Thanks to blogs and Instagram, the zero waste world has long thrived on the Internet, allowing people who live trash-free to share tips, products and advice in online communities.
Adopting a zero waste lifestyle can still be difficult, however, especially if you don’t live in a sustainably-minded community.
“People really wanted to live a zero waste life, or a low waste life, but that they felt like they didn’t have any resources in their community to do that,” said Amber Haukedahl, a Twin Cities-based zero waste blogger and Instagrammer. “The desire was there, but the infrastructure wasn’t,” she said.
With two partners, Kate Marnach and Nathan Crymble, Haukedahl set out to launch Minnesota’s first zero waste market, Tare Market. The market will hold its first pop-up this Saturday and Sunday at the Water Bar and Public Studio. Conveniently, the event falls on the same weekend as Sunday's Open Streets Northeast.
Tare Market’s name is derived from a practice zero waste shoppers, who often shop in bulk with reusable containers, know well.
“Tare is just the weight of an empty vessel.… You can put whatever you want in that vessel, whether that’s bulk face lotion or rice or soap nuts,” Haukedahl said. “Then when you check out we subtract the tare weight from your purchase so that you’re only paying for the product. … You’re not paying for disposable packaging [and] it’s better for the environment.”
The Tare Market founders listened to community feedback to develop an inventory that, as the Tare Market continues to evolve, will truly suit the needs of the zero waste community in the Twin Cities.
“Taking into account everyone’s experience, we really honed in on two areas that we wanted to stock,” Haukedahl said. “One is sustainable living products … like a bamboo straw or a nut milk bag or a reusable grocery bag, and then the other area is shelf-stable goods, like pantry products or spices.”
For example, Tare Market will offer health and beauty products rarely found in plastic-free packaging.
“There’s a lotion bar. You don’t go to the store and find lotion not in a plastic bottle and tube. … There’s a shampoo bar and conditioner as well,” said Marnach, a graduate of the University of Minnesota who also runs a zero waste blog. “We have a charcoal tooth powder. It’s also very hard to find toothpaste not in an unrecyclable plastic tube.”
The pop-up this weekend will also feature workshops on a variety of zero waste topics, from wardrobes to grocery shopping. The workshops allow the market to increase accessibility to sustainable products and education.
“We’re really hoping our main focus is accessibility for everybody. That means having to have a physical store so people don’t have to scour the internet for products.” Marnach said. "We're hoping to educate the community ... and help people make changes."
As Tare Market continues into the future, its founders intend on moving the market to an established storefront, showing more people the endless possibilities of living with less.
“We want people to find things they have value in,” said Crymble, another University alumnus. “We think that through a zero waste lifestyle … you can simplify your life so you can focus on what brings you joy, keeps you healthy and keeps you connected with other people.”
What: Tare Market Pop-Up
When: Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Water Bar and Public Studio, 2518 NE. Central Ave., Minneapolis
How much: Free, registration required for workshop attendance