Revolutionizing Recycling: Woodstock Bring Your Own

By  Jessica Barr

Alexandra Bolotow, founder of Woodstock Bring Your Own (WBYO), has created a sustainable and affordable way to replace household products by providing “refillable cleaning and beauty products and other sustainable living items to help you on your low-waste journey.” The shop, situated on the bustling Tinker street in Woodstock, New York, has combined conscious living with convenience for its patrons. 

The store allows individuals to bring any container to be filled with a variety of household items including hand soap, dishwasher detergent, hand and body lotions, toothpaste, powder, etc. By bringing old containers to be filled, especially thicker plastics and rubbers, WBYO allows individuals to reduce their carbon footprint through repurposing. 

Bolotow has gone above and beyond in creating a conscious living environment upon stepping through the doors. WBYO goes beyond refills by selling reusable straws, coffee cups, grocery bags and containers. You can also find essential oils and other materials to create your own beauty products. For all you yogis, you can even pop in and find mats made of cork!

Recycle Across America discusses the nation’s confusion about recycling as a crisis, believing the issue to be a lack of knowledge about how to recycle correctly. As a result of this, U.S. recycling levels are at only 21.4%, but have the potential to reach 75%. If comprehensive recycling, which in turn leads to reduction and reuse of products, was correctly implemented, the environmental outcome could be tremendous. It could be equivalent to removing 55 million cars worth of carbon dioxide emissions from the air. 

Stores like Woodstock Bring Your Own turn daunting recycling statistics into something that can be used to elicit change at an individual level. If every person with the capabilities of refilling their containers did so, the impacts would go beyond just landfills. A refill store is a chance to influence consumer behavior, which will influence demand and in turn, influence manufacturing. Living a conscious and sustainable lifestyle really is that simple, and thanks to WBYO it’s affordable too.

Note: Woodstock Bring Your Own is currently closed in order to lessen the spread of COVID-19. You can find them on Instagram at @woodstockbringyourown to keep updated. In the meantime, keep maintaining your normal recycling habits!

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