WHERE IN LAUSANNE: Low-waste living
Finally, after 5 years in Lausanne, I going to be sharing my top hotspots for living a healthy and conscious life in the city. I’m starting of course, with one of my favourite topics currently: low-waste living.
I’m hoping this guide will give you a one-stop shop for all the best low-waste and no-waste options in this little beautiful hilly city of ours.
It’s easy to get discouraged when strolling the isles of the grocery store, when you realise that everything is wrapped in plastic. In those moments it seems impossible to get away from it, however there are little shops here and there that are making it way easier for us to reduce our waste. Not only do these shops provide low-waste alternatives, they’re often actually cheaper than buying the organic equivalent at Migros or COOP.
Avenue de Tivoli 56, 1007 Lausanne
One of my favourite hidden waste-free gems of the city. You can go there with your empty jars, bags or Tupperware, weight them empty on the scale, fill them up, and proceed to the cashier to pay. You can find everything from: dried foods (beans, nuts, seeds, superfoods & spices), snack items (dried fruit, chocolate & cookies), liquids (vinegar & oils), cleaning products (laundry detergent, dish soap & hand wash) as well as other little waste-free goods like compostable dental floss, shampoo bars and bamboo toothbrushes. All organic & mostly Swiss. Best part: VERY affordable.
Boulevard de Grancy 8, 1006 Lausanne
Although most things are in packaging here, there’s also a big bulk-food section with grains, nuts, herbs & snack items. They also have lots of organic produce that come packaging-free. Since there’s one in Grancy (where I spend most of my life) my go-to waste-free snack when I’m stuck without anything is: nut & raisin mix (I always keep a paper baggie in my handbag) and an apple. Caution: slightly more expensive.
Pré-du-Marché 6, 1004 Lausanne
A new waste-free heaven that just opened right next to Place de la Riponne. Their central location makes it an absolute winner. They have more-or-less the same offering as Chez Mamie however since the shop itself is smaller they have slightly less variety. Here you can find spices, flours, pastas, herbs, grains, soaps etc.
Av. d'Echallens 79, 1004 Lausanne
This fully organic & local grocery store has a great selection of non-packaged organic produce as well as local bread, wine, cheese and homemade cakes as well as jars of chutney, jam and even milk. They also have liquids, soaps, grains, nuts and all the rest. One of the only waste-free shops that sell produce as well as beauty products and dried food items. It’s slightly more out of the city, however it’s a true one-stop shop.
Packaging-free Organic Produce
One of the biggest complaints I hear is that grocery stores always package their organic produce in plastic. This then forces consumers to pick between the lesser of two evils: plastic-wrapped organic produce, or packaging-free conventional produce. I completely understand and I spent years struggling to decide which option to pick. I’ve now finally realized that the best option is secret option C: none of the above, but all of the below.
Wednesday & Saturdays 8h00 - 14h30
Every Wednesday and Saturday the entire city center (from St. Francois up to La Riponne) turns into a big farmer’s market. Here you can find all the fruits and vegetable you could ever dream of. Look out for stalls that explicitly say their produce is organic (with signage “BIO Suisse”) that way you can be sure that the produce uses organic farming methods. At these stalls, the origin of the produce will also be listed. Try focus on getting as much local Swiss produce as possible to reduce your carbon footprint even more and support local farmers. Lastly bring your own bags, and you’ve just hit 3 birds with one stone.
Rue des Terreaux 2, 1003 Lausanne
For those that can’t get to the market on Wednesdays or Saturdays, there’s a new kid on the block who goes by the name of: FOOBY. It’s a COOP owned product (I would usually suggest supporting local farmers directly first) however they do carry a big range or organic produce. Since all their produce is organic, they don’t need to differentiate, meaning that none of the produce is wrapped in plastic as compared to your normal COOP supermarket.