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zero-waste living

Joshua Huston photos

Zero-waste living: A Seattle grocery store where you can shop without feeling guilty

Scoop Marketplace has the tools to help families "waste less, live more," but doesn't expect anyone to do it perfectly.

In  June 2020, Stephanie Lentz opened a store that was consistent with her values.  Scoop Marketplace, on First Hill in Seattle (151 12th Ave.) sells all-organic, package-free food and home goods in a bright and airy space shared with The Works. She hopes the zero-waste store can help people learn to shop while creating less garbage.

“I just needed a grocery store that better aligned with my family values,” Lentz says. “There wasn’t one, so I created it.”

Scoop Marketplace packs a lot into its small footprint. The shelves are lined with neatly labeled glass jars of bulk dried foods: staples like rolled oats, beans, lentils and flour, and all kinds of spices and teas. You’ll find everything from black lava salt to spirulina powder to Ashwagandha root powder.

PHOTO: JOSHUA HUSTON

Products including vegan wax wraps and glass straws can be found at Scoop Marketplace.

Buy Just What You Need at the  Zero-Waste Store

Bring your own containers (or buy them at the store), fill them and pay for your purchases by weight. It’s perfect if you’re trying out a new recipe — just buy the amount you need.

Scoop Marketplace also carries sustainable personal care items handpicked by Lentz. Take the reusable menstrual cup and custom cloth pads, for example; Lentz tried them out for two months before ordering them for the store. Other home products include vegan wax wraps (no bees involved here), stainless steel lunch boxes, glass straws and reusable facial rounds and nursing pads.

“I’m more focused on improving the overall quality of life, and what is creating a more sustainable future for our community and planet. Having the store helps me with the mindset,” Lentz says. “Even if my family never used a single plastic fork, I still wouldn’t be having the impact I’m having with the store sharing what I’ve learned with people.”

PHOTO: JOSHUA HUSTON

The Scoop Marketplace First Hill storefront is a bright and airy space shared with The Works at 151 12th Ave., Seattle.

The former elementary-school teacher is passionate about teaching people how to waste less and live more. She and her husband switched to a plant-based diet four years ago. As they learned more about how polluted the planet is, they embraced the zero-waste lifestyle, which is all about making intentional choices to reduce the amount of trash you create.

Tips on how to reduce waste

If you’re trying to cut back, Lentz suggests thinking about what is sustainable for your life. Focus on being better, not perfect. You’re not comparing yourself with the person with the Mason jar; you’re comparing with where you were last year.

“My values are sustainability, community and education,” Lentz says. “I love sharing what I’ve learned and modeling a different lifestyle. I hope with what I’m passing along, you can improve the quality of your life while walking more gently on the planet.”