Home eateries & shoppingzero waste shops LIL Waste Free Grocer & Cafe – Glencairn

LIL Waste Free Grocer & Cafe – Glencairn

by Sharné

The Low Impact Living (LIL) Grocer & Café in Glencairn is a zero shopper’s dream in the making where one can shop for waste free fruit, vegetables, dry goods, and have something to eat and drink.

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What is zero waste shopping?

When you go shopping at your local grocer, you’ll notice that most items are packaged in plastic. Yes, some of the packagings can be recycled but most will end up in the bin, and ultimately a landfill, after being used only once. The aim of a zero waste shop is not to buy something that can be recycled, instead of ending up in a landfill, but to rather buy something that requires no disposal whatsoever. The zero waste movement is all about reusing, and not wasting.  

“Buy Less, choose well, make it last”


Once we as consumers are aware of the negative impact that our shopping habits can have on the environment, we start to seek out ways to make a positive change. At first, it may be by refusing plastic bags and taking a reusable bag to the shops. And pretty soon we start to buy products in glass containers instead of plastic. We take our reusable fruit and veg bags with us whenever we go shopping and refuse single-use plastic. And before we know it, our green journey has led us to become zero waste shoppers. 

“There is no such thing as ‘away’, when we throw anything away, it must go somewhere.”

Annie Leonard

Zero waste shops are places that sell loose products free from packaging as well as products that promote green living. Shops where you take your own reusable shopping bags and containers and buy exactly what you need, which means you use and waste less. 

Over the past two years, quite a few of these shops have popped up across Cape Town. I have added a ‘Zero Waste Shops‘ section on my blog’s Directory and will be featuring each one.

“The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.”

Paulo Coelho
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LIL waste free Grocer & Café

The LIL Grocer & Café in Glencairn which was created by Earth Warrior/ Artist Jade Khoury, will very soon become a one-stop-shop for zero shoppers. I first visited the shop in December, when I met Jade and listened to her vision for the shop. It’s only a few months later and on my recent visit, I could see it is becoming reality, and it is all thanks to a membership campaign and the ongoing support of the zero waste community. The shop boasts a section filled with locally sourced fresh organic fruit and vegetables as well as fresh artisan bread made by Cape Point Bakery. They recently added a dry goods section where you can buy grains, seeds, nuts, dried fruit, flours, pasta, coffee, teas, herbs spices, and superfood powders. They still plan to add products to the waste-free lifestyle section as well as a waste-free home & body products section.

“Living with less does not mean lack. It makes room for more. More time, more money available and more room for quality life experiences.”

Jade Khoury

The idea is to bring along your own reusable bags and containers but if you forget, they have a selection of clean jars in their pay-it-forward cupboard, which has been donated by customers. They also offer 100% compostable paper bags made from sustainable forestry which will cost you 50c and R1 depending on the size.

The vegan-friendly waste-free café offers a variety of dairy-free smoothies, fresh juices, toasties as well as baked goods, loads of which happen to be vegan. If you are planning on sitting down for a smoothie it will be served in a reusable jar with a reusable straw. When ordering be sure to specify sweetening the smoothie with either coconut sugar or dates as they also offer honey as a sweetener.

If you are stopping by for a take away drink, remembered to bring along your own reusable cup and you will get R2 off your purchase. But if you forget, you can get it in a compostable cup which will cost you an extra R2. And if you want to buy some baked goods, be sure to bring along your reusable container, as the items will be placed in a very cute newspaper pocket. We bought some vegan cookies and croissants, which was placed in one of these, but next time, I will definitely remember to take along my reusable containers.

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waste free
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The LIL Grocer & Café is also a venue of sorts, as they host quite a few events on a regular basis. From Make it/Mend it Mondays to Lil Talks, Book swop Sunday’s (every second Sunday) and Lil Workshops; their aim is not only to educate but also to inspire people to be more earth friendly.

I’d love to attend some of these events in the near future and will definitely be stopping at the LIL Grocer & Café regularly.  Have you been? What is your favourite thing about zero waste shops? Let me know in a comment below.

“The most environmentally friendly product, is the one you didn’t buy.”

Joshua Becker

Where are they?

The LIL Grocer & Café is located at 12-14 Glen Road in Glencairn, which is between Fish Hoek and Simons Town. They are open from Mondays to Saturdays from 7 am to 5 pm and on Sundays and Public Holidays, from 8 am to 3 pm. 

Let’s get Social!

Be sure to follow The LIL Grocer & Café on Facebook and Instagram. And follow me on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with my posts! If you end up visiting this zero waste shop, after reading about it for the first time here, please tag me and let me know what you think. Remember to hashtag it  #thegreenveganchick

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