By: Michelle Poirier

With household waste surging during the pandemic, as more of us order online and use disposables, one local business is doing its best to help us reduce what we put in the municipal waste stream.

Vita Verde Refillery, an online shop based in Georgina, offers household items, such as hand soap, laundry detergent and cleaning products in refillable containers to eliminate packaging waste.

Alessandra Centofanti, the owner of Vita Verde Refillery, launched her website in December 2020. She runs the business herself, with part-time help from her mother.

“I started this business because I’ve always been conscious about the environment and my footprint. It’s been a passion of mine in both my personal and professional life,” Ms. Centofanti said.

“I really want to create a space that inspires people to make positive changes for themselves, our community and the environment.”

Alessandra Centofanti

Vita Verde is operated in Ms. Centofanti’s home, offering curbside pickup and mobile/delivery services.

To ensure everyone is safe, Ms. Centofanti and her mother wear masks, wash their hands between every client and before and after touching containers.

They also clean the containers and the surfaces they come in contact with, sanitize jars that are part of the jar exchange program and make sure all exchanges are contactless.

To place an order from Vita Verde Refillery, you can visit the website and choose to purchase products in prefilled containers or choose the BYOC (bring your own container) option and use containers you already have at home; pricing is based on weight. They also accept orders via email, text or phone.

Bring your own container option

While the pandemic pushed her to start an online store, Ms. Centofani’s goal is to open a storefront eventually.

She says the process of reducing household waste can seem overwhelming, but that it does not have to be.

“You just have to start somewhere, even if you start by bringing reusable bags to the grocery store, using a refillable water bottle instead of single-use plastic bottles or by using alternatives to plastic baggies when packing your lunch,” she said.

“Ultimately, it’s about doing the best you can; every little bit counts. It doesn’t happen overnight.”

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