The Zero (ish) Co. opens in South Minneapolis



Trying to curb climate change through individual actions can seem daunting at best and overwhelming at worst. Does the fate of future generations really rest on the fact that I never eat steak again? How much plastic waste do I produce when I buy from Trader Joe’s?

Kate Marnach, owner and founder of The Zero (ish) Co., has a different, less nihilistic and more realistic approach to doing her part in the fight against climate change: a do what you can approach.

Instead of going vegan and eliminating meat and dairy completely from your diet, or focusing on zero waste and producing the equivalent of one mason jar in five years – yes, that is one thing – Marnach wants you to try to go to zero (ish) waste.

Marnach’s new store, which opened at the end of August a few blocks south of Lake Harriet next to Broder’s Pasta bar, provides the neighborhood with tools and products to put an end to plastic waste and other disposables that are looming large. found in a landfill. Unlike her previous store that she ran, Tare Market in Standish, Zero (ish) has more beauty and home items while Tare has more grocery choices.

For Marnach, zero (ish) waste means eliminating paper towels from his home, carrying tote bags in place of plastic shopping bags, and removing non-essential plastic products and swapping them for reusable items. It’s as easy as buying bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic, using one or two reusable silicone bags instead of hundreds of disposable plastic sandwich bags, or bringing your own flour container. in a bulk storage center where you can fill it without waste.

There is no guilt in zero (ish) waste. And as a mother of three, Marnach didn’t have time for zero waste perfection and the shame that came with buying plastic toys or other essentials – let’s face it, what kid could it be? we trust with a glass tumbler? “I’m sitting there, I want to be involved in this. And I want to support this, but I can’t function with the goal of having all of my garbage in one jar for a year, like, that’s just not realistic with three children, ”explained Marnach.

Right after having her third child, Marnach and some green friends launched their blog, Zero (ish), to give voice to moms who want to reduce their waste. They would participate in monthly challenges: a month to organize a waste-free birthday party for their children; the following month, they only used tote bags and canvas bags for shopping; the following month by trying a compostable diaper service. “We’ve found that when you do these things, you make them a habit and you are more willing to add more things,” she says of the monthly challenges. The blog was aimed at families, but useful for anyone looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

At Zero (ish), customers bring their own jars and containers, weigh them, and then fill the jars with body lotion, dish soap and other household items. There are bamboo dish brushes, a rainbow assortment of shampoo and conditioner bars, reusable cloth wipes, reusable sanitary napkins, biodegradable bandages, and more.

“When you hear the word zero,” Marnach says, “you think of perfection – like, okay, I can’t create waste – and the idea behind the blog was just to do what you can. ”


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