Is Zero Waste Grocery Delivery Worth It? A Review of The Rounds

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Time is a valuable resource that many of us never seem to have enough of. That’s why grocery delivery services have become increasingly popular—they save us time by eliminating the need to go to the store every week. However, a major downside of most grocery delivery services is the excessive packaging they use. Many programs rely on single-use plastic bags to deliver your groceries, which is a significant waste problem.

This is the main reason why I have been hesitant to try grocery delivery services. However, when I learned about The Rounds and their zero waste grocery delivery service, I was intrigued. The Rounds reached out to me to introduce their sustainable approach to grocery delivery, and I decided to give it a closer look.

It’s important to note that this post is sponsored, but I only collaborate with brands that meet strict sustainability criteria. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

What is Zero Waste Grocery Delivery?

Zero waste grocery delivery combines the convenience of having your groceries delivered to your doorstep with the sustainability of shopping at a package-free store. Typically, there is a tradeoff between convenience and sustainability. For example, thrifting clothes is an eco-friendly choice but it takes more time than buying new clothes.

Similarly, low waste grocery shopping often involves going out of your way to visit a zero waste store. While these stores are fantastic, they are usually not conveniently located for most people to visit every week. This is where zero waste grocery delivery comes in—it offers a sustainable solution that is more accessible and convenient for many of us.

The Rounds tote bag and glass jars for zero waste groceries

About The Rounds: Zero Waste Delivery

The Rounds is a closed-loop two-way logistics network that provides zero waste grocery delivery. They deliver your essentials and groceries in refillable containers placed inside a reusable tote bag. Once you have used the products, The Rounds will pick up the empty containers (often using e-bikes) and clean them for reuse.

What zero waste groceries and products are available at The Rounds?

The Rounds offers a wide range of grocery items, including freshly baked bread and pastries sourced from local businesses, fresh produce from local farms, snacks and sweets like candy, cookies, granola, and chocolate, dry goods such as pasta, rice, grains, beans, and oats, baking ingredients like sugar, flour, mixes, and add-ons, and various pantry staples like salt, seasonings, sauces, oils, vinegars, and condiments. They also provide beverages like tea, coffee, sparkling water, and specialty drinks.

In addition to groceries, The Rounds offers household products such as cleaning supplies, personal care items like toilet paper, deodorants, hair care, hand soap, and oral care products, beauty products including bath and body items and skincare, baby supplies like diapers and baby food, and pet supplies and pet food. They even offer services like compost pickup, recycling and e-waste pickup, CO2 canister exchanges, and donation pick-ups.

screenshot of The Rounds zero waste grocery delivery process

Where can you get zero waste delivery with The Rounds?

Currently, The Rounds is available in Philadelphia, Miami, Washington D.C., and Atlanta. However, they plan to expand their service across the United States in the near future. If your city is not currently on their list, you can sign up on their website and be notified when they start delivering in your area.

How Does Zero Waste Grocery Delivery Work?

Now let’s talk about how the zero waste grocery delivery process works with The Rounds:

  1. Sign up on The Rounds website by providing your basic details and zip code.
  2. Select the products you want from their range of options.
  3. Receive your delivery and use the products.
  4. Check your upcoming scheduled deliveries online. You have the option to edit your delivery by adding or removing products, skip a week if you don’t need anything, or if you’ll be out of town.
  5. On the day of delivery, place your empty containers on your doorstep. The Rounds will pick them up for free. Also, place any other items for services you ordered, such as compost pick-up or CO2 canister exchange.

What Does Zero Waste Grocery Delivery Cost?

The Rounds charges $10 per month at the time of writing this review. With weekly delivery, the average cost per delivery is about $2.50 most months, which is quite affordable. In comparison, AmazonFresh reportedly charges $10 per delivery if the order is under $50, or $7 for orders over $50. Keep in mind that these orders come with excessive packaging.

If you want to save even more, you can use the code CONSCIOUSLIFE to get one month free and $10 off your first order. Additionally, you can participate in The Rounds’ Refer a Friend program to save $30 for each friend you refer.

My Experience With The Rounds’ Zero Waste Grocery Delivery

zero waste groceries from The Rounds laid out on countertop

Product Selection & Quality

During my trial with The Rounds, I ordered various pantry items like organic lentils, balsamic vinegar, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, brown basmati rice, canola oil, and dry roasted edamame. All the items arrived as expected and were of high quality. Since I don’t live near one of The Rounds’ locations, I couldn’t order fresh items, but I would definitely be interested in trying their freshly-baked bread and locally-sourced produce once they expand to my area.

The Rounds offers a solid selection of products that is comparable to other zero waste grocery stores I have come across. While they may not have refrigerated or frozen items or all types of produce, they are still a great option to reduce reliance on packaging and extend the time between grocery runs. When I receive my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box in the summer, The Rounds’ service will help me further minimize my trips to the grocery store.

Packaging & Labeling

The specific items I ordered came in glass jars or bottles. They also offer some canned items, and products like almond milk come in their original packaging. The refillable products in glass containers had minimal labeling, which I appreciated as it reduces waste. Instead of having detailed labels on the glass jars, The Rounds uses small QR stickers. You can use these QR codes to access information about the products and their ingredients online at any time.

One potential drawback of minimal labeling is that it may be easy to confuse similar-looking items, especially if you order several at once. To avoid confusion, you can create a temporary label or organization system for yourself or transfer the contents to your own labeled containers.

Overall, I had a positive experience with The Rounds’ zero waste grocery delivery. The products were of high quality, and considering the prices and selection, I think it is a worthwhile service to try.

Is Zero Waste Grocery Delivery For You?

The Rounds offers an excellent solution for anyone looking to shop sustainably and reduce waste, especially if you don’t have zero waste stores near you or prefer the convenience of grocery delivery. Their reusable packaging, wide product selection, local options, and green transport (such as e-bikes) make them a great option. They even offer additional services like compost pickup, adding more value to their offering.

At the time of writing this review, The Rounds’ zero waste grocery delivery is available in Atlanta, Washington D.C., Miami, and Philadelphia. If you live outside these areas, you can still sign up on their website to be notified when they expand to your city.

Do keep in mind that if you don’t have a doorstep or if you are frequently not home during delivery times, this service may not be suitable for you.

Final Verdict on The Rounds

If you are looking for a sustainable and low-waste grocery shopping option, The Rounds’ zero waste grocery delivery is definitely worth considering. While they may not have refrigerated or frozen items, their reusable packaging and commitment to reducing waste make them a standout option. As they continue to expand, I hope they will offer a broader range of products, including perishable items like tofu and yogurt. The convenience and environmental benefits of The Rounds make it an exciting service to try.

If you decide to give The Rounds a try, don’t forget to use the code CONSCIOUSLIFE to get your first month free and $10 off your first order!

Check Out The Rounds

If you are interested in trying The Rounds’ zero waste grocery delivery service, visit their website to sign up and join their waitlist if they are not currently delivering in your area.

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