The Sunday Magazine

Take a tour through the aisles of Ottawa's first 'zero waste' grocery store

Valerie Leloup has just opened a grocery store called Nu. "This is me caring about the planet”, she says, “and not caring if you think I'm weird." David Gutnick’s documentary is called, "That's Okay, You Don't Need More."
NU, Ottawa's first zero-waste grocery store, opened its doors in August. (Idil Mussa/CBC)

It's the kind of list you don't want to find your country on. But Canada is right near the top of the world, in the amount of garbage we produce per person.  

You don't have to look far to find a major culprit: ridiculous packaging. 

We buy yogurt in plastic tubs in cardboard boxes. Metal cans of tomato sauce and fruit in little styrofoam jackets. Laundry soap in envelopes in a bag in a box.

Valerie Leloup knows packaging better than most. But her new store has absolutely none of it.

Valerie Leloup opened Ottawa's first zero-waste grocery store in August. (David Gutnick/CBC)
The Ottawa school teacher opened Ottawa's first zero waste grocery store in August.

It's called Nu. 

Everything from coffee beans to curry powder to popcorn to oatmeal in Nu is in covered bins. You bring the bags — cloth please. Olive oil or shampoo or soya sauce? You bring the bottles. Liquids pour out of spigots on the wall. 

Everything from coffee beans to curry powder to popcorn to oatmeal in Nu is in covered bins. Customers bring their own cloth bags or bottles. (Idil Mussa/CBC)

David Gutnick dropped by the store recently. His documentary is called "That's Okay, You Don't Need More."

Click 'listen' above to hear the documentary. 



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