Clean Refillery shares simple tips to start a ‘low-waste’ lifestyle

Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 5:59 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Meet Alexa Hacksel.

She lives what she calls a ‘low-waste’ lifestyle.

“I like to call it a low waste lifestyle as opposed to a zero waste lifestyle,” said Alexa. “Zero Waste is kind of the mainstream term and I have adjusted it because I needed to adjust it and I think every person needs to adjust it to be what works for them. It’s impossible to be zero waste. "

Alexa makes simple adjustments with the products she uses in her daily life to reduce overall waste.

“It’s really about finding the places in your life where you can reduce the single use anything. That means like single use plastic, single use paper, and adjusting your lifestyle, so that you aren’t leaving behind as big of a pile of trash when you’re gone. Things that I like to do, is shampoo. I switched probably four years ago from conventional shampoo to a shampoo bar. It’s a bar of soap for your hair and I haven’t had a plastic shampoo bottle in my shower since.”

Over the years of this new lifestyle, Alexa created a list of items that not only is low waste but functional. After lots of hard work- this list ended up becoming her own shop.

“As I kind of created this list, I decided that it was an option for me to open a shop and it was something that I was passionate about,” said Alexa. “My mom really encouraged me at the beginning of the pandemic, telling me that I should consider sitting down and getting this started, like get an LLC, create a website, and get a logo.”

Flash forward to now.

Clean Refillery in Reo Town is now Lansing’s first low waste shop.

“We offer a lot of personal care and home care items-cleaning things like cleaning concentrate, window cleaner, laundry detergent, shampoo, conditioner.”

The refillery part of the name comes from the fact that you can bring in your own container to fill up on the liquid products.

“It doesn’t have to be glass, that’s the most common question. It can be literally anything. We want to treasure and use the plastic to death. So they can bring their own container in, we have a community table where it’s kind of like a take a penny leave a penny system, and you can borrow, you can take as you need. Then we also have some nicer ones with like, a more solid purpose for sale. We take the weight of those containers up here at the scale, and then we’re going to tear that, meaning we’re going to subtract the weight of the container at the end, so that people are only ever paying for the product. "

Alexa is proud that her shop is the first of its kind her in Lansing and believes every region needs something like this.

“We need to stop thinking about the convenience factor that comes with buying single use and start thinking more about the long term impact.”

All of the products in her store, Alexa has tested and used before. Her favorites include local green businesses.

“We’ve got a couple of our Fresh Coast Clean products here. These are made by a family here in Lansing. What’s really great is since we’re close, I can take this container when it’s empty, give them the container back. So this container has probably seen 50 gallons of laundry detergent in its lifetime and it’s going to see a lot more.”

Some of these products you can cut back on waste by bring in your own container- others you can buy and even lasts decades.

“The dryer balls are placement for dryer sheets. It’s really cool because these are going to last 20 years a third treated properly so they just need a hot water bath annually and they’ll last that long. Plus these are made from sheep’s wool and it was harvested here in Michigan. It helps with like getting pet hair off of clothes, it dries faster because it’s moving everything around more and you never have to buy a dryer sheet again, it pays for itself pretty quickly once you stop buying dryer sheets,” explained Alexa.

Alexa says switching to these products can start you on a low waste journey.

“We can kind of treat Earth Day like a New Year’s resolution and pick one thing to switch to “Whether it’s asking for no straw or no lid, or switching your deodorant over to a natural deodorant. If you can pick one thing, let it be your New Year’s resolution for Earth Day.”

Clean Refillery is at 1136 1/2 S, Washington Ave. is open Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Purchases can also be made on

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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