As the saying goes, "necessity is the mother of invention." So it should come as no surprise that when faced with a problem, some of the most innovative minds in the world work to find a solution. And one such individual is Zuleyka Strasner, founder of Zero Grocery - the first plastic-free online grocery delivery service.
In this interview, Zuleyka shares her story and why she decided to start Zero Grocery. She also provides insight into what customers can expect from Zero Grocery in the coming months, and offers tips for making small changes that can have a big impact on sustainability. Read on to learn more!
Tell us how Zero Grocery came to be? What inspired you to start Zero Grocery?
I was on my honeymoon in the Caribbean in 2018 and was astonished to see the amount of plastic trash had washed up on what could have been such a beautiful beach. It inspired me to live as close to zero-waste as I could, challenging myself to produce no more trash than would fit in a 16oz jar in the span of a year.
It was during that year that I realized how poorly our system is set up for those that want to shop more consciously. That’s when I decided to build Zero. To give people a place to shop with all the convenience of grocery delivery, but without the plastic packaging.
Zero Grocery’s mission is to make sustainable shopping even more accessible. How do you feel that delivery plays a role in helping people get started with sustainability?
Shopping plastic-free can be difficult for those with too little time or that live too far away from a bulk retailer. Zero delivery gives access to folks that would otherwise find it preventatively challenging to shop the way they want to.
What would you say to someone just getting started on their sustainability journey?
Take it slow and don’t aim for perfection! Just know that you’re on the right track.
What are some easy but impactful changes they can make to their daily lives?
A couple of my favorites are:
1. Be mindful of what you purchase. Start with simple questions like “Do I really need it?”, “Will I still use it in 1 year?”, “Do I already have something similar to this?” Try to wait at least a few days before making a purchase. Try to avoid impulse buying as much as possible.
2. Support ethical, local, and sustainable brands—which does require a bit more research—but that’s what the internet is for!
What’s the future of Zero Grocery? Any big plans?
Huge plans! Just this January, we completely revamped the service by launching same day, two-hour delivery in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. We also did away with membership and delivery fees. We wanted to remove every possible barrier that would prevent someone from being able to shop plastic-free.
This was a big pivot for us, and it’s amazing how much support we’ve been getting from our customers.
There is so much more on the horizon, but imagine a world where every single person in America had access to convenient, sustainable delivery of everything they need— groceries, clothes, furniture—whatever!
Just for fun, what are your favorite sustainable products?
That’s easy! My water bottle. It’s something I use all day, every single day. I never leave home without it and it’s an easy swap with a ton of impact. Single-use water bottles are a thing of the past!
Where can people learn more about Zero Grocery?
Go to zerogrocery.com! We’re currently making deliveries every day in the Bay Area and LA.
For those in our delivery zones, we’re happy to offer you $15 off your first plastic-free delivery with the code GOZERO.