Last week I went into Refill Revolution and met my friend Brittney. Brittney is the owner of Refill Revolution- sustainable and reusable products, bulk foods, and refill store. Everything Brittney sells is sustainable, reusable, compostable and plastic-free. Along with buying reusable products you can also get refills on household products and essential oils. She has a ton of bulk containers full of your home products- laundry detergent, soap, shampoo, oil…you name it! All you have to do in bring in a container and fill it up!
I had so much fun going to her shop and browsing around for you guys! Everything was so cute and I was amazed by some of the ideas that people have come up with! It is all so adorable!!
You can go to my Instagram page and find a GIVEAWAY of a few products. The giveaway ends on March 27th, so go to my Instagram @plantifuljourney and find the post from Tuesday!
Why buy sustainable products?
- The average American throws away 600 times their adult weight in garbage. This means that each adult leaves behind 90,000 pounds of trash.
- We throw away 25,000,000 plastic bottles every hour.
- It takes 90 years for an aluminum can to decompose in a landfill.
- It takes 700 years for a plastic bottle to decompose in a landfill.
- It takes 1 million years for a glass bottle to decompose in a landfill.
- Americans use 500 million straws every day. That’s over 125 school buses full each day. This would fill 46,400 school buses every year.
- 13 billion pounds of paper towels are used each year.
As consumers, we go through a staggering amount of trash annually. Just consider how many times you empty your trash each week. Two, three, or four times? That’s 100-200 bags of your trash in a landfill each year. By recycling, composting, and reducing our disposable product usage we can cut this in half or hope to even eliminate trash.
Let’s look at this in another way. How many times do you go to a coffee shop, fast food restaurant, smoothie joint, or juice bar? How often do you get something to drink in a to-go cup? How often do you get a straw and where does it end up when you are finished with your drink?
Essentially all of these straws and cups end up in a landfill, oceans or rivers, and road ditches. You can walk up to any trash can and I almost guarantee there is a Starbucks cup at the top of it. Most of these end up in the trash. Sure enough, I just did it and there 2 coffee cups along with a couple fast food drink cups at the top of the trash can. There is good news regarding the Starbucks cup. They are working on a greener, more recycled, and reusable version of their regular cup.
There are a ton of reusable products available! Refill Revolution had a lot of great products (you can have them shipped to you), but you can also find these on Amazon, at your local health foods store, or Target.
Here are a few ideas of how you can reduce waste in your home:
We have all been to someone’s house and they sent us home with leftovers. Don’t throw away the container when you’re done with it. Save it and use it again!
Take your own bags to the store rather than getting plastic ones. You won’t need nearly as many because the reusable bags are strong! There also will no longer be a need for plastic bag storage space in your kitchen. Everyone is still guilty of forgetting their reusable bags sometimes. In this case you could still choose no bag. Otherwise, choose a paper one. The paper bags are compostable, recyclable, or make great gift wrap!
Jam jars, pesto jars, sauce jars, kombucha jars, spice jars….save it and get the label off. You have a cute, new, reusable jar! If there is a jar you don’t want, then just wash it and put it in your recycling bin. I save as many jars as I can and I always seem to find a use for them.
Say NO to plastic wrap!! Instead of covering something with plastic wrap put it in a container that you saved. You can also buy reusable bee’s wax wrap and I have heard that those companies are working on a vegan version!
Can you believe the fact from above? 13 billion pounds of paper towels.
One roll of paper towels weighs approximately 0.60 lbs. This equates to 13 billion pounds equaling 21,666,666,666.6666 rolls of paper towels. Woah…. Now if you believe in numerology to any degree that amount of 6’s in a row is terrifying, so you just put your paper towels in the closet and are saving them for your next camping trip (yes I did that).
“Wait, you are writing this article and use paper towels?” Last time we moved we had a few rolls that came with us, but we have been using the same roll for three weeks as I have only been using reusable cloths. We will use the ones we have for camping this summer.
Paper towels are convenient and I can’t argue with that, but if we make reusable things convenient then that is just as easy as ripping a paper off a roll. In that spirit…keep a drawer full of rags! Old t-shirts can be cut into great rags. You can also buy reusable paper towels. I believe Twist makes them as well as a few other companies. I found them at our local Vitamin Cottage and on Amazon. After you have used these just throw them in the wash and do laundry just as you do anything else.
PAPER TOWEL CHALLENGE
Put your paper towels away for one day. Use a rag or cloth instead. Now, how many times did you find yourself reaching for the paper towels?
We simply do not need plastic ware. If you are having a party go for reusable or compostable products. The trick with compostable is that you need to make sure they are going to be composted when you are done- not just thrown in the trash. If compostable products aren’t an option then go for reusable and wash it in the dishwasher.
Along with paper towels, there are a ton of straws that end up in the trash every year. American’s use 500 million straws per day. Did you know that 325.7millon people actually live here?
You can now buy a few different reusable straw options- plastic, metal, and bamboo. It may sound dirty to some people, because how do you get them clean? If you rinse it right away and have a straw cleaning brush that will be the least of your worries!
LOCAL TRASH SERVICE
Find out what services your trash company offers and make sure you utilize them! Here in Boulder, we have recycling as well as compost, which is an amazing service. There are also many ways to make your own compost in the yard or you might find a local farm or trash company that lets you drop off compost. If you don’t have a recycling service where you live that is something you can also find a drop off service for.
Lauren Singer has an inspiring story of her zero-waste life! You may have heard her story, but if not it’s a great one! You can always listen to it again too.
Here are some resources.