Refills, Anyone?

The effort to snuff out unnecessary waste from one’s life requires thinking several steps ahead. Here is a gentle reminder not to wait until you are completely out of a product to figure out your game plan. Don’t risk having to supplement with a product in disposable packaging, and that was shipped and sold with dubious environmental foresight.  If you are already using refillable home and body products and they are reaching that inch before empty, then you, my friend, need a visit to the nudeRefillery.

(If you did forget about the toothpaste refill in time, and you happen to have an almost-finished tube of toothpaste lying around, here’s a hot tip: cut the tube open with scissors to grab what is left!)

I know you have probably kept yourself up to date with the news recently, and although newer news has already overlapped this crazy story, I can’t help but talk about it.  The practice of putting big piles of stuff we don’t want to see anymore in a place where we don’t have to see it has long since been normalized and tolerated by rational people. The absurdity is lost on a lot of us. There is a new mental image for one to summon, however, when grappling with the reality we find ourselves in - trash on a nautical world tour.

I am talking about the vast amounts of trash that was shipped back to Canada after trying to make it disappear in the Philippines. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about though, it went like this: a couple years ago Canada sent China what was thought to be recycling. The containers had made it to the Philippines when China made the decision not to receive the recyclable materials anymore. We are generally not in the habit of feeling responsible for the refuse we produce - recycling or otherwise - and so it was there in the Philippines that we abandoned the containers. To add insult to injury, the containers were not actually full of recyclable materials as they had been labeled. Instead, it was straight up garbage, rotting away in a Philippine port. Kitchen waste and adult diapers were among what was identified. The fact that we, as a developed and privileged country abandoned a colossal amount of our waste in a developing country, is outrageously irresponsible and highlights the failure of the systems and philosophies we have in place.

trash pile


Uncovering our true responsibility as caretakers of the environment requires a different thought process than the one that is currently taught to us. Collectively we have an out-of-sight-out-of-mind attitude surrounding waste that is performed daily as though it’s the most natural, rational thing to do. We toss objects into bins when they reach the end of their life cycles, and once a week we put said bins on the curb or in the alley for somebody to take far away. We trust that what we place in the recycling will be dealt with appropriately. When trash or recycling services come, our ties to the contents of the bin are in that moment cut, dissolving into thin air much like the trash itself seems to. The Manila-based organization EcoWaste Coalition, one of the voices that called on Canada to take back its garbage, might remind us that this is not the case. We can do better.

trash in philippines


If you just got started with nudeMarket or the zero waste effort in general, maybe you’re still adjusting to the accompanying new ideas and practices. After a lifetime of having products readily available in disposable packaging, it takes time to alter our relationship with waste, and to be in the habit of planning a couple steps ahead. Be patient yet determined until your habits align with what you know intellectually about living sustainably. nudeMarket is constantly striving for deeper awareness and sustainable action when it comes to the products we use in our homes and on our bodies. If you’re here reading this then perhaps you share our goal. We want to help you come as close to a zero-waste existence as possible! This is why if you’re not available to drop by the nudeRefillery anytime soon to top up, then we can come pick up your empty containers to be processed for refilling and leave you with some full ones! Get in touch with us!

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