Refill Revolution: Your contribution to the climate efforts

The latest IPCC report is making a lot of people and groups panic, but things shouldn’t stop there. If you are not yet trying to live a greener lifestyle, it’s about time that you do because, as the experts say, we are indeed in the midst of a very real climate emergency.

Focus your efforts on your home by banning single-use plastic products; going for bamboo toothbrushes, shampoo bars, and eco-friendly soaps; and getting your basic household consumables from eco-stores. These are just some of the simple steps one can take to begin the journey towards a greener lifestyle.

What are eco-stores?

Simply put, these are stores that promote the zero-waste lifestyle by selling eco-friendly, wrapper-less products. Some of them sell items in bulk while advocating refilling as a means of distributing goods. For example, a customer can come to the store with empty, refillable bottles for cooking oil, vinegar, soy sauce, liquid soap, detergent, dishwashing liquid, and the like.

One such store is Akbayanihan Ecostore, which caters to NCR-based customers, most of them coming from Quezon City, Marikina, Pasig, and Antipolo. Janice Dacumos, Akbayanihan Ecostore manager, says, “We accept walk-in customers, online orders, or pick-up or delivery while also serving as a supplier for community resellers.” Aside from that, they also join pop-up events and offer products to both customers with limited budgets and those who want all-natural and organic products, even if they are more expensive.

They sell a variety of food and non-food basic household items that are used for cleaning, cooking, and personal hygiene, among others. They also offer delivery and pabili service with less, if not zero, plastic use.

Akbayanihan Ecostore’s mission is to offer ordinary Filipinos the opportunity to start a zero-waste lifestyle. Their vision is to become a frontrunner zero-waste mobile store and community refillery station in the country, as well as a respected social enterprise company.

Green doesn’t always mean expensive

Dacumos explains that because zero-waste stores are mostly located in malls and that eco-friendly products are usually more expensive, some people have the notion that only the rich can afford to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. “Akbayanihan Ecostore brings the zero-waste buying experience to those with tighter budgets,” Dacumos says.

When it was created in early 2019, Akbayanihan Ecostore was inspired to extend the refilling concept to the communities, particularly the urban poor and lower middle class. It also prefers to deal with local suppliers and small producers or manufacturers to help support these MSMEs.

A business opportunity and a noble mission

Any individual or group who believes in Akbayanihan Ecostore’s advocacy can be a reseller. Dacumos says that it is a good investment because the items for sale are all essentials. A reseller can start small and choose to invest in just a few containers at the start. 

Akbayanihan Ecostore owes a lot to its customers who support the advocacy and stuck with the refilling concept until it became their way of life. The store has observed that when a household starts to practice refilling, it will eventually become a way of life. And even if only a few households do it, it will have a positive impact and create a ripple effect such that other households and, eventually, the whole community follow.

Look for “Akbayanihan Ecostore” on Facebook for more information.

Photos courtesy of Akbayanihan Ecostore