Did you know?
A major portion of plastic produced each year is used to make disposable items of packaging or other short-lived products that are discarded within a year of manufacture.
Let’s just make it clear… plastic waste is a problem. Today, plastic is the chosen packaging for many of the products we use and consume on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Think about it, your dish soap, laundry detergent, deodorant and mouthwash all come in a plastic container and once you’ve used up all of the product inside, it gets thrown away or put in the recycling bin.
Sometimes, plastic that gets thrown out can be recycled to make packaging for other products or can even be used to make entirely new products like shoes. According to National Geographic, 91% of plastics don’t actually get recycled. Most types of plastics either find their way to a landfill or an incinerator. In 2018, a total of 35.7 million tons of plastic was disposed of in the United States alone and the bad news is that it can take hundreds of years for it to decompose.
The good news is that we can start making small changes that can make big differences.
How Can We Reduce Plastic Use?
Plastic has been a useful tool to humankind for a long time, but now it’s time for us to move past it and to start making choices that are better for the planet and ultimately better for ourselves.
While we’d love to say that tackling the mountain of plastic is a problem that can be fixed quickly, that simply isn’t the case. That being said, getting started is easier than you might think!
You don’t need to immediately start composting, growing your own vegetables, and quit plastic cold-turkey, but there are some simple changes you can make to start your journey to a low-waste lifestyle.
First, try to reduce or cut-out the single use items or unnecessary packaging. That means bringing reusable grocery bags to the grocery store, looking for reusable storage baggies instead of single-use plastic ziplock bags, and opting out of the bags for your fruits and veggies and switching to reusable produce bags.
Second, think about the products in your home. How many of these products with plastic packaging can be replaced with more eco-friendly alternatives? At Replenish Refillery and Gift, we have a section of our store dedicated to refilling laundry detergent, dishwasher soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, hand and body soap, natural household cleaners, toilet cleaning tabs, facial cleanser, sunscreen (reef safe), grapeseed oil, jojoba oil and so much more. Bring your own glass jar or use one of the ones we have in store and re-stock the essentials WITHOUT using any plastic. Then the next time you run out, come back and simply refill again. Not only will it save you money but you will be shocked at how much plastic you are saving!
Third, sign up for our paper-less monthly newsletter! We want to be a resource to you and our community so every month we’ll be emailing tips and tricks to help you move towards a low-waste and zero-waste lifestyle, plus organized events, like community clean-ups, and product highlights for items we love and are using ourselves.
The task at hand is to reduce the use of single-use plastics and the solution begins by starting small and being more conscious about each purchase you make and the products you use.
The Story Behind Replenish Refillery and Gift
As Melinda Brown strolled down the streets of Capitola, California and walked into a low-waste shop named Ethos, she knew that this eco-conscious store and its surrounding community was on the right track. Then, she encountered another zero-waste shop seeking to change the world, starting with their community, this one located in Hawaii. Although she didn’t walk through the doors of Protea Zero Waste Shop, it helped inspire her to create Replenish. Melinda had always been passionate about the environment, was an avid compost-er and wanted to give back to her Reno-Tahoe community. Inspired by the businesses she visited, she knew her home was ready to start becoming even more conscientious about their own consumption habits and knew a refillery like Replenish was the perfect solution.
“The concept behind Replenish Refillery & Gift is simple. We’re aiming to be a resource to the community on how they can reduce their footprint on the Earth. We say this all the time in the shop, but little changes can make a big difference.” -- Melinda Brown
Reducing waste and plastic waste overall is important, but even more so, it's about transitioning from wasteful habits to more sustainable and conscious ones. The mission and hope of our eco-friendly shop is to help educate society on how simple changes can go a long way.
Come by our shop, located in The Basement Reno and see our wide variety of low-waste alternatives, refill your favorite items, and see just how easy small changes can make a big difference! Earth will thank you!