Yes, friends, there is another new locally owned shop in Waldo to tell you about today…and it’s quite unique! Called Green Utopia, it is Kansas City’s “zero waste” shop, selling useful gifts and household goods using recycled materials. This is the place to stop by if you need last minute gifts or stocking stuffers—so many great ideas here!
Owner Gabriella Sanders started her shop in a vintage camper, parked at places like the Crossroads on First Fridays and other lots around town. Then the pandemic hit, and she decided to take some time to reassess and find a small retail space. “ I just had this crazy idea to create a store based on zero waste.” She chose Waldo in part because she has family nearby that can help watch her son. Green Utopia opened in November, tucked away in a small space at 329 B E Gregory, behind Governor Stumpy’s. Sanders is committed to a zero waste lifestyle – she says the Lees Summit and Blue Springs landfills are already out of space-and we can all make relatively easy changes to our daily habits to end up throwing less in the trashcan. “Just change one habit”, says Gabriella, “and soon it will become second nature to reduce your personal everyday waste.”
I was amazed at all the unique, clever items for sale in Green Utopia: earrings made from plastic found in the ocean; washable fabric sandwich bags; shampoo and conditioner bars (rather than liquid in a plastic bottle); tote bags made from yoga mats; wall clocks made from albums; coffee and tea “socks” ; biodegradable scrub pads and natural tooth powder…everything has a green component. There’s stuff for the kids and dogs too. She also resells some vintage items: tins, napkins, handkerchiefs. Gabriella will also rent you a “party box” of dishes and flatware to save on paper items that just get thrown away after the meal. If you are looking for a knowledgeable speaker on how begin a greener lifestyle for your business or club—Sanders does that too.
Green Utopia can be challenging to find due to it’s tucked away location—she has some signage coming but for now, the best way to reach her shop is driving (or walking) just south of Gregory and Oak; on the west side of Oak you’ll see a driveway to the parking area just past Gregory. Turn west into the lot and you’ll see Green Utopia on the right. Hours are 11am-6pm Tuesday through Friday and Saturdays 10am-5pm. Stop in soon—you’re come out with something useful for yourself or a friend!