The U.S. generates more trash than any other country in the world. According to the EPA, an average of 4.9 pounds of municipal solid waste was generated per person, per day in 2018.
A small business located in Old Colorado City is making the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle” more accessible to students who want to be more conscious of their trash yield and the environment.
Conscious Living Shop allows customers to purchase products by refilling clean, recycled containers from home. The shop sells items for bath and body, kitchen and cleaning supplies with a focus on locally-sourced products and natural ingredients.
For liquid products, customers fill personal containers from bulk-ordered receptacles. The containers are weighed before and after being filled, and the product is priced by weight.
Students can purchase anything from shampoo and laundry detergent to kitchen utensils and even supplies for pets. The shop also has new reusable containers and packaging that can be purchased for subsequent visits or at-home use.
The EPA reports that just 8.7% of produced plastics were recycled in 2018. The process of reusing containers aids in reducing single-use plastic purchases, according to Conscious Living owner Lilla McPhearson.
McPhearson started Conscious Living in 2018, and moved to its current location in Old Colorado City in 2019.
UCCS junior and inclusive elementary education student Olive Skaggs was a regular customer at Conscious Living Shop when it first opened, and became an employee at the small business about three months ago. “I grew up really sustainably conscious. My dad was really into making sure that we reused stuff that we bought and didn’t buy things that we didn’t need to buy,” she said.
“I think that reducing single-waste plastics in the community is super important, and I think that Conscious Living really supports that mission and that goal of reducing single-waste plastics and pollution in the community,” Skaggs said.
Skaggs recommends for first time customers to bring in containers from home to fill with products. She said students interested in shopping at Conscious Living can visit the shop to look around before deciding on what products they may want to buy.
There is also a drop off location within the shop for TerraCycle, a private recycling business. Here, students can recycle “non-recyclable” items such as pens, razors, toothbrushes, beauty products and more to be turned into raw manufacturing materials.
UCCS students get 10% off at Conscious Living Shop with a valid UCCS ID or mobile student portal. The shop is located at 2616 W Colorado Ave. #9 and is open seven days a week: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Sundays when hours are noon to 5 p.m. For more information on Conscious Living, visit their website.