How easy are refillables?

loose produce bags

So, how easy are refillables, really?

We all have them, empty jars, soap dispensers, washing liquid bottles etc. All designed to help us to ditch single use and reuse more. But have you ever wondered how easy it is to use them? Do you remember to? Do you often buy something like this with really good intentions only to forget to refill or find the trek to a refill shop impractical. 

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions then I want you to know that you are not alone. I’ve honestly lost count of the amount of times my good intentions have failed to materialise into actions. It’s not because I don’t want to do these things it’s just that life is busy and if I’m honest, I avoid going to the shops at all costs! 

So how can we put our good intentions into actions?

So what can we do to kickstart our newfound want to do better? I was having a think about this and jotted down some thoughts about how I could make it easier for myself to a) remember to use my refillables and b) to actually go and get the refilled! Here’s what I came up with:

  • have two on the go, one to refill and use and one to take to be refilled, so you’ll always have one full and one ready
  • have a special box, bag or place for the refillables, or keep in the car 
  • jot down the accessible refill places near you
  • plan to pop in on your way to or from somewhere so that you’re not having to make a special trip
  • keep a note of what’s full or waiting to fill up somewhere you can see it – maybe have a blackboard or something similar in the kitchen or near the back door or even in the cupboard and update once replaced
  • have some ‘go to’ online refill options too, so if you’re unable to get out to the shops for any reason, then you know where to get your refills from
  • rotate when you go for refills, especially if you’re going to more than one place to get what you need – so just go to one place each week as this will make it more manageable
  • you’ll need to go less often for things like shampoo, soaps and washing liquid refills than you will for food refills, so make this part of your plan
  • no need to buy in loads of new jars and pots unless you need them, old jam jars or containers, biscuit tins or pots will do just as good a job!

We’ve found a few good options for refillables, including The Body Shop (selected stores only), the Bower Collective (online only), Colt and Willow (who we stock, for cleaning products) and Faith in Nature for shampoos etc. Some Waitrose supermarkets offer this, plus all of the local loose produce shops for your loose produce needs and lots of farm shops. Holland and Barrett and the big Oxfam superstore in Oxford also offer refill soaps and shampoos, plus cleaning products. It’s definitely worth finding out about your local one stores though to see what is easy for you. The more we use them, the more options there will be!

Glass dispenser
We’ve got some beautiful glass dispensers for refilling
loose produce bags
Take our loose produce bags with you when you go shopping
Glass storage jar
Lovely storage jars can make refilling more appealing!

Get in touch

If you’ve found great places to shop refills from, then please let us know!

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