It's no secret that San Francisco is a city that caters to eco-ethics. I was asked to make some of my products here for an art event, so I had to find a place to get the ingredients I needed, while still being true to my zero waste ethos. I found a couple good refill shops that I would recommend to those looking for plastic free options while shopping in SF.
Green 11 has a few locations and has all the basic home items available for refill. I checked out the Noe Valley location which is about a 10-15 minute walk from the Mission & 24th Bart station. It's in a quaint little neighbourhood and the store itself is cute. It has wall to wall refill stations and a small selections of reusable containers in case you didn't bring your own. Their motto is "refill not landfill" ...which is what zero waste is all about.
They have everything from laundry detergent, shampoos & conditioners, baby products, toothpastes, soaps and much more. They carry big brands such as EO, Alba Botanica, Earth Science and Giovanni. It's a small spot that's easy to navigate; you go in refill and get your goods weighed. The staff member that was working there was extremely helpful and knowledgable about the company, I really enjoyed talking with her. She informed me that owner does as much as they can to eliminate packaging when ordering and reuses their own refill bottles. If I lived here this would probably be my go-to spot for refills.
The only downside is they don't have any DIY ingredients such as beeswax, clays, butters etc. But I still didn't walk away empty handed; I ran out of my homemade toothpowder while travelling and managed to fill up with some of their "toothclay"...worked like a charm!
For locations & hours click here
This is the holy place for bulk items. It's a cooperative so this is definitely the kind of place we should support while travelling. I walked here from the Mission district and was able to get most of what I needed for beauty ingredients. They had beeswax, bentonite clay, activated charcoal, henna colouring and a variety of epsom salts in the bulk body department. I was surprised that all their bulk bags were compostable...I used my own containers, but still cool.
What I also discovered while wandering the store was the amazing bulk herb section, variety of nut & seed butters, oils on tap, kimchi & sauerkraut bins, salts, snacks, pastas, powders, blue corn tortilla chips! ....pretty much everything we could dream of needing is at our fingertips in this store. Our culinary needs would always be fulfilled if they had one of these places in every city. Overall, this place is great...check it out if you're ever in SF. Oh, and don't forget the absolutely fabulous selection of mason jars (:
1745 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Hours: Every day 9AM-9PM
When in the bay area and need to refill some of those jars, these places are worth checking out!