Sustainability oftentimes looks great on paper but can be difficult to execute if you aren’t sure where to begin. Luckily, Upstream Refillery in nearby Cleveland is there to help.
The shop is owned by Amanda Simmons, who has an extensive background in wildlife biology + a master’s degree in sustainability management. Through the refillery, she is working to connect people with eco-friendly measures that are easily accessible.
Simmons said when she began her own journey into sustainable living, it wasn’t impossible but difficult, making her realize the two main factors that could hold others back are lack of convenience and the price. Acknowledging that everything we do has an impact, she is working to ease this tension for folks.
Simmons is starting with household cleaning supplies to gauge interest before expanding to personal care (think: hair care products and toothpaste). There are also reusable cleaning tools available like wool dryer balls and spray bottles.
The sustainability efforts don’t stop with just the refill station itself. Simmons has looked to other businesses to source out products that are made with clean materials and produced as environmentally-friendly as possible all the way down to packaging. Upstream Refillery carries:
Green Llama | Made in Johnson City, TN, you can shop dish soap + all-purpose and glass cleaning powders to make your own solutions.
Rustic Strength | This company uses biodegradable and cruelty-free materials for its products — you can find hand soap and laundry detergents in the refillery.
How it works
Upstream Refillery is located in a booth in Grit & Grace Market at 445 Church St. Customers have two options when using the station:
- Option 1 | Purchase an already filled bottle for a set price + bring it back and refill (paying per ounce)
- Option 2 | Bring your own bottle to fill, paying per ounce
“I do this because I love my community and because I love Tennessee,” Simmons said.