Zero Waste Shopping Guide: Nova Scotia

Our Provincial Wide Zero Waste Resource Guides continue with the east coast of Canada. Here is the Zero Waste Guide: Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia, I have to admit- I’ve always considered “Zero Waste” to be intimidating, extreme and unachievable. However, since I’ve started exploring Zero Waste resources in Ontario and Alberta,  I’ve noticed that the stretch goal of becoming Zero Waste creates a great opportunity for communities to develop around concerns for the environment and more intentional, mindful consumerism.

If it were easy, we wouldn’t need one another’s help!

As I finished today’s post, I came across Waves of Change: a show launched this week about single-use plastics in the Atlantic provinces. The first article featured Nova Scotia, and more specifically, @zerowastenovascotia, A great way to get ideas and inspiration for your Zero Waste journey!



Farmers Markets Nova Scotia – Search by vendor category, or by markets in a certain region. Scroll to the bottom and find additional resources on what’s local at which time of year, as well as a language guide to help you “speak farmer”

Just Us! Coffee - Coffee roasting that only purchases green beans from “democratically run, certified fair trade, and organic co-operatives”. Uses packaging as close to 100% biodegradable as possible, and you can return your coffee bag to them. Operates as a workers co-op. Click here for locations.

Laughing Whale Coffee - Uses a heat recycling roaster to reduce fossil fuel usage; discounts for customers with their own travel mugs, recycle their grounds and chaff to farmers, reducing the carbon footprint per cup as much as possible. Based in Lunenburg, you can find Laughing Whale at retailers throughout the province.

Bulk Barn - As of February 2017, Bulk Barn allows customers to bring their own reusable containers rather than using the plastic bags provided in store. Click here for a list of locations.


Guy’s Frenchys - A second-hand clothing franchise in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. If you like to really feel like you’ve dug for treasure, enjoy sifting through bins of deals!

Value Village – A popular second-hand retailer with locations in every province; they have pretty frequent sales throughout the year as well as a free “Super Savers Club” membership that entitles you to 20% off on your birthday.


Diva Cup – A reusable menstrual cup that you can find at retailers all over the province.


Recycle My Electronics – An online database where you can enter your postal code and see all the e-waste recycling options in your area.

Staples – Sells paper-wrapped toilet paper, and has drop bins to recycle old markers, pens, mechanical pencils, batteries, cell phones, printer ink, and toner cartridges.



The Grainery - A 100% volunteer-run worker’s co-op. Purchases goods in bulk with minimal and/or compostable packaging whenever possible. You can pre-order organic foods and household goods in large quantities. For a monthly 6 hour shift, members get 15% off!

Organic Earth Market -  Bring your reusable containers for bulk items, and watch for the Down East refillable laundry soap station coming soon! Specializes in environmentally friendly, natural products.

Garrison Brewing -  After brewing, all spent grain becomes cattle and pig feed at Bovidae Farms in Falmouth.  Careful management of wastewater and separation of solids, Garrison is also Bullfrog powered with green energy. They use biodegradable cleaners, biodegradable cups at events, stainless kegs and refillable bottles for their delicious, delicious beer. With numerous other community-oriented and sustainable initiatives, find out more here!

The Tare Shop – Opening at the end of 2018! Part café, part bulk purchase centre and zero waste items retailer, The Tare Shop will help Haligonians reduce waste and invest in sustainability.

The Tare Shop – Opening at the end of 2018! Part café, part bulk purchase centre and zero waste items retailer, The Tare Shop will help Haligonians reduce waste and invest in sustainability.

Related Post: Zero Waste Shopping Guide: Ontario


Elsie’s Used Clothing - Vintage consignment; one of Halifax’s most popular second-hand stores known for its inspiring selection and ever-changing finds.

Lost and Found Store - Retro and Modern, with women’s, kids and men's clothing. 11 years and going strong!


Lush – a  Cult cosmetic company with locations all over Canada; their “5 Pot Program” allows you to return five of their post-consumer recycled plastic containers in-store in exchange for a free face mask. It also sells shampoo and conditioner bars that are travel-friendly and you can purchase in a re-usable tin.


Nurtured Parenting - Carries zero waste lunchboxes, cloth diapers, and hosts in-store workshops and events. Powered with green energy thanks to Bullfrog Power!

Habitat for Humanity ReStore – Each ReStore is different, selling used and surplus furnishings and building materials. With some locations, you can even donate your kitchen prior to renovations: a crew will come and salvage the pre-renovation space!

Mountain Equipment Co-op – Not only does MEC publish an annual report on their carbon emissions, they also do a twice-annual waste audit of their store dumpsters to find ways to lessen their environmental impact. On top of it, their selection of reusable and eco-friendly gear knows no bounds! 

Related PostWhere To Find Zero Waste Supplies in Canada

Editor’s Note: Have we left anything out of our Zero Waste Shopping Guide: Nova Scotia? Please let us know, share in the comments and let’s build this list together! Or you can get in touch with us.

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  1. Comment author image

    Jessica Pesklevits


    I am starting a low waste, environmentally responsible daycare center in Cole Harbour. As the government no longer funds childcare we are looking to raise $20,000 to go towards the cost of renovations and maintenance for our program. Our center is cloth diaper exclusive, so we will only supply and accept cloth diapers saving an estimated 13,200 disposable diapers from the landfill per year. This is just one of many low waste initiatives we have planned.
    I would love to speak with you about an investment opportunity or collaboration.