Filling your empty bottles and jars

Zero waste store opens in Invermere

Soon you’ll be able to bring your empty soap and shampoo bottles downtown and have them filled right back up. Fullfill, a new shop that will be sharing the space at Circle Health Food Market, will stock bulk cleaning products for bodies and homes.

Scented and unscented options will abound, and they’ll have essential oils for you to mix in if you want to experiment with a specialty blend of your own.

Fullfill will also carry food and spices that you can scoop into your own containers, which will be weighed before and after they’re filled so you’re only paying for the contents. Don’t have containers? Fullfill will have metal and glass ones you can use again and again and again.

“There’s also a bit of a misconception that living zero-waste, or more sustainably, can be a much larger expense than the more conventional alternative,” said Fullfill’s marketing director Levi Sinclair. “Zero-waste is still accessible for people who have kids, who do laundry.”

For instance, she said their laundry and dish detergent is affordable, and their bulk organic spices cost less than conventional brands available at other grocery stores.

“It’s very important to me that people feel they can make a difference without making a huge investment,” Ms. Sinclair said, adding that she recommends that people use up the remainder of their existing products before stocking up on Fullfill’s offerings.

“For people that can contribute a lot (to environmental stewardship), while that’s great, at the same time there are lots of families out there who are busy just trying to get their kids to and from school and if what they can do right now is keep refilling their one thing of dish soap, well then that adds up,” she said.

Fullfill opened in Kimberley in 2018 and is opening in Invermere on Friday, August 30th.

Invermere is an ideal location for a zero-waste shop because of the mindset of the people who choose to live and vacation here, she said.

“In places that are so surrounded by nature, mountains, that are built a ton on tourism and eco-tourism, when it comes to travelling for camping, hiking, biking, all of those things, usually the people that are attracted to those types of activities have some sort of interest in the planet and sustainability and leading a life towards being more eco-friendly,” she said. “As far as Invermere goes, it will give everybody a chance to feel like they’re doing their part.”

Before she moved to Kimberley, Ms. Sinclair lived near the coast in rural Nova Scotia.

“We would have garbage washing up on the beach all the time and it was garbage that didn’t even have English on the label. It was like it was coming from so far away and however long ago,” she said.

No matter how much waste she picked up, more kept washing ashore.

“It was so frustrating because I was trying to do my part – like I’m trying really hard – and it was so discouraging,” she said.

Now instead of picking up waste that’s already been made, she wants to prevent it before it happens.

Besides saving on plastic and filling your bucket as you fill your bottles, she said going to Fullfill offers the kind of bright and inviting atmosphere where customers want to linger.

“When you walk into Fullfill, you get to go on a fun little shopping adventure for things that might not normally feel glamorous but because of the setting it’s kind of fun and creative and inspiring to make a difference,” she said.

Have more empty soap or shampoo bottles than you can refill? Drop them off to be reused aplenty before they retire to the recycling bin. Fullfill will clean and sanitize empty containers and make them available for other customers to use.

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