Photo credits: Shop Zero - Owner Sarah Maloy

As we exposed to the conditions of the world through the recent years we all wish to do something to make a difference, Paula Kioko speaks to Dr Sarah Maloy, founder of Shop Zero, as she shares simple ways to introduce zero waste into your life.

After being brought up in North Nottinghamshire by her biologist mother, Sarah found herself spending a lot of her time in forests. Her love for the natural world and environment grew and pushed her to study biology in university and focusing on the environment. Her love only grew stronger and she discovered that the world needs an advocate and needs that opportunity and support to continue striving.

After her long route in educating herself through, undergraduate, masters and gaining her PhD in water pollution, she wanted to jump into a sustainable agenda, linking the people, the planet and the economics together.

Dr Maloy opened Shop Zero’s doors to the public on 8 March 2019 after finding success with monthly pop-up shops since February 2018.

To reduce packaging and food waste, the store offers whole foods and store cupboard essentials in bulk and unpackaged, all ready for your own containers, in the quantities that you choose. Alongside a wide range of lower impact personal care items, household goods, on-the-go reusables and gifts – all with sustainability in mind.

“I’m very grateful to have over 870 items in my shop, people can buy them online and get them delivered by royal mail or direct service from me which includes food items as well which I put into compostable bags and they can also get the home delivery to some postcodes in Nottingham.

The shop offers home deliveries to NG1, NG2, NG3, NG5 and NG7 postcodes.


The store is launching a sustainable cycle delivery service in cooperation with Veload cycle courier service to deliver Shop Zeros local customers with an accessible local cargo bike.

“As a human race we ache for nature beyond what nature can give us and we use it for economic gain and that’s got us into a lot of trouble as a species.

Dr Maloy wants to encourage and show people the importance of living a sustainable way by doing this through her store she can provide a platform for people who want to try or support those who are struggling to do so.

Photo credits: Shop Zero, new local bike courier announcement

Here are Dr Maloys top three tips on how to stay sustainable and maintain zero waste.

  • “Start at home and look around your house, start with one room which you can tackle. We found a lot of plastic in our bathrooms and single-use products. What you can do is go to a zero waste shop and refill your bottles with shampoo or swap to a shampoo bar. Refill your plastic hand wash bottle or start using soap.”
  • “Do the classic one if you are going out and buying single-use packaging items then take a substitute with you, a coffee cup or have a lunch box and take food with you.”
  • “Think about reducing food waste and storing food better. The main aim is to start small and when you have one habit in place, move onto something else.”
  • “Go into a plant-based diet.”
  • “Examine your diet, eat seasonally and think about where your food comes from. Practice eating locally as much as you can, if you’re in a supermarket and see some asparagus from Peru or something, save it for the British stuff in May when it’s in season and you can get it locally.
  • “We all need to preserve ourselves. Sustainability to me is about sustaining ourselves as well as looking after ourselves.

Every community should have a zero waste shop

“We can’t keep on extorting the world in hopes that things stay the same, we’ll be at a point of seeing mass extinction of species and if we want to see it selfishly, those species can help us to survive as human beings.

Photo credits: Shop Zero, some of the many products found in Shop Zero

“I think for our grandchildren and the people of the future we want to have this planet as beautiful as it is.

I know a lot of people say that going into a plant-based diet is good and I think it is a really big impact on eating plant-based.”

Despite the unsure times we are living in, Dr Maloy encourages those who have spare money and are looking to invest in something – invest in an environmental organisation who is of influence. They can connect with business and government more than we individuals.

“Joining organisations like Greenpeace or your favourite ones, support their campaigns, it’s not always in giving money but support in sharing or learning, their all things we can do.

When we’re empowered that’s when we decide to make changes in our lives and decide where we want to put our energy.”

For more information and support in going zero waste, follow Shop Zero Nottingham on Instagram or visit their website Shop Zero.

The store remains open as an essential shop through lockdown.

How to find Shop Zero:

We are located just 2 minutes from Market Square in Nottingham City centre, at the Front Shop at the Malt Cross, 16 St James’ St, NG1 6FG.

Our current opening times are:

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 11am-4pm
Saturday: 10am-5pm
Sunday & Tuesday: Closed

By Paula Kioko