If you’re buying in bulk to reduce your waste, you will probably find that you can quickly accumulate bulk bags, boxes and buckets — if you have the space, of course.
To organize all these bulk goods, we love the idea of a home refill station. Our friends at The Unscented Company have written about this simple idea before on their blog:
We love their ideas and imagery around home refill stations, and given that their 4L boxes of liquid laundry soap and dish soap are the perfect items to start your home refillery, we wanted to feature some of their thoughts here!
Benefits of a Home Refill Station
On their blog, The Unscented Company identified the following benefits to setting up your own home refill station:
- Decrease your mental load: with fewer trips to the store and fewer items on the grocery list, you have less to worry about in general!
- Save time and money: you’ll save per 100mL by buying in bulk, and of course fewer trips to the store mean you burn less gas, saving you a bit right there.
- Less plastic: instead of buying four bottles of dish soap, buy one box with a bladder of dish soap inside. Simple math — you’ve created just one quarter of the plastic waste you would have!
- Involve the kids: as the folks at The Unscented Company said on their blog, “The kids love to refill the bottles when they are empty. Such a fun way to educate them on zero-waste living!”
Building Your Home Refill Station
Here’s how to get started:
- Choose a shelf, closet or cupboard not in use or that you can clear. In smaller spaces, two rolling carts will do the trick: use the first for bathroom & laundry products, and the second for the kitchen. Make sure that your refill station is in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight.
- Choose your essentials: start with the products you use the most. Laundry soap/soda? Dish soap? Dishwasher tabs? All-purpose cleaner? Shampoo and conditioner? Olive oil or vinegar? Buying large, bulk containers is more expensive upfront but saves you money down the line, so prioritize your bulk buys and spread them out over a few months, then buy as needed from there.
- Arrange items according to size and weight. Obviously the first consideration is where to fit the larger items. Additionally, it’s best to place heavier items on lower shelves. Make sure spouts are accessible.
- Add a rag for small cleanups, and scoops where needed. You might also want to include a permanent marker or a grease pencil in case you need to label anything with the date you purchased it, or label jars with their contents.
- Add a light, if the area doesn’t already have one. A simple, clip-op desk lamp will do the trick in many cases.
And voilà! Don’t you feel proud of your new Home Refill Station? Take a picture, post it on social media and tag us (@apothecaryyyc) and The Unscented Company (Facebook @TheUnscentedCompany // Instagram @unscentedco), because we’ll be proud of you, too!