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Conscious Living: Want to go zero-waste? Read on

In her new monthly column, Aksara Inamdar of to Woke Souls shines a light on conscious eating, sustainable living and wellbeing. She kicks off with the 411 on zero-waste and a guide to refill stations in and around Cambridge

Most of us now make an effort to thoroughly separate our waste and although this is a step in the right direction, recycling is still more of a last resort than a first step. It only delays the journey to landfill, meanwhile the process still uses the earth’s energy and resources to keep items in use. As we begin to move more towards a circular economy we aim to reduce our level of consumption, reuse what we have and increase the life-span of our goods, thus avoiding landfill.

Not only is a zero-waste lifestyle simply good for our planet, it is also cost-effective. Reducing rubbish leads to reduced production costs, so whilst you’re supporting the environment you’re also more likely to be saving pounds.

If you are lucky enough to live in or around Cambridge, then you may already be familiar with the fact that ethical brands and services are on the rise. Cambridge boasts a variety of options when it comes to sourcing from sustainable brands. If you are feeling inspired to shift away from the take-make-dispose model, with the intention of moving towards a more cyclic way of shopping, below is a directory of retailers that are currently at the forefront of this movement.


Full Circle, city centre

Perhaps the city’s most extensive zero-waste and refill retailer yet, Full Circle stock beans, pulses, condiments, homemade oat milk and Kinda Co’s vegan cheeses, all the way through to Denttabs, shampoo and conditioner bars, along with reusable menstrual hygiene products.

Radmore Farm Shop, Chesterton

Family-run farm shop, Radmore, sources quality food from farms and small vendors that share the same passion as them. Late last year we also saw the addition of Refill @ Radmore, featuring a wide range of both food, and non-food items.

The Geographer, Histon

Family-owned cafe, deli, store, and newest to the zero-waste scene, The Geographer stocks an array of dry foods, essentials, fresh fruit and veg, baked goods, gifts, homeware, ethically sourced artisan items and more.

Unpckd, Cambridge, East Bedfordshire and Hitchin

Online retailer Unpckd specialises in refill groceries delivered to doorsteps in Hitchin, East Bedfordshuire and Cambridge in returnable containers ‘milkman-style’.


The Refill Shop, St Neots

St Neots’ very own organic, vegan, and plastic-free store offers all that you may need and more, including their Rawtangle artisan Vegan Chocolate, hand-made and exclusive for the Refill Shop.


Bury Wholefoods, Bury St Edmunds

Sourcing locally from East Anglia, Bury Wholefoods uses a door-to-door service to deliver you plastic-free products and eco-friendly household supplies.

Health Foods For You, Sudbury

Self-serve retailer HFFY has a selection of food, personal care, and household products to choose from. Organic farming is a core value here, so rest assured that everything in the zero-waste dispensers is indeed organic.


EAT 17, Bishop Stortford

In addition to a range of eco-friendly, packaging-free items including alcohol, dry foods, ready meals and much, much more, ‘foodie utopia’ EAT 17 features an in-store bakery and, wait for it. . . a street food market!

About Aksara

Aksara Inamdar (40025774)
Aksara Inamdar (40025774)

Aksara Inamdar is an advocate for the conscious living movement and founder of to Woke Souls. As a creative writer, podcaster and entrepreneur, she is passionate about making a real difference by using her platforms to inform, inspire and motivate others to live a more enlightened and fulfilled life.

to Woke Souls is a leading resource and community for sustainability, slow living and self-love. The site features insights from our city’s most purpose-led, inspired individuals and serves an engaged readership of people seeking to better care for themselves, their communities and the planet.

Find out more about Aksara and to Woke Souls at towokesouls.com and @towokesouls

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