YHD Blogs – Nada Grocery

This article is part of our “Youth Head Delegate Blog Series” — written by our YHDs! 

By Jenna D. 

Grocery shopping can be more simple and sustainable in our everyday lives, starting with Nada. Nada is a package-free grocery store on a mission to connect people to just food, by linking buyers to suppliers and offering healthy, unpackaged products and services. 

At Nada, connecting people to food in its simplest form is important, and to spark conversations about our local food system as it’s time to get curious about where our food comes from. Nada’s goal is to be part of the climate solution and foster a more just food system, in addition to making changes that prioritize diversity and resilience. Nada supports over 100 local vendors within the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, and has a host of benefits to our economies, our environment, and our communities. 

There are many tradeoffs between food packaging and waste, but when combined with local sourcing, we’re able to reduce our overall carbon footprint. Choosing to support vendors who prioritize sustainability in their packaging choices, product design, and raw ingredient sourcing is also important as knowing that there are many barriers when it comes to removing waste from the food supply chain

Three of the many things that Nada does are; having a supplier container return program, switching up packaging, and the surplus food challenge. The supplier container return program works with local suppliers, meaning products that come, are package-free too, by delivering shipments in reusable containers from totes to bins. Switching up packaging starts a conversation on how we can choose better packaging and reduce any excess. This is also when reusable containers are not the best option, so swapping virgin materials for 100% recycled content or compostable options, replacing single use items like pallet shrink wrap with reusable moving blankets, or removing the packaging altogether, are other possible options. Food waste is a vastly overlooked driver of climate change. Worldwide, 30% of food is wasted across the supply chain, making up 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. By tackling this issue on, reducing surplus food in their manufacturing, using imperfect or recovered ingredients in their sourcing, or supporting food insecure households with donations, and biodynamic, regenerative, and urban farms are all part of the solution too!

Nada often finds themselves asking ‘what would nature do?”, as we have a lot to learn from Indigenous wisdom and ecological knowledge, and continue to draw inspiration from the oceans, mountains, and forests in which we get to explore, play, and rest.