Shopping Plastic-Free Gets Easier for Idaho
In a 2018 report, The European Geo-sciences Union stated that the world must take decisive climate action by the year 2035 in order to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius (approximately 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit).
“We all know plastic and food waste is a growing problem that needs immediate action if we are to slow down the rate of pollution and warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions before the 2035 deadline,” says Lea Rainey, owner of Roots Zero Waste Market. “However, knowing we are in the middle of a crisis, versus being able to do something about it as an individual, can be overwhelming and difficult when everyday necessities are packaged and sold in plastic.”
This disconnect is the driver behind Roots Zero Waste Market, opening soon at 3308 West Chinden Boulevard, in Garden City. Rainey explains, “As consumers who were concerned about the health of our bodies and the environment, and frustrated with the amount of plastic and pre-packaged processed food we encountered daily, we started to look at the role businesses, and especially food stores, play in contributing to this endless cycle of pollution and waste. So, we’ve taken matters into our own hands, and with the help of our community, we’re chopping the head off of the Wasteful Grocery Store Dragon, so to speak.”
Roots is a plastic-package-free bulk market, deli, café and community hub. The market features standard and unique bulk grains, pulses, pasta, legumes, oils, vinegars, sweeteners, spices and a variety of local and regional fresh fruit and vegetables. It also boasts a robust household and personal care section, where shoppers can refill containers of toxin-free cleaners and laundry, kitchen and bath soaps, or purchase individual compostable or “naked” bulk products and kitchen and bathroom wares. The café offers freshly prepared salads, entrées and sandwiches with options for all diets, as well as a full deli counter, stocked with vegan, gluten-free and regionally sourced meats and cheeses in bulk. There is also a small local dairy cooler where shoppers can purchase bulk butter, yogurt, milk, eggs and more.
Shoppers are encouraged to bring their own re-usable containers to use in every area of the market, but, if needed, there are plenty of free, deposit or for-purchase options to make shopping in bulk easy and stress-free.
To complement the grocery and cafe, Roots has invited The Vervain Collective to open up shop within the market. A local, plant-based apothecary, Vervain will offer a variety of herbal products, provide private on-site wellness consultation and share the Roots Community Classroom to inform and collaborate with the public on whole-health techniques.
Roots and Vervain are planning a soft opening in time for Labor Day weekend, with a grand opening celebration planned for mid-September. Pre-sale gift certificates with in-store discounts are for sale now on the Roots website, and area residents can live lighter for the planet today by visiting the Roots booth from 5 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday at the 34th St. Farmers’ Market, in Garden City.
Rainey says, “It’s never too late or too soon to start eliminating plastic from our future, and as the famous Zero Waste Chef, Anne-Marie Bonneau, once said, ‘We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.’ Let Roots help you on your journey to waste less and live more without the stress of plastics in your life.”