Be Zero City Guide | San Diego 

This guide shares the inside scoop on ways to reduce your trash and plastic footprint and to lead more simple and sustainable lifestyles in San Diego. 



Not many people can say they were born and raised in San Diego, but you’re looking at one of them. Hi! I'm Abbey, a Be Zero Ambassador, I'll be showing you around San Diego! I’ve been to a lot of different places on three different continents, but San Diego will always have my heart. And I’m super proud to say that this beautiful home of mine has committed to going zero waste by 2040! So what do the local zero wasters like to do? Where do we shop and eat? Take a look!

A look around San Diego...


Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Market is without a doubt the best place to go zero waste grocery shopping. This co-op is completely organic and vegetarian with an award winning deli. The bulk selection includes everything from noodles and grains to detergent and oils. My favorite bulk items to pick up here are their local raw honey and fair trade coffee.  They are fully supportive of zero waste (BYO jars and bags!) and they host awesome community events several times a month.


If you’re a tea drinker like me, Point Loma Tea has a fantastic variety of bulk teas. Just look at that display!

Ocean Friendly

San Diego has a list of nearly 100 restaurants that are certified “Ocean Friendly” by another awesome non-profit called The Surfrider Foundation. This means they use reusable dining ware for eating in, no Styrofoam, and no plastic bags for take-out among other requirements.


Trilogy Sanctuary

One of my favorite restaurants that doesn’t happen to be on the above list is called Trilogy Sanctuary. This place really is the trifecta: café, yoga studio, and boutique (that sells bamboo to-go cutlery!). 

The café has a huge variety of vegetarian and vegan options with kombucha on tap. They use real dining ware and even their freshly pressed juice is stored in glass containers that can be returned for a $1 credit towards your next purchase! We've even held our San Diego Be Zero Social Hours there as well!


Farmers Markets!

Of course, the weather is always 73 degrees and sunny here in SoCal, so most of our farmers markets are open year-round. We have about 40 (yes, forty) different markets in different parts of the city on different days of the week. My favorite communities, Ocean Beach and Little Italy, happen to have the biggest and best farmers markets, but I’m pretty biased! I’ve heard North Park’s is phenomenal, too!

Adams Avenue Bookstore.JPG

Used Bookstores

Speaking of North Park, if you’re a book lover be sure to check out the many used bookshops in the area. Adams Avenue Bookstore, Verbatim Books, and Book Tree have unique selections and that fantastic musty book smell I wish I could make into a perfume.



If you’re looking to pamper yourself, try Holistic Science on Voltaire Street in Ocean Beach or Wild August on India Street in Little Italy. Holistic Science makes all of their products in the back of their brick and mortar shop. I especially love their rose scented body oil. Wild August makes handmade salt soaks, face masks, soaps, and gift sets in small batches.


Get outside!

And what do San Diegans do? There are so many incredible zero waste experiences to take part in here. My husband and I really enjoy hiking…

…and the beaches…

…and if you bring your furry friend with you, Dog Beach…

…and rock climbing in the biggest Regional Park in the nation, Mission Trails...

…and snorkeling…

...and the list goes on!  

So welcome to San Diego! Once you’ve made it out here, I think you’ll agree that the west coast is the best coast and San Diego is truly America’s finest city! Feel free to get in touch with me if you’re ever in the area. I’d love to connect with you! I’m available through Instagram (@abbey_donavan) and Facebook.