February 04, 2020

Interview with Kate Marnach of Tare Market - Minnesota's First Zero Waste Store

In January, we sat down with co-founder of Tare Market Kate Marnach. Tare Market is Minnesota’s first zero waste store nestled in the Standish neighborhood. We discussed ways we can implement zero waste practices into our daily lives, why big brands and corporations should care about sustainability, why she was inspired to open the store and some of her favorite eco-friendly products.

If you’re unfamiliar with the zero waste movement, it is defined by limiting or eliminating our trash output. Tare Market makes this lifestyle accessible by providing products and food with reusable or compostable packaging or ideally, in no packaging at all.

What is one easy way we can all be more eco-friendly in our day-to-day?

Kate: We get this question a lot and it’s tough to answer because what may work for one person isn’t applicable to others. What we usually recommend is a trash audit. Take a look at a week’s worth of your trash. What and how much did you throw away? Take out containers? Food scraps? If it’s the latter, think about getting a compost bin. Or the next time you go out to eat, bring your own container. Pick one swap, start with that and make it a daily habit. Baby steps.

*Tare Market Tip: Live in an apartment complex and don’t have access to a compost bin? Kate recommends putting your scraps in the freezer and disposing at a local drop off site at the end of each week. Here are the drop off sites for Minneapolis and St. Paul. Not sure what’s compostable? Here is a detailed list from the EPA.

 

How can business’ implement sustainable practices today?

Kate: Try appointing one person or a team of people to advocate for sustainable practices in your business. By having someone in your company keeping others accountable, you’re much more likely to follow through with those practices. If you’re unsure of where to start, we recommend supplying compost, recycling and trash bins with clear labeling on what goes where. Remove plastic or Styrofoam cups and replace with mugs and glasses for water or coffee. These small changes can really decrease your waste output over time.


Why should big brands / corporations care about sustainability?

Kate: Because they have a massive impact. And, they are partly the ones that got us into this crisis. They pushed convenience - single use plastic, overseas manufacturing (increasing our carbon footprint), making everything is disposable - over quality and environmental safety.

If they were to invest in sustainable practices, it could actually save them money in the long run. What requires a little time, effort and money in the front end, could create a lot of positive change, not only for the planet but for their bottom line as well.

 

What is your favorite product in the store?

Kate: This is tough because I love so many things! I would probably pick our conditioner bars, bulk soap, cleaning solutions and deodorant. Shop the store online here.

 

How did you get involved in the zero waste lifestyle and what inspired you to open Tare Market?

Kate: Growing up, I was always taught to recycle, turn off lights, you know do all the things you’re supposed to do to be environmentally friendly. When I had kids, I fell into convenience mode. I remember taking out the trash one day and just realizing how frequently we were throwing things away.

After that, I starting talking about the zero waste movement with some of my friends who also had kids. We decided our waste was out of hand and we wanted to change. We then started a blog (zeroish.org) about being zero waste with kids / family and soon realized we were still having trouble finding local zero waste resources and solutions in the Twin Cities. That’s when the idea of Tare Market began.

Tare Market has been open since April 2019 and continues to offer new products and resources to help the Twin Cites’ community achieve a more zero waste lifestyle.

Our Sustainable Efforts in 2020

In 2020, we are taking big steps to be more sustainable as a business. Sourcing local products from small Midwestern brands is a good way to lower our carbon footprint, but being in the business of shipping, we need to do more. This includes ensuring all materials we use including exterior boxes, tape, kraft, peanuts etc., is either reusable, compostable, or recyclable. We are also committed to providing more relevant content on how you can reuse your M&P boxes, binnys and crates in the home, office and more (see some fun ways to use the binny here.)

As we continue to explore ways we can be more green as a business, we also hope to partner with brands and business who do the same. If there’s a company we should know about, send us an email at hello@minnyandpaul.com. Have suggestions on other ways we can be more sustainable?We’d love to hear!