By Kate Phillips

What are refilleries and why are they so great?

According to the EPA, Americans produce an average of 5 pounds of waste per person per day. If you’re looking to reduce your share, try shopping at a Refillery. Refilleries allow you to buy in bulk and and use (and reuse) your own containers. See this article for more information about how refilleries work, and how to effectively shop at them. They are a great sustainable option to reduce your household waste, specifically single use plastics. Our constant need to replace personal care and cleaning products results in tons of plastic bottles ending up in the waste stream every year, polluting our environment and endangering wildlife. Many of these bottles are not recyclable because of the product or soap residue in the container. When you purchase from a refillery, you can reuse the same bottles for your shampoo, conditioner, soap, household cleaners, and similar products over and over again.

Transitioning to zero waste can take a long time, and this is an easy way to start. Whatever your capability, it is great to reduce your waste as much as you can! Shopping at local refilleries also creates a positive community of people who share your value of sustainability.

Local Refilleries

Sustainable Sundry is a refillery in Ballston Spa where you can shop for sustainable goods and gifts, refill your containers with their products currently available in bulk, and attend DIY workshops and events on sustainable and low waste living. It is a great shop for refilling household products like soap, detergent, lotion, toothpaste tablets, and cleaning products. Sustainable Sundry is open Tuesday – Thursday and Saturday from 10am – 3pm.

Matt’s Refillery, located in Troy, is a refillery that sells bathroom and cleaning products. They also sell products to live more sustainability at home, such as reusable paper towels. If you’re having a busy day, you can drop off your shopping list and employees will do the refills for you. Matt’s Refillery is open Tuesday – Friday from 10am – 6pm and Saturday 9am – 6pm.

Honest Weight is a food co-op in Albany. Unlike many co-ops, Honest Weight does not require a membership – anyone can shop there! The store has a bulk section with food, wellness products, sustainable gifts, and plants from local farms. Honest Weight is open from 8am – 9pm daily.

Healthy Living in Wilton is a natural whole foods market also offering community outreach programs and health and nutritional information. There is also a refill station for detergent and cleaning products, and also sell a variety of bulk foods such as nuts, seeds, spices, dried fruit, pasta, and coffee that you refill in your own container. Healthy Living is open from 9am – 9pm daily.

The O Zone, located in Red Hook, NY, is a resource center for sustainable lifestyle choice, offering both online and in-store shopping. They provide a variety of goods, services and workshops for local residents to learn about their community options as well as make their own sustainable choices. Use their bulk-refill marketplace, participate in their Community Compost CSA program, sign-up to receive quarterly waste-free packages, and take advantage of their many free recycling endeavors. The O Zone is open Wednesday-Friday 11am – 5pm, Saturday 10am – 6pm, and Sunday 10am – 4pm.

Local refillery Conscious Refill, right here in Saratoga Springs, offers refillables from a convenient front-porch location. Are you thinking about getting into the refillery business yourself? Conscious Refill is looking for a partner or buyer to keep this small, sustainable business running. Contact them via their Facebook page to find out more.

Check out our Resources and our Zero Waste pages for many more ideas for sustainable living.