The power of "BYO" | Life Without Plastic
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The power of “BYO”

Every party I ever went to in college was “BYOB” (Bring Your Own Booze). That acronym has taken on a whole new meaning for me since starting the zero waste movement, although being zero waste sometimes does involve bringing your own booze (bought from the bulk store!)

Now those four beautiful letters mean Bring Your Own Bag! or Bring your own Bottle! There’s also BYOC: Bring Your Own CONTAINER!

“Bringing Your Own” is not a new concept, but it is definitely a concept that is experiencing a revival. The Refill Revolution  is one such example of this: a movement to change the disposable mindset and change our throwaway behaviour.

When I leave for the day, I usually have this in my bag. The jar is useful because if I know I might be going into town and can hit the bulk store, it allows me the option of putting stuff in there (while also being a receptacle for tea/coffee!). Having a produce bag also allows me to pick up fresh fruit/veggie or even heavier stuff like pasta, beans or rice.


Note: a mason jar, some cutlery and a produce bag will probably suit you just as well. I just like having options!

The other day at the grocery store I noticed olives – pre-packaged on one side, loose on the other. Why would anyone want the plastic when it’s just as easy to bring your own container?!


When you shop in bulk (and by that I mean from a bulk bin, not in large quantities), sometimes there’s a misconception that it is more expensive because of the weight of the jar. Actually, you weigh the jar first and note the tare. Once you weigh the product, they will subtract the tare weight from the total weight, leaving you the weight of the product only.


Don’t judge the size of my container… I go through a lot of oats.

I just think there is something incredibly powerful about being able to make a huge difference… simply with a little bit of preparation. For many environmental issues, revolution means protesting, sit-ins, and demonstrations – which many people shy away from. Imagine participating in a revolution that requires you only to put a mason jar in your bag! Saying no to a disposable lifestyle doesn’t need to be difficult. It just needs to be consistent.

So…the question now is.. are you ready to join the Refill Revolution?

  • Yams
    Posted at 20:58h, 06 January Reply

    Hello! Thank you so much for putting such useful an well written articles online! it’s def a good start for someone’s interested in a more sustainable lifestyle. If I’m not mistaken, you live in France, right? Do you have some bulk stores adress here ? I’m trying to find some that are not too expensive either 😮

    • Alexis McGivern
      Posted at 21:10h, 08 January Reply

      Hey! Thanks so much for your lovely comment and for taking the time to read. I live in Switzerland actually! But if you put in your address here you can locate bulk stores in your area: Might take some trial and error to find out which are pricey compared to others. Good luck!

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