has a donated container bank that provides you with different size options for your zero waste purchases.
The Organic Earth Market
Previously known as Planet Organic, The Organic Earth Market is a long-time fixture at the end of the shopping district on Quinpool Road. The market features a vast selection of healthy living products and food items. This lovely shop also features a selection of bins for zero waste shopping. Their spice selection is impressive, and they also sell a variety of dried herbs, flours, nuts, and other bulk items.
If you bring your own container you will need to get it weighed at the till before you begin selecting your items. Organic Earth Market carries the Canadian made Cool Earth Products line of mesh produce bags. We love these bags and have been using them for several years now. They are lightweight and do not add extra bulk when it comes to weighing produce items at the store.
The Halifax Brewery Market
Halifax Brewery Farmers Market has been a long-time fixture in the city. It is centrally located in the indoor courtyard in front of Keith’s Brewery. The market hosts a variety of different vendors, including Acadiana Tofu, Four Seasons Farm and Hutten’s Family Farm. It is a wonderful place to pick up seasonal produce and finely crafted food and lifestyle items. The market is open on Saturdays and for designated events throughout the year.
The Halifax Seaport Market
The renowned Halifax Seaport Farmers Market is located down the road from Pier 21 along the scenic Halifax harbourfront. The bustling market hosts a wide variety of vendors who supply local produce, mushrooms, fresh-baked bread and pastries, and a variety of artisanal food and craft items. The market boasts live music and a number of food vendors, many of whom have adopted more eco-friendly packaging for their food. The market is open year-round, with the main market day happening on Saturday each week.
Get Grounded Fall Root Vegetable Soup
The following recipe makes use of many produce items readily available at the market in the fall when root vegetables are in abundance. You can find the oil, salt, and nuts for this recipe in bulk at The Tare Shop.
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 celeriac root
4 cups sunchokes (aka Jerusalem artichokes) peeled and cubed
1 medium rutabaga peeled and cubed
1 medium daikon radish, peeled and cubed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, finely sliced
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
6 cups vegetable broth
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
½ cup raw cashews
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel celery root, rutabaga, sunchoke and daikon and dice into small cubes. Toss the vegetable cubes with 2 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast roots in the oven for 20 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.
While root vegetables are roasting, saute onion, garlic, and celery stalks in olive oil over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and continue to cook the vegetables for 10 minutes, or until fully softened. If the vegetables start to stick, add a splash of water. Scoop roasted veggies into the pot and add vegetable broth. Bring soup to a boil, and lower to a simmer for 10‒15 minutes. Remove from heat and add cashews and rosemary.
Transfer soup in batches, to a blender and process until completely smooth. Transfer back to the soup pot and season with salt and pepper.