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Waging War on Waste

Cutting down on waste is gaining popularity

Green-minded shoppers are cutting down on waste, so stores dedicated to slashing trash are gaining popularity. Simply Bulk Market in Longmont has been encouraging customers to “Buy the Product, Not the Package” for eight years now. Owners Devin and Heidi Quince feature 500 different bulk food items, including more than 100 spices, in their Main Street shop. Customers drive from as far away as Colorado Springs and Denver. They can buy containers in the store or bring their own. About 40 percent of the stock is organic.

“I love Simply Bulk,” says Kitty Kaler, Longmont. “They have everything from quinoa and oatmeal to laundry soap. It’s a friendly and inviting space, with far more bulk options than any of the local grocery stores.”

Boulder is catching up with Refill Revolution—a new bulk store at Arapahoe Avenue and 33rd Street. Owner Brittney La Gesse stocks her shop with self-serve containers of body care and cleaning products so customers can bring their own bottle or jar to refill. She also carries reusable versions of common commodities, so shoppers can ditch the disposables.

“Walking around the store opened my eyes to other reusable options—such as cleaning cloths to reduce paper towel use and beeswax-based sandwich wrappers to replace plastic bags,” says Ellen Orleans, a member of Boulder’s climate and sustainability division. “We are fortunate here in Boulder to be able to compost paper towels and recycle plastic bags at Eco-Cycle‘s CHaRM, but it’s even better to reuse an item many times before recycling or composting it.”

—Sara Bruskin