MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Americans create millions of tons of trash during the holiday season and a lot of the garbage will go into landfills or pollute our water, but there is a growing movement to reduce the amount of disposable items we buy.
A small shop in Maplewood, New Jersey is helping to lead the way. Deanna Taylor-Heacock opened Good Bottle Refill Shop in September inside the General Store Cooperative. Customers can either bring or buy bottles that are filled with cleaning and personal care products. When it's empty, the bottle is brought back and refilled.
"I believe our community is very eco-conscious. And they really wanted to find out how to make a difference," Taylor-Heacock said.
Alissa Gardenhire bought laundry detergent at Good Bottle Tuesday afternoon. She brought her own bottle.
"I always feel bad. The trash fills up with them. The recycling fills up with those bottles over time and these are never going to go away. My children, my grandchildren, these bottles are still going to be here," Gardenhire said.
There is little like Good Bottle in New Jersey. Aside from single brand refill stations and the on-line service Loop, people looking to reduce their garbage footprint don't have a lot of options.
"Americans have 25% more waste during the time between Thanksgiving and New Years," Taylor-Heacock said.
She said she recognizes that can be overwhelming.
"You can take smaller steps and make a difference," she said.
A lot of Good Bottle customers are mothers, who want a healthier planet for their children.
"I hope other towns can look to us to figure out how to do this type of thing," Gardenhire said.