TEQUESTA, Fla. — Stephen and Elana Smith are newlyweds with a new business, hoping to inspire new habits in others through their "zero waste" store.
"It’s impossible to go to a grocery store and leave without plastic, pretty much. Maybe leave with like an apple," Elana said. "We just wanted to create a space where it’s really easy to shop zero waste and more accessible to everybody.”
The Smiths opened One World Zero Waste off South Cypress Drive in Tequesta in early December.
"Zero waste is just refusing single-use plastic," Elana said.
They were inspired to reduce single-use plastics and other trash in their own lives, while also enabling others to do the same after volunteering for their honeymoon in India last summer.
"In India, there’s no municipal waste, so it just sits and accumulates and it’s burned," Elana said.
"It was definitely a big eye opener," Stephen said. "Before then, we were conscious of what we were doing. We tried to live healthy lifestyles and we tried to do as much as we could do in order to limit the waste, but we bought paper towels. We would buy plastic water bottles in the store sometimes, thinking that it was just enough to recycle, but then after we came back from that and learned more about actual recycling we found out that that wasn’t really the case."
One World Zero Waste now offers shoppers the chance to use their own containers to stock up on bulk foods, such as flour, rice, spices, beans, nuts and snacks. They also offer nut milks and other food items.
You'll also find reusable alternatives to single-use plastic and paper goods, like fabric paper towels and cotton rounds as well as travel utensil packs, which Elana sews herself in the store.
They also offer free composting because the goal of the zero waste movement is to only use products that can return to the earth and become soil.
The couple hopes environmentally-friendly shopping becomes more popular for the sake of the planet.
"It is super important that it spreads and we are going to definitely work hard to make sure that that happens," Stephen said.
JAR in Stuart offers similar zero waste food and services.