1% for a cause

We believe in business as a force for good and support the fight for environmental and social justice with our 1% for a cause programme. Every month, we choose a cause and select a not-for-profit organization in our community that is dedicated to it. We donate 1% of our in-store and online sales and promote and amplify their work on our social media platforms. Recent recipients include Ecology Ottawa, Assembly of Seven Generations, Capital Pride, Parkdale Food Centre and Jaku Konbit.


We are environmental activists at heart and the protection and preservation of our planet is NU's reason to be. While our focus is on waste reduction, we know that environmental issues are highly intertwined. Promoting the zero waste lifestyle means proposing an alternative to the reckless consumerism that depletes our resources and threatens our life support systems. 


An important aspect of the zero waste lifestyle is to buy less, and to buy better. That's why our products are carefully curated. We favour all-natural, organic and locally sourced food products made with ingredients that we can all understand. Our non-food products are plastic-free, made with sustainable materials, cruelty-free and contain no harmful chemicals.

Zero Waste Operations

The average Canadian might produce a whopping 700 kg of waste per year (one of the highest rates in the industrial world), but waste is created throughout the supply chain.

At NU, we work constantly to keep our operations as low waste as possible. This means favouring local suppliers who deliver with reusable containers and take them back (circular supply chain), composting organic waste, reusing cardboard boxes from our suppliers for our own deliveries, and more!

People before profit

We treat our customers, suppliers and staff with respect and kindness. As a member of the Better Way Alliance, a network of businesses who support fair employment practices, we are vocal supporters of a living wage, paid sick days and fair scheduling practices.

The Covid-19 pandemic has put an enormous strain on our staff, and we have reacted promptly to support their mental health. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we are closing our stores every Monday to offer a paid mental health day to our full time staff.


We are proud to be one of the hubs of Ottawa's ever-growing zero waste community. NU is more than a storefront. NU is a platform to exchange and educate about waste. We offer regular free workshops on waste-related topics and share many resources and tips on our social media. We have also given many talks in schools, universities, government agencies and at public events on the topic of zero waste and responsible consumerism.