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Portland, Beaverton and Hillsboro Zero Waste Shopping Guide

Portland, Beaverton and Hillsboro Zero Waste Shopping Guide

I still consider myself a newbie on the zero waste shopping journey. But even before I started, I searched for this blog post, which didn’t really exist, so here we go.

I will add more places to this as I try them out.

I don’t enjoy writing negative reviews, so I’m going to keep it simple and honest. I also do realize it is helpful to have the negative reviews for people, so they don’t waste their time.


New Seasons

Several Locations

**Each location carries slightly different items, especially in the bulk sections.**

Produce: Most of their produce is organic, and the majority of their produce can be found unpackaged.

Meat: Go to the meat counter, and then choose what you want from the ‘bulk style’ options. They recently told me that they can’t put meat in your own container, except for the option of putting the meat on the counter on their paper, then you scooping it into your own container yourself.

Bulk Variety: A great variety of high quality foods in the bulk section. By high quality I mean, with all our allergens it can be difficult to find the quality of foods we need in other stores (like Winco) but they so far offer excellent options!

Olives: Excellent olive bar available!!

Coffee: Awesome, organic coffees sold in bulk. Plus, a coffee bar inside where they will happily make your drink for you in your own to-go mug, then give you a ticket to pay for your coffee when you pay for all your other food. The health codes recently changed, BUT they will make your coffee for your in a mug then you can pour it into your own mug, OR they can pour the items (espresso then milk) into your mug, but they can no longer TOUCH your mug. I guess I get this, and they are still happy to help me the best way they can while still following health codes.

Cleaning Products: They carry many cleaning products in eco-friendly packaging, or even bulk shampoo, conditioner, hand soaps and more.

Containers: Bring your own cloth bags and containers of any kind. They are happy to weigh your containers, and write the tare weight on there for you. Even meat, they are happy to put it in a container that you bring yourself. PLUS, they give you 5 cents credit for each container or bag of your own that you use. You can either donate the credits you accumulate or put them credits towards your purchase.

Kids: My kids LOVE going to New Seasons. They offer free kids fruit, so hit that up FIRST so your kids are happily snacking while you shop. They also have mini shopping carts, think 5 year old size AND car carts available.

WIC: Random side note, but New Seasons does accept WIC, which I was super excited about.

Currently my go-to as a busy mom of two little girls under 5 is the kind of one-stop-shop. It’s just an incredibly pleasant shopping experience!


WinCo Foods

Not impressed.

I think the biggest reason I walked away discouraged is because of the quality of products they carried. We couldn’t eat hardly anything in their bulk sections, even their nuts were covered in soybean oil (which we can’t eat) so I told my husband it just wasn’t worth it to make the trip out there when we can’t eat so many of the products in their bulk section.

Produce: Not much organic, but lots of non-organic unpackaged.
Containers: You can use your own cloth bags for bulk items, but they will not subtract the tare weight for you.
Bulk Variety: Large variety of bulk items, even cereals. For someone who eats kind of a more standard American diet (SAD) I’m sure they would be quite happy with all the bulk options available.


Fred Meyer

Produce: Great organic and non-organic varieties.

Containers: You can use your own cloth bags for bulk items, but they will not subtract the tare weight for you. Also, at the meat counter they will not put meat in a container that you bring (the guy looked at me like I was crazy when I asked.)

Bulk Variety: They carry lots of high quality options in their bulk section.

Kids: They offer free kids fruit, so hit that up FIRST so your kids are happily snacking while you shop. They also have car carts available.

**Honestly, I would definitely go here more if the cashiers were trained and willing to collect tare weights and subtract tare weights from weight of items. It comes down to making it a priority to educate staff.**


Hillsboro Food Co-Op

I really want this to take off, they are in the process of gaining member-owners. It would be so incredible to have a store like this right in our downtown. If you’re local, spread the word.


Whole Foods

Several Locations

*I just don’t shop here must simply due to location. Some local friends claim that New Seasons is cheaper than Whole Foods, I personally find them very comparable in price.*

Produce: Most of their produce is organic, and the majority of their produce can be found unpackaged.

Meat: Go to the meat counter, and then choose what you want from the ‘bulk style’ options.

Bulk Variety: A great variety of high quality foods in the bulk section. By high quality I mean, with all our allergens it can be difficult to find the quality of foods we need in other stores (like Winco) but they offer excellent options!

Olives: Excellent olive bar available!!

Cleaning Products: They carry many cleaning products in eco-friendly packaging.

Containers: Bring your own cloth bags and containers of any kind. They are happy to weigh your containers, and write the tare weight on there for you. Even meat, they are happy to put it in a container that you bring yourself. PLUS, they give you 5 cents credit for each container or bag of your own that you use.

Kids: They offer free kids fruit, so hit that up FIRST so your kids are happily snacking while you shop. They also have mini shopping carts, think 5 year old size AND car carts available.



Farmer’s Markets

So many of these are available!!

Beaverton Farmer’s Markets
Offers a Fall Market, Winter Market and Summer Market
I love this market, but the parking is terrible and I have heard it is insanely crowded, especially the summer markets. So go first thing in the morning.

Hillsboro Farmer’s Markets
Summer Markets
Saturday-Downtown Hillsboro
Wednesday- Westside Kaiser Hospital
Thursday- Tuality Hospital
Sunday- Orenco Station

Forest Grove Farmer’s Markets

Portland Farmer’s Markets
YEAR ROUND Markets Available


Where to Buy Used Stuff

Back on the Rack
Baby + Kid + Maternity Consignment Store
Seriously AMAZING, my sister-in-law is an incredible bargain shopper and she turned me onto this store. They will sell your very gently used stuff and give you a cut of the profit, plus they have almost everything you could possibly ever want available for sale! It’s my go-to for kids stuff when I can’t get free things from swapping with friends.


Goodwill
They accept donations!
There are goodwill’s all over and while it is a bit of a treasure hunt, I have found lots of great treasures there. Especially kitchen items. Glass jars, my french press coffee maker, glass baking dishes, kids books, toys, seasonal decorations and so much more.

Places on my list to try….

Natural Grocers (Beaverton)
The Meating Place (Hillsboro)
Food Front Cooperative Grocery (SW Portland)

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