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January 29, 20197 min readTravel

How to be Zero Waste in Boston, MA


I’ve been living in Boston since 2013 when I came out here for undergrad. About 2 years ago (in the beginning of my senior year), I decided to go zero waste . It hasn’t been the easiest here in Boston, especially compared to when I was living in Boulder, CO. But over time I’ve discovered more stores that help while seeing the community incentivize more sustainable products here. So here are the stores that I like to shop at for different items.

Boston, MA is slowly becaoming more sustainable. These are 5 shops that have bulk or more natural items for a zero waste home.

Boston General Store

Home Items


Dish scrubbers

Bottle brushes

Produce bags

Soy candles

Boston, MA is slowly becoming more sustainable. These are 5 shops that have bulk or more natural items for a zero waste home.

Cambridge Naturals

Bulk Teas:

They have a bunch of different, unique blends blends, so here is a list of the more popular and well known ones.

Matcha, Jasmine Green Tea, Jasmine Pearls, Moroccan Mint, Chia, China Green Jade, Dark Oolong, English Breakfast, Early Grey, Rooibos, Hibiscus,

Bulk Herbs and Spices:

(Tip: if you are looking for something specific, try CTRL F to find the specific item.)

Agrimory, Alfalfa leaf, Allspice powder, Allspice berries, Amla powder, Anise Seed, Anise Star, Ashwagandha root (local), Ashwagandha root powder, Astraglus root, Bay Leaf, Beet root powder, Black seeds, Blessed Thistle, Blue Cohosh, Boneset Leaf, Burdock root, Raw Cacoa Beans, Raw Cacoa powder, Black Cohosh, Calamus root, Calendula, California Poppy, Caraway seeds, Caradmon pods, Carob, Cascara Sagrada, Catnip, Cat’s Claw, Cayenne, Celery seed, Chaga Mushroom, Chamomile, Chanca Piedra, Chia seeds, Chickweed, Chicory root, Chlorella Powder, Cinnamon chips, Cinnamon powder, Cinnamon (Ceylon), Cinnamon (Cassia), Cleavers, Clove whole, Clove powder, coconut flakes, Codonopsis Root, Coltsfoot Leaf, Comfrey leaf, Comfrey root, Cordyceps Powder, Coriander seed, Coriander seed powder, Cornsilk, Cramp Bark, Cumin seeds, Cumin seed powder, Dandelion root, Devil’s Claw Root, Dill seed, Dill Weed, Dong Quai, Dulse Flakes, Echinacea Purpurea, Echinacea Angustifolia, Elderflower, Elecampane root, Eleuthero root, Eucalyptus leaf, Fennel seed, Fennel seed powder, Fenugreek powder, Fenugreek, Feverfew, Flaxseeds, Fo-Ti root, Irish Moss, Juniper Berries, Kava Kava Root, Kelp powder, Lavender flowers, Lemon Balm, Lemongrass, Lemon Verbena, Lemon Peel, Licorice root, Maca root, Marjoram, Marshmallow root, Marshmallow leaf and flower, Marshmallow root powder, Moringa Leaf, Motherwort, Mugwork, Mullein leaf, Mustard seed, Yellow Mustard seed, Neem Leaf, Nettle leaf powder, Nettle leaf, Nutmeg, Nutritional Yeast, Oat Milky Tops, Onion Powder, Orange peel, Grape root, Paprika, Smoked Paprika, Parsley, Passionflower, Peppermint, Black Peppercorns, Green Peppercorns, White Peppercorns, Red Pepper flakes, Pennyroal, Poppy Seeds, Red Clover Flower, Red Raspberry Leaf, Reishi Mushroom, Reishi Mushroom powder, Rhodiola Root, Red rose petals, Rose buds, Rose Hips, Rosehip powder, Rosemary Leaf, Sage leaf, White Sage, Sea salt, Coarse sea salt, Himalayan Pink Salt, Smoked sea salt, Raw Palmetta Berry, Sarsaparilla root, Sassafras Bark, Schisandra Berry, Senna Leaf, Sesame Seeds, Shatavari root, Shiitake Mushrooms, Skullcap, Sichuan Pepper, Slippery Elm Powder, Slippery Elm Bark, Spearmint, Spilanthes, Spirulina, Ginkgo Leaf, St John’s Wort, Tarragon Leaf, Thyme, Tocos, Triphala Powder, Turmeric pieces, Turmeric powder, Valerian root, Vanilla Beans, Blue Vervian, Violet Leaf, Vitex Berry, White Peony root, Wild Cherry Bark, Wild Lettuce, Wild Yam Root, Willow Bark, Wood Betony, Wormwood, Yarrow, Yellow Dock

Bulk Misc.

Agar Agar Powder, Apple Pectin, Arrowroot, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Cornstarch, Cocoa Butter Waffers, Guar Guar, Epsom Salt, Red Henna Powder, Neutral Henna Powder, Activated Charcoal, French Green Clay, Rhassoul Clay, Bentonite Clay, Kaolin Clay, Pascalite Clay, Bath Salts

Coco butter rounds, Beeswax, Carnauba Wax, DanSoap Laundry, Soap Nuts, Borax Powder,

Home Items

Reusable water bottles, thermos, and tumblers

Reusable food containers

Reusable straws (metal, glass, and bamboo)

Veggie cloth bags


Variety of glass bottles for DIYs

Compost bucket

Compost liners

Laundry detergent

Menstrual cups

Cloth pads

Sea sponges

Body Items

Bulk face masks (clay)

Bar soap

Shampoo bars

Makeup (local and small business)

Deodorants (MeowMeowTweet, Weleda, Half Hippy, Schimidt’s, etc)

Boston, MA is slowly becoming more sustainable. These are 5 shops that have bulk or more natural items for a zero waste home.

Whole Foods

This is for the Ink Block location in the South End. While I've found most Whole Foods carry some kind of bulk section, the specific products the carry for that do differ. I recommend checking out the Whole Foods around you and making notes about which one has the items you use most.

Loafs of breads, bagels, and pastries

Milk - Local milk in returnable glass bottles

Almond / Peanut butter - freshly ground in your own container


Bulk Dry Goods

Cashews (salted, unsalted, garlic & herb), Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, Brazil Nuts, Nut Mix, Pistachios, Hazelnuts, Sunflower seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Pinto beans, Black Eyed Peas

Rolled oats, quick oats, Mango lices, Raisins, Sour Cherries, Cranberries, Date Coconut Rolls, Dates, Apricots, Prunes, Sun Dried Figs, Milk Chocolate Pretzels, Wheat Bran, Banana chips, Plantain chips, Shredded Coconut, Goji berries, Sesame seeds, Garlic Sesame Seeds, Chia seeds, Sesame sticks, Buckwheat groats, Quinoa, Hemp & Greens Cereal, Granola, Lenits, Nutritional Yeast

Long Grain Brown Rice, White Jasmine Rice, Brown Basmati Rice, Couscous, Bulgar Wheat,


Mychelle skin care

Dirty Hippy Cosmetics

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Boston, MA is slowly becoming more sustainable. These are 5 shops that have bulk or more natural items for a zero waste home.

Pemberton Farms

Bulk Dry Goods

Golden raisins, apricots, mangle slices, dates, dried ginger, dried cranberries

Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, slivered almonds, nut mix, chickpeas

Green and red lentils, Quinoa, Barley, Popcorn kernels, toasted corn, sesame sticks, snack mixes (pineapple habenero crunch, hot cajun snacks, trail mix

Jasmine rice, long grain white rice, white quinoa, tri color quinoa, couscous, green and red lentils, pearled farro, oats


Breads (bagels, pretzel loafs, rolls, ciabatta,)

House Hold

Commongood liquid bulk items: All purpose soap, hand soap, laundry soap, dish soap

Compostable bags from Bio Bag

Boston, MA is slowly becoming more sustainable. These are 5 shops that have bulk or more natural items for a zero waste home.


Wegmens actually has a really great webpage about all their bulk items! Check it out here for more information.

Bulk body

Bulk body items

Zum scrubs and soaps!

Bulk teas

Chamomile, Roobois, Hibiscus, White tea, Chai Black Tea, Oolong tea, Matcha Green Tea, Black Tea, Jade Tea, Mint Tea, Earl Grey Tea, etc

Bulk candy

Gummies, Candy Corn, Swedish Fish, Sour Worms, etc

Bulk Dry Goods

Macadamia nuts, Cashews, Almonds, Peanuts, Hazelnuts

Pinto beans, Black beans, Red Beans

White rice, Brown rice, Quinoa, Flaxseeds, Seasame Seeds, Barley, Oats, Granolas,


-Bootstrap Compost: Will pick up your food scraps to be composted on local farms. I pay \$24 per month for a bi weekly pickup, which works perfectly for me and my boyfriend.

-Cambridge: The city offers curbside food scrap collection beginning in April 2018.

-Project Oscar: A free community compost pilot program that gives communities a place to drop-off residential food scraps. As of April 2017, there are bins in six locations: East Boston, North End, Brighton, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, and City Hall Plaza.  
I've personally used the one in Brighton, which worked well (althought I inititally got lost trying to find it).


Boston, MA is slowly becaoming more sustainable. These are 5 shops that have bulk or more natural items for a zero waste home.

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Hi, I'm Taylor

Amateur adult. Zero waste zealot. Personal finance fiend. Spicy food supporter. I’m an mid 20’s gal living in Denver, Colorado. My love of the outdoors has cultivated my zero waste lifestyle, which inadvertently fueled my passion for personal finance. Cheers to everyone interested in lessening their footprint while growing their wallet!


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