In the heart of New York City’s bustling Greenwich Village, a quiet revolution is taking place. A Sustainable Village, a zero waste shop, has recently opened the doors to its second location, bringing their mission of responsible living to a new neighborhood. Building upon the success of their first shop in the East Village, co-owners Em Hynes and Jaclyn Roster, aim to make eco-friendly living more accessible to conscientious New Yorkers and beyond.
For background, the zero-waste lifestyle has been embraced by many throughout history, but the actual term “zero waste” itself originated in the 1970s by Paul Palmer. As a chemist and Yale graduate, Palmer’s journey into sustainability began when he realized that discarded chemicals from tech companies were harmful, but actually reusable. With this realization, Palmer embarked on a mission to reduce waste and promote the sustainable use of resources. His pioneering efforts laid the foundation for the modern zero waste movement.
Today, A Sustainable Village is proudly carrying on this vision, in their own way, of course. They offer a curated selection of plastic-free household essentials, as well as beauty and personal care products. Hynes shares that the most unique feature of their shops is the refillery station. “This is what draws people inside to start a conversation with us. Once they learn that they can bring any bottle to refill, they see how easy they can make an impact with small actions. We also make it simple by providing bottles to purchase or a free one from the community bin for those who want to start their zero-waste journey right away. We offer sustainable swaps such as reusable facial rounds to remove make-up, reusable menstrual products, unpaper towels, biodegradable kitchen brushes, refillable toothpaste, compost bins and more.”
Zero waste living is not about achieving perfection but about taking small, meaningful steps toward sustainability. It may not be feasible for everyone to go completely to zero waste overnight but the company passionately advocates for the idea that every action counts and that every individual can make a difference. “We hope to excite the customers into making small impactful changes to reduce plastic waste. Low waste living is fun, it protects the planet and is gentle on your wallet in the long run! We only have one planet, and we need to take better care of it right away,” says Hynes.
The expansion of A Sustainable Village to Greenwich Village at 50 University Place represents more than just the opening of a new location; it proves the growing momentum and interest in the zero waste movement in New York City. The shop’s presence in this vibrant neighborhood will undoubtedly reach a new audience, inspiring both newcomers and long-time residents to embark on their sustainability journeys.