• Maria Grzywacz

Zero waste shopping in Ubud, Bali (with Coronavirus pandemics' restrictions)

I have previously voiced my concern about the rising numbers of waste during the current coronavirus crisis. It strikes me as a bit of a paradox, as many have mentioned what blessing for our planet the Coronavirus crisis is, as it has stopped much of the air traffic, it has slowed down industrial production and thereby industrial pollution. But I see that we, as individuals, haven't embraced a less-waste approach during the crisis, quite the contrary. We buy our food take-away, packed in single-use plastic containers, we buy hand-sanitizers in none-recyclable plastic containers and all the sanitary face masks we purchase, arrive wrapped in plastic too.

Therefore, today, I would like to share with you where to shop zero-waste in Ubud, Bali - with all the necessary sanitary precautions.

BYO Bali, Ubud

Located on the outskirts of central Ubud, in a (very spacious) bright store-room, BYO Bali is a bit of a hidden gem. It is difficult to miss, but once you enter, you’re in for a treat. Or actually, several treats. Apart from nuts, dried fruits, teas, granola, cookies, etc. in bulk, you can buy superfoods like spirulina and even Kratom (!).

Apart from the “edible” section, there are also zero-waste bathroom supplies, cosmetics and get-your-pampering-game-on-goodies like clay face masks, even crystal rollers!

You will also find a section with natural clothing (simple, beautiful yoga wear that would be perfect for the time you’re spending at home now!) as well as accessories like bags/holders for your reusable water bottle.

Last, but not least, BYO Bali has a little “Coronavirus special” - they now offer a discount of 10% off all reusable containers so we can minimize the waste created by rising numbers of takeaway food orders.

Opening hours: open daily; 10 am - 7 pm

Coronavirus-precautions: hand sanitizer inside, spacious room

Location: HERE

Zero Waste Bali, Penestenan, Ubud

Tucked away in Ubud’s Penestenan area, Zero Waste Bali’s got your back. Actually, they got you from top to toe. Starting with the “obvious” bulk supplies like different kinds of pasta, various types of rice, a variety of flours, granola, oats, snacks, dried fruits, nuts & seeds, spices, superfood powders (hi, maca-root powder, spirulina, activated charcoal etc) and teas, they also have a “cool” section with goodies like cacao butter. You will also find different types of oils (can be used for cooking and grooming).

Their zero-waste bathroom section is super impressive too. I buy my favourite blocks of shampoo & hair conditioner there, they have sponges, brushes, even dishwashing liquid and detergents. There’s literally everything to keep you neat and clean. And let’s not forget all the zero-waste gadgets - you can buy reusable water bottles, jars to store your bulk-foods. Zero Waste Ubud makes zero waste living easy and ... so natural you’re going to wonder how you’ve ever even lived otherwise.

If you open an account with Zero Waste Bali, every purchase will save you some points on your customer account. You can then redeem the points to receive discounts on your purchases in the future.

Opening hours: 10 am - 3 pm

Coronavirus-precautions: Increased hygiene procedures, the staff is sent home on paid leave to decrease chances of infection for themselves and the clients, the owner, Sophie, will help you to fill your containers, while you wait outside of the store. You can also order by WhatsApp 0812-3629-3085 and Zero Waste Bali will deliver via GoSend (extra delivery costs).

Location: HERE

Bali Buda Shop, Ubud

This one is one of the bulk-pioneers in Ubud. Located on the Main Street, Jl. Raya Ubud, it’s easily accessible and known to many. Apart from bulk-goodies like dried fruits, nuts, superfoods (eg. goji berries), there is a bakery section with pieces of bread, buns, cakes (tried ‘em - very yum indeed!), you name it. You’ll also find there a full room with fruits, veggies, organic produce (dairy, plant-milks, etc). It’s vegan heaven. There are also spices (yes, plastic-packaged, however, Bali Buda has a recycling system, so you can return all the plastic packaging, and it will be properly discarded/recycled/reused. For package-free spices, head to Zero Waste Bali; see above).

Immune-tip: you will find baking soda in bulk, in Bali Buda. Last year, I attended a series of workshops at The Yoga Barn, held by a very knowledgeable doctor who advised to cleanse and alkalize (in order to prevent diseases) the body using baking soda. You simply dissolve 1 teaspoon of baking soda in hot water and drink the mixture. To me, it tastes horrible, and I haven’t therefore been drinking it consistently, but many swear by it. Maybe now it’s your time to try it. They have licorice root too, which is also proven to have many health and immune-boosting benefits!

Opening hours: 9 am - 9 pm

Coronavirus-precautions: hand sanitizer inside, limiting numbers of people inside the store at once, you have to wait outside of the store until it’s your turn. BONUS! You can now order via Whatsapp HERE.

Location: HERE

Earth Café, Ubud

Attached to Ubud's famous cinema & (various-forms-of-)dance-space, Paradiso, Earth Café is a place where you can both munch and stock up on dried fruits, nuts & seeds, and even vegan sweet treats completely packaging-free. There is, however, a range of products IN packages like the supplement capsules (ayurvedic herbs) or raw-vegan cookies. You will also find there various types of vinegar, spides and a "cool" section with organic fruits & veggies (the selection is smaller than in Bali Buda though). Earth Café is not entirely package-free, but it surely supports a low-waste lifestyle and provides a great opportunity for conscious grocery-shopping. There is also a section with sustainably made garments and yoga wear!

Opening hours: daily; 7 am - 10 pm (regular opening hours)

Coronavirus-precautions: To be edited; I haven't visited Eart Café since the outbreak, however, Paradiso is currently closed.

Location: HERE

Namaskara Coffee & Superfoods, Ubud

Last (& smallest), but not least, Namaskara Coffee & Superfoods. It is situated quite centrally, yet because of its location ins a side street from Jl. Raya Ubud, many are unaware of the place. Namaskara is, first and foremost a cafe, but they have a section of zero-waste gadgets as well as a selection of superfoods (wheatgrass powder, maca-root powder etc) and seeds & nuts!

They also sell jars, so you can get a reusable container for your bulk-purchases too (if you decide to ack your purchase in a paper bag, the bags are free, unlike in BYO & Zero Waste Ubud; bags in Bali Buda are free of charge too).

Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 7.30 am - 6 pm and Sun 8 am - 5 pm

Coronavirus-precautions: To be edited; I haven't visited Eart Café since the outbreak.

Location: HERE

I hope this little guide can serve as a navigator for your (greener) grocery shopping. I am not questioning that the planet is benefiting from the industrial "freeze" we are witnessing these days. I also want to see and implement changes on the micro-level, so we can help the planet CONSCIOUSLY, not only because flights are suspended and our lives are put on hold. If the planet heals so quickly from INACTIVITY, imagine how much faster it would heal from CONSCIOUS ACTIVITY!

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© 2020 by Maria Grzywacz