Looking for eco-friendly places to shop in Niagara? Here’s a list of shops, from groceries, produce, fashion, essentials and wine that you won’t want to miss.
Food and Drink
*Please note that during the pandemic, the Bulk Barn has cancelled their reusable container program but I’m happy to report that it’s back on.
Bulk bins stores are great places to shop when you want to reduce your plastic use and your budget. You can bring your reusable containers at the Bulk Barn and fill them up with all types of food. There are 7 locations across Niagara to choose from. My favourite one is located on 4th Avenu in St. Catharines and I shop there about once a week.
Why it’s eco-friendly: At Bulk Barn, you can reduce plastic use by bringing your own containers. You can also reduce waste by buying only what you need.
The Grove is a little farm shop in Niagara-on-the-Lake’s little community of Virgil. They sell local produce, honey, artisanal foods and meats. They also offer ready-made meals and baked goods.
I love knowing that the food sold here is local. It makes sourcing out local products a breeze. It’s also great for me since it’s just a few minutes from work and I can pick up some groceries during my lunch hour.
Why it’s eco-friendly: The food sold at the Grove is local, conscientiously sourced and fresh.
Farm Boy just opened up at 295 Fourth Avenue in St. Catharines in January of 2020 and is one of the great eco-friendly places to shop in Niagara. Farm Boy is a huge hit with me. They provide lots of beautiful fresh vegetables and fruit, with a huge organic section. Their in-house brand of bread is DELICIOUS!
Not everything there is eco-friendly, in some ways, it looks a lot like all the other grocery stores. Many products are wrapped in plastic packaging. It did make my list, however, because they do offer lots of made in Ontario products. I was impressed that I was able to pick up some local canned tomatoes from Stoney Creek!
They also encourage you to bring your own reusable produce bags and sell them at a very reasonable price. I haven’t seen any big chain grocery stores do this yet in my area.
The key to this store is to look at where the products come from and select the right type of packaging.
Why it’s eco-friendly: They offer a large selection of organic vegetables. They also offer artisanal and locally sourced products.
Don’t discount the Farmer’s market as one of the eco-friendly places to shop in Niagara. Niagara is the tender fruit belt of Ontario. We are blessed with so many farms that grow all kinds of fruit and vegetables. A great place to shop (especially in the summer) is your local Farmer’s Market.
You not only get local produce, but it will be very fresh, maybe even picked a few short hours beforehand. Also, often you’ll find other local food suppliers like honey, cheese or meat at the market.
I also like supporting local businesses.
Here is a list of some of Niagara’s farmers’ markets
- Niagara Falls: City of Niagara Falls – Municipal Parking Lot 12, Saturdays, opens at 7:00 a.m.
- St. Catharines: 91 King St, St. Catharines Saturdays, opens at 6:00 a.m.
- Niagara-on-the-Lake: 111 Garrison Village Dr, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Sunday’s, opens at 8:00 a.m.
- Welland: 70 Young St, Welland, Saturdays, opens at 6:00 a.m.
Why it’s eco-friendly: When you buy from Farmer’s Markets, you buy locally sourced produce with no unnecessary plastic packaging
I’m so lucky to live in Niagara. With is unique micro-climate and soil, Niagara is home to countless wineries within driving distance. Selecting local wines over imported wines helps to cut down on fuel consumption and lowering carbon emissions.
Buying local is not only eco-friendly, but it’s also good for the economy. I’m proud to say that when I do buy wine, I choose local EVERY. TIME! Also, visiting these wineries is so much fun!
There are also many eco-conscious wineries in Niagara. Frog Pond is Ontario’s first organic winery. These other Niagara wineries also offer organic wines:
- Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery,
- Redstone Winery,
- Southbrook Vineyards,
- and Tawse Winery*.
Why it’s eco-friendly: Buying local helps to reduce carbon emissions. Organic wines were produced without the use of synthetic chemicals.
Fashion and Essentials
Post Office by Shannon Passero
The Post Office by Shannon Passero is one of my secret obsessions. You won’t find trendy fast fashion here. What you’ll find is one of a kind clothing from around the world made by artisans. Their buyers travel the world, looking for sustainable and ethically made clothing.
For years, Passero has been at the forefront of environmentally friendly manufacturing processes, donating portions of profits to global and domestic initiatives, and partnering with women knitters in Southeast Asia to create employment opportunities.https://shannonpassero.com/pages/about-us
I won’t lie, I do think the price tag on most of the items is quite high, but that’s the price to pay for clothes you know are not made by sweatshops or children. Also, you are buying quality clothing that is classic in style and will last you years.
Visiting the Post Office is an experience. Plan to spend a long time (as in hours) browsing and trying on lots of outfits.
Although I don’t own a pair yet, I hear so many local ladies raving about their leggings. When I’m due for a pair, you know where I’m heading!
Interested in sustainable fashion? You might be interested in What’s slow fashion, and why you should care.
Why it’s eco-friendly: The Post Office has sustainable and ethically made clothing and accessories.
Garden City Essential
Garden City Essentials is a great little store that sells a wide range of beauty, wellness and home essentials. It’s located downtown St. Catharines at 35 James Street.
This is where I’ve bought my bamboo toothbrushes from. It’s also a refillery, where you can refill your shampoo or liquid soap bottles.
The only downfall of this store is its downtown location. Parking nearby is difficult to find and it is inconvenient to visit. They do, however, sell their products online.
Why it’s eco-friendly: The Garden City Essential house brand products are handmade and free from petroleum, parabens, synthetic preservatives, endocrine disruptors, GMOs, fragrances, solvents and dyes. They allow you to bring your own containers. And, they sell a long list of plastic-free or unpackaged products.
That concludes the list of eco-friendly places to shop in Niagara. It’s not an exhausted list by all means. I know there are many more eco-friendly store options in Niagara. I just added the ones that I’ve personally shopped at. As I discover and experience these stores I will definitely add them to this list.
Are you local? Tell me about your eco-friendly places to shop in Niagara in the comments below. I’d love to check them out.