LANSING, Mich. — Alexa Hecksel started living a low-waste lifestyle about three years ago, after she lost her dad.
"I started thinking about what I wanted my legacy to be and the things that are in my home," she said. "If my house were to go up in flames, what effect would that have on the environment and what kind of pile of trash am I leaving behind when I die."
On Saturday, she opened Clean Refillery, a shop in REO Town selling products that will help others reduce the waste in their lives.
Hecksel started reducing her the waste in her own life by using products that don't contain plastic and are reusable. She also started shopping locally.
"There were a few local people who I could talk to who were already doing a low-waste style sale and who would refill products," Hecksel said.
The hardest part, Hecksel said, was that most of her shopping had to be done online.
"For the most part, it was online, which wasn't great because it was also leaving a pretty high impact with its carbon footprint and having to travel to get to me," she said.
So, she decided to open her own shop on South Washington Avenue, where some of the low-waste products she sells come right from the local area.
"I figured that I could become a resource for Lansing and other people who are hoping to do a low-waste lifestyle here in the area," Hecksel said.
Hecksel started the business online in October.
"My original hope was to open a shop and of course the pandemic kind of, set that back a little bit, but that was a good thing," she said.
The shop aims to create a convenient space for people to purchase low-waste products while also getting rid of the convenience of one-use products.
"Now you're just paying for the product itself," Hecksel said. "We're going back to the older style, like the milk man style, getting rid of the convenience factor and thinking a little bit more about what we're consuming."
Products include refillable shampoo and conditioner bottles along with shampoo and conditioner to refill with, laundry soap, makeup removing pads, reusable feminine hygiene products and bamboo toothbrushes.
Hecksel said she hopes by opening this shop she can teach people they don't have to live a zero-waste lifestyle.
"I like to promote a low-waste lifestyle," she said. "Even just choose one thing and, once you conquered that change, that change in your lifestyle, the next one feels so much easier and you can just keep incorporating things one at a time until you've reached the place where you're comfortable with your environmental impact."
The shop at 1136 1/2 S, Washington Ave. is open Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Purchases can also be made on the store's website.
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