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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: This Zero-Waste Refill Store Should Be Everywhere

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- Hi, I'm Leslie, the founder and CEO of Sustain LA.

We offer a place for people to come

and refill household cleaners and body care products,

and find plastic-free alternatives

to things they might use everyday.

We also offer reusable rentals to make your

parties and events sustainable, and zero waste consulting.

We've been told for a long time

that recycling plastics are the solution.

But unfortunately less than 9%

of plastic containers are recycled.

The Sustain LA refill station allows customers

to bring in their own container, any container works.

We have a weigh station where you weigh

your empty container first, record that weight.

And you fill up with laundry liquid,

shampoos, conditioners, hand soaps, all purpose cleaner.

We reweigh the container and deduct that original weight,

so you're paying only for what you fill up.

And this helps eliminate the plastic bottles

that you purchase in the store every time.

In addition to our store in Highland Park

we also still do popups at farmers markets.

We're at the Hollywood farmers market

and the Atwater Village farmers market.

I grew up in central Illinois and had access

to undeveloped forest behind my parent's house.

I spent a lot of time there.

And I think that instilled a natural

desire to protect the environment.

I had been working in restaurants for 10 years

and saw firsthand the amount of waste

and plastic pollution that restaurants caused.

I was managing a restaurant that used styrofoam

for to-go orders, and I realized that was part

of the problem, and I wanted to be part of the solution.

At the same time Captain Charles Moore

had found these giant gyres full of plastic soup

in the ocean, and the plastic pollution problem

was becoming more evident.

From there I decided that I wanted to help

restaurants operate more sustainably,

help events reach zero waste.

And eventually that led me to opening

the refill station here in Highland Park.

The community of Highland Park

is largely a Latino community.

And we wanted to make sure that we were

inclusive of our neighbors.

All of our products are labeled in both English and Spanish.

We also have a large infographic on the wall

to help new customers understand

the flow and routine of our store.

And that is also in English and Spanish.

The zero waste movement has many components.

The main consideration is what we're throwing away,

how to conserve resources, and how to restore

the natural systems of the planet.

Our customers include varying degrees

of the zero waste journey.

We have many customers who are coming to us

for the first time, asking the best products to start with

to change to a zero waste lifestyle.

And we have seasoned zero waste veterans that know

the routine, and are excited to have a place to refill.

We offer a variety of products in our refill stations,

some of which are really hard to find package free.

Household cleaners include laundry detergent,

dish soap, castile soaps.

And some of our body care products include

deodorant, facial cleanser and moisturizer.

And we're constantly adding on new products

based on our customer's recommendations.

We source from many small businesses.

We try to stay as close to home,

close to Los Angeles, as possible.

And we try to either return the container

back to the vendor for refilling,

or find a second life for that container before recycling.

Products like our laundry liquid and dish liquid

come in 55 gallon drums.

And this reduces the amount of single use plastic

as people are refilling their containers

from our large drums.

At the end of life we donate

those drums to an animal rescue.

We also have a bunch of products that help you

achieve a zero waste lifestyle including

plastic free toothbrushes, reusable containers,

reusable sponges without plastic, and plastic-free razors.

I have a six year old, and as a mom

I feel that it's super important for us

to leave the Earth inhabitable for future generations.

This is one way that I'm helping make a difference.

(upbeat music)

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