Isn’t buying single-use products like plastic tiring? From toilet paper packaging to the containers that hold laundry detergent, many single-use items appear in everyday life. With a global population of nearly 9 billion people, the amount of waste is accumulating so quickly that humans don’t even seem to realize it — or know where to put it, for that matter.
To ensure a brighter future, people should alter their lifestyles and advocate for companies to take environmental responsibility for the betterment of the planet they call home. But if you’re looking to start smaller, investing in products that limit one’s waste footprint is a great way to begin.
I would like to introduce you to BYOC Co., also known as the Bring Your Own Container Company. BYOC Co. is a refill station and zero-waste store that started as a pop-up shop in the owner’s hometown. It officially opened in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in early 2021, which was great news for locals from the southeast region of The Great Lakes State.
Shopping with BYOC Co. contributes to an eco-friendly, plastic-free-ish and low-to-zero-waste lifestyle. It’s the proper route to take for people who want to make an impact, even if it’s just a small one.
Consumers can arrive at BYOC Co. with a reusable container made from either plastic or glass and choose from various products including liquid, hand and dish soap, shampoo and conditioner, all-purpose cleaner, laundry detergent, body lotion as well as other groceries to fill their containers with.
The purpose of BYOC Co. is to facilitate a fulfilling, low-waste lifestyle that will benefit the planet and future generations to come. I hope everyone can take the leap and shop with a small business like BYOC Co. as an alternative to large companies that produce millions of single-use products, notably plastics.
What Products Does BYOC Co. Sell?
The wide range of items that BYOC Co. sells can be used by nearly everyone in their day-to-day lives. Products available for purchase include:
- Holiday Bundles: The holiday season has snuck up from around the corner, leaving many people wondering what to get their loved ones. BYOC Co. saves the day with holiday packages such as the Ultimate Bamboo Brush Bundle and the Zero Waste Self Care Bundle.
- Pet Products: Was the dog just digging a hole in the backyard and now their paws are all dirty? Not a problem — Bubble Babes Soap has got it covered with their Dirty Paws Dog Soap.
- Refills: Running low on toothpaste or laundry detergent? Head to BYOC Co. and make the switch to toothpowder and laundry powder provided by Bestowed Essentials.
- Home Goods: Looking to cut down on your straw usage or to start a compost pile? The Home Goods section supplies composters by Bamboozle and glass straws by Strawesome.
- Household Cleaning: Don’t cry over spilled milk! BYOC Co. has got its customers’ backs with UNpaper Towels made by Marley’s Monsters.
- Oral Care: How cool is taking care of dental health? Very cool, indeed, especially with the help of Davids’ natural toothpaste, Unpaste’s tooth tablets and Georganic’s dental floss and mouthwash tablets.
- Personal Care: In need of period products and pleasant-smelling items? Try out the menstrual cup and reusable panty liners made by The Hello Cup or the Lemon Honey Bar made by HoneyGirl Skincare.
What Else Does BYOC Co. Do?
Beyond supplying eco-friendly, ethically-produced household cleaning and personal care products, BYOC Co. advocates for sustainable and zero-waste lifestyles. For example, BYOC Co. has created In-Store Collection Boxes such as Soles4Souls, which accepts gently worn shoes; The Crayon Initiative, which collects crayons; and Terracycle, which receives many hard-to-recycle items such as razors and blades, food storage containers, oral care waste, beauty product packaging, stasher bags, solo cups and bread bags. Besides the products already mentioned, health and nutrition packaging are also acceptable to recycle.
On top of the box initiatives, BYOC Co. plans events such as plant, book and clothing swaps; donation drives; and pop-up shops throughout the southeast region of Michigan, including Chelsea, Dexter, Milan, Ferndale, Plymouth, Tecumseh and, of course, the Ann Arbor area.
Where Can You Find BYOC Co.?
BYOC Co. is located at 255 E. Liberty St., Ste. 215, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. It can also be found on Instagram @byoc_co or online at www.byocco.com.
What If I Don’t Live Anywhere Near BYOC Co.?
It’s reasonable to assume that not every person reading my article is from the Ann Arbor area or even Michigan, which is okay. BYOC Co. is not the only refill station and zero-waste shop in the United States. I only intend to promote BYOC Co. since the promising business reinvents products for both humans and animals that are eco-friendly and sustainable. I want to give a shoutout to companies similar to BYOC Co. that people from all over the U.S. can explore. “Zero Waste Grocery Guide” by Litterless gives a list of numerous locations throughout the U.S. to grocery shop from, including BYOC Co.
Change does not only begin at businesses like BYOC Co. that continue to enthuse and educate on the merits of sustainability; it also begins with individuals willing to make a conscious effort to shift to a low-waste and viable lifestyle. The Earth is in the hands of its inhabitants, and I feel she deserves the world. To end on a sincere note, if each person in the United States tweaked their lifestyle, whether by bringing their shopping bags to the store or purchasing bar soap instead of liquid, it would make a difference.
Humans often don’t realize just how much of a change we can make; when we set our minds toward something, our efforts will be a miraculous contribution and collaboration. Keep in mind, however, the effort needed for an initiative such as sustainability is demanding, and every personal circumstance differs. It can be hard to be utterly zero-waste and live a minimalist lifestyle. All I ask is for people to envision the possibility, and maybe one day, it will be a reality.