Waste Not

attempting to waste less and live more deliberately

Fill ‘Er Up


In an effort to make less waste, one can’t help but explore the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.  However, there is another R that deserves a little more attention, Refill!


On average, how many containers would you say you throw away or recycle a year? If you’re like me, it’s probably quite a few. Kelley Skumautz, of Refill- To-You asks you to reconsider pitching those perfectly good containers.  Her business, located in Carpinteria, California will give those containers the long life they deserve! No matter if you’ve got an old tomato sauce jar, a lovely antique jug, or an empty laundry detergent container and vinegar jug as I did, if you supply it, she will fill it. She is so great that even if you don’t have an old container (hard to imagine) she will supply you with one! Visit her website HERE!


A Word From Kelley:

“Refill to You is a labor of love made possible by big life changes. After nearly 20 years of enriching and rewarding work in environmental nonprofit management, I decided to trade a regular paycheck and unique office spaces — from adobes to yurts — for freedom, flexibility, and room to try out something new.

I have not purchased new containers of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, hair spray, laundry detergent, or dish soap in more than three years. I have refilled these and other goods in empties instead.

What I strive to do with Refill to You is to discover others who also find this attractive and become a supplier of bulk goods via personal delivery to homes and businesses. I know people are busy and sometimes doing the right thing is cumbersome, and I hope Refill to You is a convenient and valued service to the greater Santa Barbara community.”

~ Kelley Skumautz


Visiting Carpinteria is a treat in and of itself, so I was doubly pleased when I found Kelley’s business was located in the cozy beach town. While I am sure I looked quite silly lugging around large empty containers, I didn’t care, I was getting new soap, sans waste! Score!

Kelley and I met at a wonderful café where we chatted, drank coffee, and completed our refill transaction. There is nothing better than getting to know the people you buy from (can’t say that about a big box store).  Her Subaru trunk, home to a very large amount of bulk containers served as her store for the day. Once she filled my containers, I paid (.30 an oz) and was on my way! What a wonderful experience!

The Product

I was in need of dish soap and liquid laundry detergent and lucky for me, Refill to You carries Biokleen products (amongst others). Biokleen products are biodegradable, vegan, and VERY effective!

Click HERE to check out the Refill to You website and store!



Laundry soap container and vinegar jug – Refilled and safe at home!


Two empty soap bottles, would have been trash!  Get ready to be reused!


Funnels are helpful!


Saved from the trash: One Laundry Jug, One Vinegar Jug, Two Soap Bottles. Lovely!

Exactly zero extra miles were traveled in order to make this purchase.  We were already in Carpinteria for a visit with friends and family. So, the only extra energy burned in order to make this purchase was the calories I burned walking down the street to meet Kelley at the cafe (though I am sure I earned those back quickly from the yummy croissant I enjoyed!)

Having difficulty finding a refill shop in your town?  Consider buying your products in larger containers! Less waste, less trips to the store, more money saved in the long run!

Happy Refilling!

♥ ali


2 thoughts on “Fill ‘Er Up

  1. I love your blog for many reasons. It’s real and shows people how you do it including clunks, clangs, hoots & hollers. Please keep it up. There is an interested community out there and you make us feel like we’re not alone as we try to tread more lightly.

    Thank you.

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