The Refill Garage

I’ve been writing this post for a long time now, but because of a house move and lots of other bits and bobs, I’ve not had chance to share with you all some really positive work coming from The Refill Garage. Since I first started writing this post, a lot has changed, but the goal for The Refill Garage has stayed the same.

The story starts with a husband and wife embarking on a personal mission to reduce their plastic waste. Like a lot of us, Jess and her husband had the daunting realisation that their bathroom was full of plastic bottles and started to piece together ways that they could cut down their waste and live a more sustainable life. They started making little changes – using the milk man, refilling their milk bottles at a local farm, buying their veggies at a farm shop, using soap, shampoo and conditioner bars rather that bottled products – all really great changes that got Jess thinking about this on a larger scale.

How fantastic it would be if there was a service where you could use the same bottle, but fill them up?

Jess started researching, seeing that there were similar shops in Cornwall and Bath, but nothing closer to home. Introducing – The Refill Garage! Like a lot of us, Jess is in love with the planet and is devastated by the damage that we’re causing. “Watching things like Blue Planet or War on Plastic Waste really hit home that we need to make some changes. It’s overwhelming.

When I asked Jess what running The Refill Garage meant to her, she told me that she finds it incredibly rewarding being able to help, and ‘knowing that doing something small can make such an impact in the long run is an amazing accomplishment’.

Jess sources her products from a collection of retailers. Choosing them involved a lot of research as she wanted to be able to find a supplier to whom she could return the containers to be refilled, so that it’s a circular system that isn’t creating any waste. She also wanted to ensure that the products that she is using are as eco-friendly as possible, as she doesn’t want the process to be counterproductive.

I originally asked Jess if she was planning on introducing any new products, to which she replied with a big yes! We’ve watched over the past months how The Refill Garage has responded perfectly to the demand, listening to it’s customers requests and reacting appropriately with products to help them reduce their own waste.

Jess didn’t create The Refill Garage to be her sole job and source of income, ‘ I created it to provide a service for others that I longed for!‘. She told me that not having a permanent shop, and instead ones that she can ‘Pop Up’ in allows her to keep prices as low as possible. ‘If the prices are extortionate then it would discourage people from using the refill option as it’s cheaper to go to a local store and buying another bottle full of what they wish to buy!

The Refill Garage is a really exciting venture and something that we shouldn’t take for granted. We definitely need more people like Jess with the passion and drive to not only make a difference to her own life, but help the rest of us make a difference with our own!

“We needed a facility to refill our bottles, so if it meant me researching and trying it then that’s what I was going to do!”

TV Packages Fad or Fab

Until very recently, my family has always had a Sky TV package. With channels for the whole family, the prospect of keeping everybody entertained seemed like a godsend. I remember one of our first TV upgrades being ‘Multi Room’, shortly followed by the ability to record, pause and rewind live TV, and if that wasn’t enough, we were greeted by the option to add On Demand TV to our package, not to mention cinema and sports.

It seemed like things couldn’t get any better, most providers offered these brilliant perks that once seemed like a pipe dream, but at what cost?

After having Sky TV myself and spending a grand total of £3320 over 52 payments. I looked at my spending habits and wondered how I could cut back on needless payments, Sky was the first thing to go. It was initially offered at a relatively cheap price that started to creep up over the years before I realised that enough was enough. I was rarely at home to watch any shows, and when I was I found myself tirelessly flicking through the channels for something that was semi entertaining.

I reflected on the channels that I did watch, I could count 5, my partner a couple more. After doing a little digging I found that I already had the platforms needed to watch them all, without the hefty price tag every month. The main two that I have been using are Amazon Prime Video and a Now TV Smart Box.

Amazon Prime Video: Included with any Amazon Prime membership and offers thousands of free TV shows and movies with the option to rent or buy additional shows that aren’t included for free. Also has a subscription service to individual channels. I use a Fire Stick to watch Prime Video, which is also compatible with most TV apps.

Now TV: Contract free streaming that works with ‘Passes’ that you can purchase. Passes include Entertainment, Sky Cinema, Kids, Sky Sports and Hayu. I got a collection of free passes when I purchased the Now TV box. The smart Now TV boxes also allow you to download apps to watch things like BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, Netflix and many more for you to be able to catch up on your favourite shows for free.

I’ve been free of a Sky contract for 4 months now and it’s still on of the best decisions I have ever made. Not only am I saving on average £65 every month, but I’ve also found myself spending my leisure time differently, whether it’s reading, writing or exercising, my life is definitely more fulfilled since I cut ties with Sky.

Have you been thinking about changing your TV provider or cutting the contract all together too? Let me know in the comments!

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