Tammy drives a lot of our green decisions in the house. For a long time she's been using all natural cleaning products. She doesn't want the chemicals in typical cleaning products in the house, and we all benefit from it. Nearly all of our cleaning products are from Restore Products. I wasn't even aware of one of the most impressive things that Restore Products does until a recent trip to Lakewinds, our co-op. Walking down the aisle with household products Restore Products has put a refill station there. We took the three containers that we had of various cleaners and put them into the refill station. It spins the container and when it finds the bar code it knows what product this is and what size. It then lowers a filling tube into the container and you've got new product and no plastic waste.
I love this. First, the system is fool proof using the bar code system. A side benefit of using the bar codes is that if you do insert your product and they don't provide refills for it (happened with one of our bottles) they can collect that information and add it if there is enough demand. Mostly I just love that we can now get dozens, or hundreds, of uses out of the one plastic bottle. We've worked hard to minimize our plastic waste and this helps out greatly.
It's great to see the co-op as more of a refilling station than a typical store. Bring your empty container for cleaning products, oatmeal, flower, sugar and just top them off from the various bins. Reduce waste and keep costs low.