For Gabrielle Lauren, what started as an interest in cutting out excess waste in her own life has grown into a full-fledged community initiative. Before hatching the idea for her zero waste refillery, Fill More Waste Less, Lauren was fascinated by minimalism and zero waste living, both philosophies which challenge followers to be mindful of how much waste they generate and encourage people to reuse and recycle.
Throughout early 2018, Lauren spent time reading up on waste reduction, turning primarily to blogs written by others who were transitioning to a zero waste lifestyle. She began picking up some tips and tricks for making her household more eco-friendly, everything from starting a compost bin to switching out paper towels for cloth rags in the kitchen.
As she started implementing some of these changes, however, Lauren realized that there weren’t many local resources available to facilitate her zero waste journey. “I started researching and digging to find out how I could potentially make this lifestyle happen for me”, she recalls. “I found a lot of zero waste refilleries all over the country, all over the world.” But there was nothing close to home. “I decided that I would love to start my own refillery and be that resource for my community,” she says.
With the support of her family, Lauren founded Fill More Waste Less, a one-stop-shop for all things zero waste. After months of running a successful online store and hosting pop-ups around the city, the Fill More Waste Less team now looks forward to opening their first brick and mortar location in Madisonville this fall.
Fill More Waste Less offers the essentials for those looking to decrease waste within their home. The store carries all sorts of alternative bath and kitchen goods: natural shampoos and soaps, kitchenware made from sustainably sourced materials, and bottles and jars that can stand in for plastic disposable packaging.
The best part? Refills. A majority of the products sold by Fill More Waste Less can be filled right back up, including body wash, laundry detergent powder, hand sanitizer, and more. Visitors will have the option to pick up these refills once the storefront is fully established, but for now, orders are fulfilled through neighborhood deliveries or shipped directly to customers’ doors.
It is important to acknowledge, though, that Fill More Waste Less is more than just a business. It stands as an educational, supportive resource for those wanting to become more aware of their impact on the planet. The Fill More Waste Less blog provides informative articles on zero waste ideology, DIY recipes, and inspiration for environmentally conscious swaps that readers can make in their own homes. Lauren also envisions a mini “library” within the new storefront, which will house a variety of books about zero waste living.
So, if you want to live a more sustainable lifestyle, where do you start? According to Lauren, small changes are the best way to begin a zero waste journey. “There is no easy way to cut out all the plastic that’s in our lives completely, overnight, or even over the span of a month,” she says. “But even cutting down your waste by half is a great goal, and it’s surprising how easy that actually is.”
Take your first step towards zero waste living today by visiting the Fill More Waste Less website, and keep an eye out for the arrival of the Madisonville storefront towards the end of the season.