I am super excited to be sharing this post today. I first was introduced to refill stores from a former athlete who started an insta for environmentally conscious information. A few months later she has just dropped her own app that helps people choose eco-friendly restaurants and grocery stores. Go check out her stuff and give her a follow @cycl! The app is called: Cycle – Eco Friendly Around You.
As many of you know I have anxiety about throwing up. The other thing that gets me on the daily but in a different way is our waste, mainly through plastics and food. When she posted an insta story about local refill stores I was SHOOK. I had always thought why the heck is that not a thing yet? I immediately put that on my to-do list and was SO excited for the experience.
The refill store I decided to try first was Eco Now which is located at The Lab in Costa Mesa. I brought my ma and sister with me so I could have them handle Kade while I shopped around. The store was so tiny but had everything you could think of for alternatives to plastic and single-use items. From lotions to makeup to coffee filters to cleaning supplies.
I went into this knowing I for sure wanted to try the toothpaste and mouthwash tablets, laundry strips and shampoo/conditioner. I left with those items plus some floss! Below is a breakdown of the items I got with price and our experience with them so far!
Toothpaste & Mouthwash Tablets – $5 for about 50 tablets (I got $5 worth of each so $10 total)
This was an experience. The toothpaste tablets are about the size of a pill and you basically just put one in your mouth, chew it and start brushing. The first time I used it I gagged, just being real. I was like dear lord, what have I done? Kyle, being the sweetheart he is, just powered through and said, “well that was something”. It was like chewing straight baking soda, it wasn’t minty, just bitter and kind of salty? After the initial shock we have been using them daily for the past few weeks and it has been going pretty well. I went to the dentist for a cleaning the other day and she said they seem to work!
One mouthwash tablet into a little cup, add about a shots worth of water and let sit for a minute. It tasted like a watered down version of mouthwash and did not have the kick that you normally get from the alcohol in regular mouthwash. But I am all for helping the planet so if it works in the same capacity as regular mouthwash I am all in!
In terms of price, toothpaste and mouthwash together at target can put you at around $12
Floss – $12 for the glass container and two spools of floss (refits are cheaper w/o the container)
I LOVE our regular floss so this one is going to be a challenge. The floss is just a bit harsh? I will get used to it but it is harsh. I like how it comes in a little glass container and you can just buy little refills for it.
TruEarth Laundry Strips – $14.50 for 32 strips (1 load = 1 strip)
Previous to these strips we had a subscription to Dropps, which are pods that are shipped to you in cardboard packaging so there is no plastic! I LOVED the idea of this and was so excited about the alternative to large detergent jugs or plastic containers for pods. We ended up cancelling the subscription because they had no smell. I ordered fresh scent and the laundry literally smelt like just nothing. You can add scent boosters but I didn’t think that was fair to charge extra to have a scent booster? Just make them actually smell! We might go back to these if I can’t find a cheaper laundry strip.
Okay… onto our second try, TruEarth laundry strips. These are more expensive and have less, which is kind of disheartening but we like them better. They come in a cardboard container and have a good smell. Would buy again and again if only they were cheaper. It comes out to be about .43 cents a load. Where the Dropps pods were about .17 cents a load.
Shampoo & Conditioner – ($0.70/oz) × 16 oz (for both shampoo & conditioner) = $11
Last year I started this journey with shampoo and conditioner bars from Lush Cosmetics. The shampoo worked really well but the conditioner was not very useful. I used it a bit but ultimately had to use conditioner from a bottle because my hair is so long and can become a rats nest real quick.
When at Eco Now I decided to buy pump containers for the refillable liquid shampoo/conditioner which were $4 each but can be reused until the end of time. I decided on lemongrass scent for both the shampoo and conditioner. It has a really fresh, clean smell in the shower but doesn’t overpower my hair during the day so I am pleased with them! I have pretty low-maintenance hair so if you have color treatment or need something special I am not sure what options there are for you. We will continue to use these because it was an easy switch and we like the way it works!
Things that I hope to get going in the near future are deodorant that has refill bars. Lotion, I just love Nivea because I am a literal lizard lady when it comes to being dry… And working on buying from the bulk bins, but that is on pause with everything COVID.
If anyone has any fun alternatives that are not listed let me know in the comments!! I would love to test them out and feature them on my stories for others to learn!
Thanks for reading!