Worth a mention on this blog is Unit Markt zero waste store, probably the first of its kind in Helsinki.. There are stores such as Vegekauppa for vegan stuff, Ruohonjuuri and Ekolo that focus on health, eco-friendly and organic products, but there’s a serious lack of stores that offer the option of bulk-buying vegan organic groceries all in one place.
UnitMarkt opened in Dec ’19 in Vallila. The store is located at a corner by one of the main roads in the city and is easily located. It has large glass windows and when you step in it’s bright and surrounded by zero waste goodies. For longer-lasting non-food items, you can find some soap bars, detergents, scrubs and essential oils from here. Also ingredients for DIYs.
**EDIT: October 2020, they have closed their store in Helsinki Valilla 🙁 ** why, oh why!?
Bring your own jars and containers to a zero waste store! Weigh the empty containers at the cashier and then start filling. They had most pantry staples like rice, oats, beans, nuts, flour, spices, oils and also some organic veggies and fruits. As you shop you can also get a cup of coffee and vegan chocolate!
We strive for a zero -waste life, avoid plastic as much as possible but it seems next to impossible. It comes down to cost. It’s great if we can bulk buy groceries at least a couple of times a month. Kind of like the traditional way of getting rice and beans in a big sack.. that’s how I remember it used to be in India, and it was the cheapest way. I don’t get why refilling your soap bottle costs 3x more than a new soap with bottle from a regular store. The organic fruits and veggies are pricey too and we can’t afford to spend 4 euros on a bunch of onions all the time. But some things like coconut flakes were actually found to be cheaper at the zero waste store. Here’s a good article you might want to read: Is Zero Waste More Expensive?
I’m really looking forward to more zero-waste/ bulk stores opening in the city in the near future!