How To Eat Zero Waste in Copenhagen

Published June 9 2016, Scandinavia Standard

Over the past decades, sustainability has become trendy. And whether implemented out of conviction or marketing purposes, I’m happy we’ve begun fixing our living environment.

Denmark has long been perceived to be one of the world’s greenest countries and in many aspects rightly so. Windmills, bike culture, and organic food in schools and the workplace jump to mind. When it comes to the issue of waste, however, it falls far behind some of its fellow European countries.

Denmark generates the most waste per capita in Europe. This includes all household waste such as food and packaging. The problem has been that waste is a huge business in Denmark, where up to 80% of it’s waste is incinerated (hoisting the red flag for carbon emissions here!). This keeps recycling rates low and feeds a throw-away-society mentality.

Thankfully, it seems like people in Denmark aren’t ‘greenwashed’ so easily, and efforts to improve these suboptimal conditions are under way. Not only is the state planning on Denmark becoming independent of fossil fuel (this includes waste incineration) by 2050, but individuals are launching some brilliant initiatives to help you take your sustainable conscience to the next level.

Here are some of the food-based projects that are making that zero-waste goal a reality:

LØS

Løs is Copenhagen’s first zero-waste food store (opening August 2016). Here you will be able to buy everything from müsli and coffee to honey and olive oil, packaging-free. You can bring your own reusable containers or purchase them at the store. All products will be 100% organic and sourced locally as much as possible. The Løs concept firmly integrates the three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental, social – and founder Frédéric Hamburge together with his partner Constance Jeangirard have partnered up with Settlementet, who help re-integrate disadvantaged people into the workforce. If you’d like to support their crowdfunding campaign you can do so here.

Absalonsgade 7
København V
(opening August 2016)

WEFOOD

WeFood is Denmark’s first food waste supermarket, selling surplus food at prices 30 – 50 % cheaper than normal supermarkets. WeFood has been a huge success, with it’s shelves usually swept bare at the end of the day, so make sure to get there as early as possible!

Amagerbrogade 151
2300 København S
Opening Hours:
Mon – Fri 3:00 – 7:00 pm

Nørrebrogade 58
2200 København N
Opening Hours:

TOO GOOD TO GO

To Good To Go is a Danish app which has started to spread across Europe. TGTG partners team-up with restaurants who don’t want to throw away their surplus food at the end of the day. The app allows you to find the affiliated restaurants near you and pick up their surplus food in eco-friendly boxes at rock-bottom prices.

RUB & STUB

The surplus-food restaurant is one of the first of its kind. The restaurant uses only food that is donated or bought at a low price, often due to the food being “too ugly” to sell in stores (but don’t worry, it’s not “too ugly” to taste good). The menu changes daily according to the food they receive that day and portions are kept small to avoid waste, but second helpings are free! Staffing at Rub & Stub is 100% volunteer-based and all profits go to helping childhood education in Sierra Leone.

Rådhusstræde 13,
Huset-KBH, 1st Floor
1466 Copenhagen K

Opening Hours:
Mon CLOSED
Tue & Wed 5:30 – 10:00 pm
Thu – Sat 5:30 – 11:00 pm
Sun CLOSED

GÅGRØN

Strictly speaking, Gågrøn does not serve food, but we’ve included this little green gem because it provides the kitchen and dining tools to eat waste-free at your home or while on-the-go! Eco drinking bottles, lunch boxes and an array of other household utensils with a sleek design – this a place you can binge shop in good conscience.

Jægersborggade 48 kld.
2200 København N

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