Are you looking for a shopping way to reduce your environmental impact while saving money? Then, consider shopping at a zero-waste grocery store. By shopping at these stores, you can avoid generating unnecessary waste and support organic local farmers and producers. 

If you are still wondering what zero-waste stores are, read on to find out the answer. We will also name the best 5 zero-waste grocery stores in NYC so you can grocery shop more sustainably.

What Is A Zero Waste Grocery Store?

A zero-waste grocery store is one that follows the principles of zero-waste – a movement that aims to eliminate waste and promote the circular economy. These stores sell products that are either package-free or packaged in reusable, recyclable, or compostable materials. 

Also, zero-waste stores encourage customers to bring their containers, bags, or glass jars to fill up with the products they want. 

Typically, these grocery stores offer a variety of products, such as grains, seeds, spices, oils, dried fruit, sugars, teas, vegetables, dairy, eggs, meat, beverages, cleaning products, personal care products, and more.

What Is A Zero Waste Grocery Store?

Are Zero-Waste Grocery Stores More Expensive Than Regular Grocery?

You might be surprised that the answer is no. One of the common misconceptions about zero waste online grocery stores is that they are more expensive than regular ones. However, this is only sometimes true. Zero waste shops might be a budget-friendly shopping method when you approach them wisely.

  • They allow you to buy what you need only and avoid food waste. Hence, customers can buy as much or as little as they want and pay by weight or volume. 
  • Zero-waste stores do not charge you for the plastic packaging or the branding of the products. Buyers only pay for the product itself and not for the extra costs of packaging or marketing. 
  • These stores often source their products from local and organic farmers and producers who offer high-quality and fresh products at reasonable prices.

Top 5 Zero-Waste Grocery Stores In NYC

There are many zero-waste grocery options, ranging from small shops to large markets. For customers in NYC who enjoy an eco-friendly lifestyle, here are some of the best sustainable stores in NYC that you can visit:

1. Precycle

Any shopper in NYC might have heard of Precycle – a pioneering plastic-free bulk grocery store. Located in Brooklyn, Precycle collaborates with local farmers and distributors, ensuring customers have complete transparency about the origins of their food.

Precycle encourages customers to bring their reusable containers for bulk food purchases to minimize waste. Don’t worry if you forget; they also offer reusable food packaging for sale at the store. 


Here’s how it works: you fill your reusable container with bulk items, then bring it to the checkout for weighing and pricing (the container’s weight is subtracted from your total).

But that’s not all: If visiting their physical store is inconvenient, shop online for a wide range of products, including fruits, veggies, pantry staples, home goods, personal care items, and more.

What sets Precycle apart is its commitment to sustainability. They are a certified B Corporation, adhering to stringent environmental performance and accountability standards. 

2. Green Star Natural Foods Market

When you visit the Ithaca area, search for “zero waste grocery store near me.” You will see the name Green Star Natural Foods Market appear. 

 Green Star Natural Foods Market

Remember to bring your plastic-free containers along, as you’ll have the opportunity to stock up on an extensive array of goods. From flour to granola, cereal, spices, teas, and much more, their selection is truly impressive! Also, it’s the perfect way to repurpose your old Tupperware containers.

A great thing about Green Star is they have the FLOWER program. It helps customers afford healthy food and eco-friendly products. So, if you’re in the Ithaca area, check out Green Star!

3. 4th Street Food Co-op

What if you are looking for a zero-waste grocery store for dry goods like nuts, seeds, and snacks in Manhattan? We’d recommend checking out the 4th Street Food Co-op.

This store is unique because it’s a cooperative grocer in the East Village. That means its members own and run it, and the employees work not for regular pay but for a store discount. 

4th Street Food Co-op

They are all about selling locally grown, vegetarian, fair trade, high-quality, and organic items at prices that won’t break the bank! So, make sure to visit if you’re in the area.

4. The Package Free Shop

The Package Free Shop is a fantastic place to get body care items like hand soaps, body washes, and deodorant in bulk. The best thing is this store offers free shipping on online orders over $65.

You might be impressed by how they carefully consider the ingredients in their products and the packaging they use. They’re all about being environmentally responsible!

The Package Free Shop

While most of their products don’t have packaging, some are required by the FDA to be packaged (like menstrual cups and toothbrushes). But still, these packages are recyclable.

Further, The Package Free Shop has a rewards program that lets you earn points while shopping and use them later for special discounts. 

5. Common Good & Co

Common Good & Co., located at 100 W Broadway in Brooklyn, focuses on eco-friendly cleaning products that are both natural and refillable. They offer various products for different cleaning needs, including dishes, laundry, surfaces, floors, glass, and bathroom cleaning. 

Their products are vegan, cruelty-free, biodegradable, and non-toxic. Further, the store urges customers to bring their containers or purchase reusable ones in-store. Ordering online is also an option, with convenient delivery or in-store pickup.

 Common Good & Co

One of their standout products is a 2.5-gallon dish soap container. What makes it better is that you can send the liner back to be reused when the box is empty. This step helps significantly reduce plastic waste, as the container is made with 86% less plastic and 65% PCR cardboard, and it’s fully biodegradable!

Final Thoughts

Shopping at a zero-waste grocery store in NYC is a fantastic approach to reduce your environmental impact and save money. Whether in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or anywhere in the city, you can find eco-friendly shops that align with your values. 

So, next time you plan your grocery shopping, consider visiting these package-free stores for a greener, healthier, and more responsible shopping experience. 


Hanni covers topics including travel, pets, and entertainment. These topics have nurtured her love for the environment. She didn't pursue this path academically, but her enthusiasm for green living and forest conservation has found a perfect home at Tenereteam. In her articles, Hanni focuses on practical tips for sustainable living, drawing from her experiences and research. In her free time, Hanni loves exploring farmer’s markets and, of course, traveling.

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