Zero Waste: 10 business that are making Paris a better place
Parisians voted for a greener city with the re-election of Mayor Anne Hidalgo, whose top priority is protecting the environment. Her agenda: eliminate parking lots, close streets to cars, make the city more pedestrian- and bike-friendly, build low-carbon housing and use 100% renewable energy.
And while some of her actions have been met with loud protests in the past, such as closing the Quai de Seine to cars, even the whiners have to admit that a walk along the waterfront is nicer without a side of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Other environmental measures that made headlines this year included a ban on electric scooters and a new French law that requires restaurants with more than 20 seats to offer reusable and washable serving containers, forcing McDonald’s to ban its disposable containers and introduce a range of tableware.
But politicians are not the only ones taking a stand for the environment. A growing number of Parisians are trying to be more sustainable, and some have even adopted a zero waste lifestyle. Fortunately, there are plenty of companies that make their daily lives easier. Here are ten of them:
Demain – yesterday’s bread for a better tomorrow
Demain is not a bakery in the traditional sense. They don’t make their own products. Instead, they collect leftover items from other bakeries and sell them the next day at half price.
Some products, like the farmer’s bread, will last a week or so, while more delicate items, like croissants, may be a little stale the next day. Instead of throwing them out, Demain turns them into ‘smash croissants’, which are flattened and caramelized for a fresh, crunchy treat.
133 Rue Saint-Maur
Métro: Couronnes (2) or Parmentier (3)
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 8am-8pm
The Naked Shop – soap on tap
A short walk from Demain, The Naked Shop sells unpackaged liquids such as cleaning products, shampoo, soap, oils and gels on tap. Founder Maria got the idea for her shop while, you guessed it, sitting in a beer bar. A few months later, her ‘soap bar’ was born.
Here you can fill your own containers with exactly as much as you need and not a drop more. The great thing about the store’s system is that you can see the price at the same time as the milliliters, so you can decide not only how much you want, but also how much you want to spend.
The Naked Shop
75 Rue Oberkampf
Métro: Parmentier (3)
Opening hours: Mon 1pm-8pm, Tue-Fri 11am-8pm, Sat 10.30am-7.30pm
Bisou – eco-friendly cocktails
At first glance, Bisou may look like an Insta-trap – a place designed to attract camera junkies with photogenic decor. Dressed in pink with flowers hanging from the ceiling, it certainly seems to cater to a certain demographic. But don’t judge a bar by its cover!
Not only is Bisou sustainable, favoring local and seasonal produce and turning leftovers and unused parts into syrups for its cocktails, it also offers a unique concept. You get a custom drink based on the flavors and emotions you want in your cocktail.
15 Boulevard du Temple
Métro: Filles du Calvaire (8)
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 5pm-2am
La Caserne – making fashion greener
You probably know that fashion is a very polluting industry. Many designers want to produce more responsibly, but need support. La Caserne hosts brands for three years, giving them access to training, materials and contacts so they can make sustainable commitments.
The former fire station has been transformed into an eco-friendly fashion hub with an 800m2 terrace, creative studios and offices, a café, a florist and even a nightclub, all working with the same green vision.
12 Rue Philippe de Girard
Métro: Louis Blanc (7, 7B)
Dupin – leftovers turned gourmet
Tucked away on a quiet street just steps from the bustling Boulevard Raspail, Dupin flavors its dishes with a generous sprinkling of sustainability. 80% of the kitchen waste is recycled. Vegetable peels and stalks, for example, are dehydrated, ground, and made into a concentrated powder used to spice up sauces and broths.
Leftover bread is turned into ice cream, tomato scraps into ketchup, and so on. Chef Nathan Helo also focuses on plant-based ingredients. There’s still a fair amount of meat and fish on the menu – this is France, after all – but it’s sourced from small farms and sustainable fisheries.
11 Rue Dupin
Métro: Sèvres – Babylone (10, 12)
Opening hours: Tue-Sat 12pm-3pm, 7pm-10.30pm
La Maison du Zéro Déchet – all about zero waste
La Maison du Zéro Déchet (‘The House of Zero Waste’) is a place dedicated to reducing waste. It has a boutique offering alternatives to disposable and single-use products, a library of objects to borrow for free, and a community café with a beautiful terrace overlooking a small park that has become a popular coworking spot.
La Maison also hosts regular workshops on waste management, film screenings and debates. Of course, the materials used in the construction of the building, as well as the furnishings and equipment, have been reused.
La Maison du Zéro Déchet
1 Passage Emma Calvé
Métro: Reuilly – Diderot (1, 8)
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 12pm-8pm, Sat 10am-8pm
Go Go Kiwi – the less you earn, the less you pay
In addition to promoting short circuit, organic and package-free products, Go Go Kiwi has set up a points system that adapts to customers’ income, allowing them to benefit from an attractive discount in proportion to their purchases. Anyone who earns less than 1750 euros per month can benefit by signing up for a loyalty card. And the less you earn, the less you’ll pay!
Go Go Kiwi
16 Avenue de Laumière
Métro: Laumière (5)
Opening hours: Mon 3pm-8pm, Tue-Sat 10.30am-8pm, Sun 10.30am-6pm
Too Good To Go – saving money and the planet
Originally a Danish invention, the app is now available in nine countries, including France. And Parisians are loving it, because they can get heavy discounts at countless supermarkets and restaurants, as well as cafes, bakeries, hotels and florists, all while saving the planet (since food waste accounts for 10% of greenhouse gasses).
By purchasing Magic Bags from participating businesses, shoppers receive a sack full of that day’s unsold, perfectly good items at a third of the original price. It’s super fun if you like surprises, but not ideal if you have dietary restrictions because you can’t choose what goes in your bag.
La Recyclerie – sustainable restaurant & repair shop
Until 1934, a railroad circled Paris, and remnants of it can still be seen today. For example, along Rue Belliard in the north of the 18th arrondissement, where there is also an old train station that is now a restaurant, bar and café, as well as an urban farming project and a recycling yard.
You can bring in your small appliances for free repair, borrow shared items at no charge, and get access to the workbench for on-site tinkering. Because sustainability is key here, the restaurant’s menu changes daily, depending on what the garden and market have to offer, but is always made with seasonal and local ingredients. Any leftovers are fed to La Recyclerie’s own chicken.
83 Boulevard Ornano
Métro: Porte de Clignancourt (4)
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 8am-12am, Fri 8am-2am, Sat 11am-2am, Sun 11am-10pm
Nous anti-gaspi – a second chance for misfits
Some products never make it to the store because their packaging is damaged or contains incorrect information, they have a short shelf life, or they’re the wrong size or shape. These products are usually thrown away.
Nous anti-gaspi is an alternative supermarket chain that fights food waste by collecting these items and selling them at a lower price. On average, each of their stores saves 100,000 meals per month. With 27 stores across France, including nine in Paris, this makes a big difference.
86 Rue d’Amsterdam
Métro: Place de Clichy (2, 13)
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-8.45pm, Sun 10am-1pm
Other stores in the 10th, 11th, 12th, 14th, 19th and 20th arrondissements.
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