Who We Are
Full Circle Sustainability is a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in July 2023 with a mission of making low-waste living easier! We aim to create and increase access to sustainable systems, particularly those that support local food production and waste reduction.
What We Do
Our flagship program is Full Circle Grocery, a retail grocery and home-delivery service that brings together produce and food items from local farmers and producers. We also carry pantry goods, liquid soap sold by the ounce, and other local and minimally packaged home products. Our retail space serves as a TerraCycle collection site, where you can drop off most household materials that cannot be recycled through Topeka’s municipal recycling program.
Where to Find Us
We’re located in the CRC CARE Center at the former Stout Elementary School, 2303 SW College Ave., Room 19, Topeka, KS 66611. Come visit us on Thursday evenings from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Ordering and Delivery
Order online Sunday through Tuesday for pickup or delivery on Thursday. We deliver within the Topeka area for free when you spend $15 or more. Or pick up your order for free at our retail shop on Thursday from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
The idea for Full Circle came about in late 2019 when founders Robert Riley and Justine Greve met and started talking about the need for easier access to local produce, bulk grocery items, and services that would allow busy people to live more sustainable lives. Robert took the first step toward this goal in 2020 with the creation of Topeka Growers Group, a collection of farmers and producers in the Topeka area coming together to provide easier access to locally grown food. TGG soon expanded to include a soap refill service and minimally packaged home and body products.
As they talked more about the new products they wanted to offer and the different projects they wanted to pursue, Robert and Justine realized that TGG needed to become something bigger. With the goal of providing community education and offering services for waste reduction as well as groceries, their earliest visions of a “sustainability hub” were coming into focus. They got to work creating a non-profit, which was incorporated in July 2023.
Read more about the transition from TGG to Full Circle here.
And see the coverage of TGG in The Topeka Capital-Journal when they launched in 2020.
Why We Do What We Do
As summers get hotter, storms stronger, and weather more unpredictable, it is increasingly easy to see that when we poke the Earth, it pokes us back.
Pesticides on our foods, fertilizer runoff in our water, hormones in our meat, chemicals in our hygiene products, and plastics nearly everywhere are making us sick.
Putting trash in the landfill puts more methane in the air, which means more heat in the summer. Fewer trees in our neighborhoods means less protection from that heat, which means more heat-related illnesses for the folks who live there. More soil erosion from poor farming practices means a harder time growing food, which increases the cost and the fuel needed to get it to consumers.
Simply put, the damage we do to the environment is damage we do to ourselves as individuals and as communities. It is damage we do to our physical health, mental health, and economic health. It is all so closely intertwined.
Full Circle is set up to help straighten out those knotted systems. Locally grown foods are healthier for consumers and for the planet. We work with producers who do not use pesticides and who place a value on regenerative agriculture, meaning their farming practices work to restore the land rather than deplete it.
Non-packaged foods are healthier for consumers as well. Plastics break down over time, and microscopic pieces enter our bodies—through food, water, and the air. Microplastics are toxic—disrupting our endocrine systems and contributing to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. For the sake of human and planetary health, we must work to reduce plastic use generally—and certainly for packaging products we put in and on our bodies.
Making it easier to make sustainable choices—such as buying food grown nearby with methods that don’t deplete the soil, purchasing groceries without packaging, and finding better ways to get rid of what you don’t need—makes for healthier individuals and communities.
Setting up these systems does not just benefit the people who take advantage of them right away. It shows everyone what is possible. It gets people thinking about the issues and shows them solutions.
If grocery stores see enough demand for bulk goods, they will start offering them again. If cities receive enough requests for curbside compost collection or a single-use plastic ban, they may decide to support it. If small organic farmers have more outlets for what they grow, they can expand their operations and new growers can enter the business. By being the change we want to see, we hope that others will see what change is possible.
Our Values at Work
Full Circle strives to make conscientious decisions for ourselves, our neighbors, and our planet. We’ll continue to look for ways to apply our values forward to create a stronger community for us all. In the meantime, we’ve worked hard to make an impact in the present.
In the sustainability realm: We buy used whenever we can. (Nearly everything in our shop—besides the inventory!—is secondhand.) We reduce the impact of operating our grocery service by driving a hybrid delivery vehicle, maximizing route efficiency, purchasing environmental-offset credits for deliveries as well as our storage cooler, and working to keep packaging at a minimum.
When it comes to privacy: You’ll find no online advertising trackers installed on our website. We will not enroll you in our newsletter without your direct action, we do not sell our customer data, and our e-commerce platform (Shopify) holds high security and privacy standards.
With regard to social justice: We work with community organizations to introduce more people to sustainable habits and healthy food by volunteering, teaching, and providing fresh, local produce at reduced rates. Our founders and Board members participate in the community and advocate for policies that benefit people and the planet.