Waste-free living made easier in Durham

Sarah Marcus, co-owner/creator of eco+amour and Lines of Elan. Photo credit: Courtesy of Sarah Marcus

Living a zero-waste lifestyle just became easier in Durham.

eco+amour are one of the many companies striving to create an easier way to live waste-free.

Sarah Marcus, co-owner of eco+amour, started the business because she believes it’s important to be conscious of the amount of garbage we produce.

“The mission of our store is to close the loop on wasteful packaging,” said Marcus, a passionate supporter of living a waste-free lifestyle.

A waste-free lifestyle means taking responsibility for the trash you produce and buying products that have minimal to no packaging.

Canada currently only recycles nine per cent of plastics, according to the Recycling Council of Ontario.

The refill company based out of Scarborough sells various products in its flagship store like shampoo, conditioner, dish soap, shaving cream, toothpaste, and more in pumpable containers from their own band, Lines of Elan, and other beauty, home, and cleaning brands from across Canada.

They also partner with local businesses and provide refill stands, commonly known as, a “refill station.”

Pingle’s Farm Market, in Oshawa, is one of eco+amour’s local retail partners and have a refill station located in its general store.

Customers are encouraged to bring their own containers to refill.
A refill stand at Pingles Farm Market. Customers can bring their own containers to refill with various products. Photo credit: Julia Sandy

Marcus said the products provided to their retail partners typically consist of their “essentials lineup” that includes various shower products, along with dish, hand, laundry and, all-purpose soap.

Kristen Connelly, who works at Pingle’s Farm Market, said the stand is one of the many ways people can help reduce their “environmental footprint.”

The refill stand is BYOJ – bring your own jar – or customers can purchase a glass mason jar for a one-dollar deposit at the store and everything is priced by weight.

“Old jars, baby food jars, anything that you already have at home you can come to fill those up,” Connelly said.

Because of the pandemic, a worker will now pump the product for you to limit the number of people handling the pumps.
Because of the pandemic, workers now pump products for customers. Photo credit: Julia Sandy

The products available are also eco-friendly.

“Not only is it reducing your environmental footprint but, also it’s also good going into the ground,” Connelly said. “It’s bio-degradable!”

She said “it’s a really great system” because it encourages people to come back and re-fill jars they have already have at home, rather than purchasing more products that could end up in the landfill.

Marcus said eco+amour was created after starting the beauty brand Lines of Elan in 2015.

“Out of that business our friends, family, and customers would come knocking on our facility door asking for refills of our products,” said Marcus. “It made us think…why are we throwing out these bottles after one use?”

After looking for local refill stores Marcus said she didn’t find any around.

“We thought hey, we can do this!,” said Marcus.

Marcus said living a zero-waste lifestyle can be easier than some might think and re-fill stores like eco+amour provide an easy way for anyone looking to live a more eco-conscious lifestyle.

The talk about cleaning up the current ecological state of the world is no secret.

“I can’t think of any reason not to want to do your part,” Marcus said. “We all have to do something to get out of this situation.”

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