You may not know it yet, but you are about to fall in love… or maybe you already have.
Starting with – the basics.
If refilleries are new to you, especially if you have never even HEARD the word “refillery” before – here is a basic overview.
You know the bulk section of your go-to grocery store? The dispensing bins of (usually) dry kitchen staples and snacks that allow you to fill and pay for only what you need? A refillery is basically a whole store that is JUST THAT. Bins and bins of all the good stuff, and oh-so much more!! Because, while yes, they are a kitchen maven’s dream – they also carry household, bath and body care products like bulk dish soaps, laundry soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and everything you could possibly require to green up your lifestyle! And bonus, most also carry the accessories that ACCOMPANY a green and zero waste life, including bamboo toothbrushes and kitchen cleaning tools, beeswax wraps, cutlery travel kits, pumps and pouring lids for mason jars, all kinds of fun and interesting things for a #PackageFree #zerowaste life.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”
The best part?
(So many “best parts”!)
These are small businesses that are owned and run by people who LOVE and take great pride in what they do! They source Every. Single. Item. they carry with thoughtful consideration of its quality and origin. They compare many products and pick the highest quality, most ethically sourced ones to best suit their community’s needs and budget. They stock their shop with you in mind!
((To be honest, although there is no acronym following the name of (most) Refillery owners and staff (like PHD, CEO, MBA, etc), we would like to officially grant every one of them the acronym “KWU”. This stands for “Knows What’s Up”, because not only do they know what’s up, they are more than happy to share their knowledge with you!))
“There is no such thing as ‘away’. When we throw anything away, it must go somewhere.”
Another best part?
These businesses are most often ZERO WASTE! Yes. Entire stores committed to no waste! Can you believe it?
In non-Covid times, you bring your own container, give it a weigh, fill it up, weigh again, pay and go (the “Weigh-and-Pay” system)! Think old jam jars, plastic containers, etc. But currently, with restrictions in place, (most) refilleries have adapted by offering sanitized jars that you pay a deposit on to be refunded once the jar is returned. Some will accept donated glass jars to sanitize in-house, which are then made available for free. Be sure to check with your local refillery before you go. Bonus: Most will even take your order online or over the phone for pickup (or delivery in some areas!).
Refillery Best Practices:
- Check online for hours and Covid protocols.
- Visit refillery. Don’t forget your shopping bag! (And of course, your mask.)
- Please shop alone (ideally) or with only 1 other person – ie. 1-2 people per household, tops.
- Grab an empty jar, commonly pre-weighed.
- Fill with bulk contents of your choice. If required, ask for assistance. (Note that some stores are staffed for them to handle your order, in which case you just have to ask for what you want and how much and a staff member will deal with steps 4 and 5).
- Alternatively, pick up a pre-filled jar or container that meets your needs.
- If offered an option of plastic or paper bags for suitable items, always opt for paper. (Can’t live #zerowaste if you’re using plastic!)
- Proceed to checkout. Most products are charged for by weight.
- Enjoy saving the world!
“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”
Where Live for Tomorrow fits in
Live for Tomorrow has been on this magical ride since inception. And really, LFT exists to provide sustainable household products that use ONLY all-natural, pure plant and mineral based ingredients. You can see the Entire List Of The Only Ingredients We Use Here. We believe in full disclosure, no surprises.
The premium quality and strength of the ingredients in our grime-kicking formulas are partnered with the quality and sustainability of our packaging. While other dish, hand and laundry soaps are sold in plastic bottles, Live for Tomorrow uses 100% recyclable (and recycled) aluminium. Ideally though, they won’t even get the “recycle” step in the hierarchy of the “6 R’s” > they will live their life out at the Refill/Reuse stage!
Side note: Though there are many remakes of the standard 3R’s (Reduce – Reuse – Recycle) and we RE-joice in them all, our fave are the “6 Rs” as shown here. (But above all else – RE-THINK!)
Find all our refill stores at the Store Locator Here. Including our first refill store, the Soap Dispensary (Vancouver, BC), who became a refill partner of ours in 2011. As of 2020, Live for Tomorrow bulk products are carried in 51 refilleries across Canada, located in five different provinces, as well as one recent addition in the USA. Don’t see one near you? Talk to your local businesses! We would love to be a partner… 🙂
Enjoy the Journey
Going #zerowaste is a highly flexible journey that can be customized to your personality. The beauty is that it’s never too late, and you can go at your own speed. Start by swapping easy things – next time you buy a toothbrush, opt for bamboo over plastic, when you run out of your liquid hand soap or kitchen soap, take your empty container to get it refilled (if protocols allow), otherwise, purchase a larger jug and do your own refill at home.
The economy and convenience of buying only what you need can certainly make you fall in love with a refillery regardless of the size of your space, or your household.
(FYI, a growing number of “traditional” grocery stores are also expanding their bulk offerings. This is wonderful, and we highly encourage supporting them too!)
Pros of Refilling:
• Save money – approx. 15% of the price of a product relates to packaging
• Save the environment by reducing waste
• Support local
• Support ethical
• Eliminate the toxins from your life!
• Be a leader for positive change!
Often refilleries have interesting features unique only to them!
Here are some examples:
> They may be 100% mobile – ie. a business operated from a van, allowing it to alternate location to be more convenient to more people.
> They may be partnered with a sister business, like a bike repair shop, coffee shop or bakery ~ one stop shopping at its finest!
BONUS: Get Social!
We encourage you to support your local refillery – Socially!
Social media is a tool that small businesses rely on to spread their message, but due to algorithms and restrictions, they really only get seen if they pay for Facebook advertising. You can help with this as the more engagement they get – the more they get seen! To support your fave business – like their posts, respond to their surveys, engage in conversation ~ this is a very important way to support great businesses without needing to spend a cent! (But do that too!)
How to support your local businesses – virtually:
1: Find & follow them on social media.
2: Like, share, comment on & save their posts.
3: Support them with your dollars.
Find one near you here: https://lftbrands.com/store-locator/