With a selection of sustainable lifestyle products and bulk groceries, The Tare Shop is making zero-waste living more accessible for people in Halifax.
Kate Pepler, owner of The Tare Shop, is this week’s midweek mugging recipient.
“The aim is to educate and inspire people to live with less waste,” she said.
Pepler, who studied sustainability and environmental science at Dalhousie University, first began educating others about the environment online.
“After graduating, I was pretty depressed by the doom and gloom narrative that you see in the media, so I started a website called Our Positive Planet,” she said. “And that’s how I started really looking at my own plastic consumption, and trying to cut down.”
Once she began to eliminate plastic use in her day-to-day life, Peper realized how challenging that can be to do in Halifax, where the nearest Bulk Barn is outside of the peninsula.
“I always found it difficult to do all the things I wanted to do, or cut down in all the ways I wanted to,” Pepler said. “So I came up with this idea, and here we are.”
The Tare Shop is located at 5539 Cornwallis St., and acts as both a café and store.
Customers who wish to purchase items from the bulk section can bring in their own container. Options include food products such as flour, salt, peanut butter, pasta and pretzels, along with household supplies like dish soap or laundry powder. All purchases are priced by weight.
“You can bring whatever kind of containers you want, whether it be mason jars or yogurt tubs, or if you bought your cranberries in a resealable bag from the Superstore,” Pepler said. “Whatever container you want is fine with us.”
In the lifestyle section, the shop offers products such as bamboo straws, menstrual cups and safety razors.
“The beeswax wraps are flying off the shelves, those are really popular,” Pepler said. “The safety razor also extremely popular. We sold out in two days, so we just got a ton more in today.”
Those who visit the shop’s café can choose from tea, coffee and other drinks, along with a selection of treats. There are no cardboard cups—drinks are served in a reusable mugs to those who stay, or customers can bring in their own travel mug to go. Those who don’t have their own can borrow one from the shop’s “mug library.”
The store also offers community space, and hosts regular events. Pepler said upcoming workshops include a tutorial on how to have a zero-waste holiday, and a zine-making class from Lavender Sage & Co. Those interested in attending can register online or in-store.
While the shop is only a little more than a month old, Pepler said she’s excited by how many people have already come out and engaged in sustainable practices.
“It’s so incredible when it’s really busy,” Pepler said. “There’s people sitting at the table, talking, filling up on bulk stuff. That’s definitely been a really cool thing to see.”