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Zero Waste in Knoxville

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start when trying to reduce your waste. Here are some ideas specifically for people who live in or near Knoxville!

Food and Drinks
  • Bring your own grocery bags and produce bags to avoid using the plastic ones. This can be done at every store!
  • Find stores that have bulk sections that allow you to fill up your own containers. Three-Rivers Market (less than 2 miles from campus) a has a large bulk section and lets you bring your own containers, and they also sell clean, individual glass jars that you can fill up if you do not already own containers. Whole Foods and some Krogers have bulk sections, but it is best to call ahead when going to a chain store to ask what each individual store’s policy about bringing in containers is.
  • Some stores also have self-service baked goods section where you can use your own containers to get cookies, cakes, muffins, and more. Three Rivers has has a section like this. Whole Foods (about 6 miles from campus) has a similar section that includes unpackaged bread that you can have sliced and put in a reusable container.
  • If you’re taking food to-go from Southern Kitchen, you now have the option of using a reusable to-go container!
  • Buy things second hand! There are plenty of thrift stores and vintage shops near campus.
  • Another great way to get second hand clothing is off of Facebook marketplace. There are multiple groups where UTK students buy and trade clothing with each other.
  • For people who live off campus, Knoxville now has a curbside composting service available!
  • If you live somewhere where you can’t use curbside composting, you can always ask farmers at the farmers market in Market Square if any of them are in need of food scraps to compost and use on their crops.