Our Founding Story
In the United States alone, the average person produces almost five pounds of trash daily, most of which ends up in landfills. When we first learned this, our hearts shattered at the devastating environmental impact that our consumption creates. In 2020 Brooke, also known as The Eco Twin, started an Instagram account to raise awareness about the waste that is threatening our planet. What started out as educational guides turned into a passion to make an even larger impact. As low-income college students, we have to constantly consider price in the choices we make, and we empathize this concern with our community. Throughout the years, we believed that everyone should have equal access to sustainable and affordable zero-waste products. Our vision was to tackle the stigma of zero-waste lifestyles as unaffordable and we wanted our belief to be backed by actionable change. This inspired us to create an environmentally-driven business, the One Stop Eco Shop.
To address the overwhelming thought of rising landfills, we have been providing sustainable alternatives and a refill station that includes hand soap, laundry detergent, and other home goods, so that our community is able to ditch the excess plastic and reuse containers they already have at home. It has been a long journey of growth, research, and educating ourselves to get to this point, and we are excited to create an even bigger impact this upcoming year! As rising sophomores in college, we want to continue to empower individuals in fostering sustainable change. Now, the overwhelming thought of rising landfills can be addressed by providing sustainable choices and control over consumption. Thus, we are opening the first zero waste store & refillery located in Toms River NJ.
What is the One Stop Eco Shop?
One Stop Eco Shop is a zero-waste store on a mission to reduce the amount of trash that goes into our landfill while encouraging more conscious consumption. Customers will be able to bring their own containers to refill all kinds of grocery items including dish soap, shampoo, conditioner, produce bags, spices, produce, and more! We strive to make these sustainable products more accessible for our community so that we can all contribute to a low waste future!
With the opening of our store we will be the first sustainable grocery in our county to accept food stamps and make these refillable and sustainable products accessible to our community as well as low income families who are often left behind in this sustainable movement. To put this into perspective, Over 17K households rely on food stamps in all of Ocean County and just in South Toms River, 13.9% of the population fall within poverty.
How will you benefit from this circular process? Customers of all financial backgrounds will not only have access to a low waste form of shopping they did not previously have access to, but they also can choose to buy as little or as much as they need. By refilling at our store, customers can be more flexible with the quantities they are buying to fit their budget.
Our mission as a zero-waste store is to encourage the community to take action and make a positive impact on our planet, educate the community on sustainable practices to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce the stigma around a low-waste lifestyle as being unaffordable.
What Are Our Goals?
- Educate and raise awareness about our waste & consumption habits as well as how to transition to a more sustainable and low-waste lifestyle.
- Make low-waste living accessible and affordable to our community.
- Encourage individual action by offering resources such as educational workshops, community events, and recycling programs.
- Participate in a circular economy and support businesses that are also working towards paving the way to a more sustainable future.
- Make every effort to unite and tackle this issue of plastic pollution together as a community.
What is the Waste problem? Why Zero Waste?
In 2018, the total municipal solid waste generated was 292.4 million tons, about 4.9 pounds of waste created per person per day. More than 50% of this waste was put into landfills. Our landfills are not endless. With our current trash generation rates, it is estimated that we will run out of room in our landfills in the next 18 years. This poses the question of what will happen with our waste after that? One Stop Eco Shop is here to be a part of the solution to this waste crisis.
By changing our consumption habits - we can create a more sustainable future with a cleaner and healthier planet. When we say ‘zero waste’ we do not mean to produce no waste at all, but encourage our community to rethink their consumption habits and strive to become more low waste. One of our favorite quotes portrays a goal we have for our community and that is “We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions doing it imperfectly” - Ann Marie Bonneau & Zero Waste Chef.
Where will your funds go?
We need to raise $10,000 to get the furnishing and supplies needed for our store. There are many stores throughout the country with a similar refill model and we want to be the first to offer this to Ocean County, NJ.
Some of our cost estimates are as followed:
Flooring: $1700, Ceiling Tiles: $500, Wood for Shelves: $1000, Dry Wall: $100, Paint: $100, Signage: $1500, Food Bins: $1000, Oil/Vinegar Bins: $500, Scales: $300, and a Fridge: $3000.
Renovation/furnishing Estimate Total: $9,700
Currently, we have our location secured over at 1174 Fischer Blvd in Toms River, NJ, and have started renovations. To make this store as low-waste and cost-effective as possible we will first attempt to furnish all we can with second-hand items. Some items like our scales and operating systems may be hard to find second hand so we will be purchasing them new. We estimate all furnishings (secondhand and not) will total about $10,000. Once we are constructed, any leftover funds will help fill our inventory of package-free, sustainable, and refillable products such as spices, pantry staples, cleaning supplies, hair care, home goods, and personal hygiene. We estimate our products will cost another $10,000 to stock all products necessary to also be able to accept food stamps as well. We hope to use some of the funds included with our furnishings for a recycling program called TerraCycle. Any other leftover funds will be put toward a scholarship fund we hope to give out during the year of our opening to help support a student's education and or environmental dream.
How Can You Help?
There are many ways that you can help spread our mission and support our zero waste store and refillery coming to this community!
- Spread the word and create awareness on social media or through friends & family.
- Follow and interact with our social media channels
- Purchase rewards from this campaign or from our website directly.
- Make a contribution to our campaign
A Thank you from Madison and Brooke
We, Madison and Brooke Loza, are the founders of the One Stop Eco Shop and aim to build a community of environmental advocates like ourselves. We are so thankful to have the support of our family, friends, and community who are helping to make an impact one refill at a time. If you have any interest in becoming a part of our team please reach out to [email protected].
Thank you for supporting us throughout our journey and for being a part of our movement toward a more sustainable and low-waste future! Everything we have accomplished thus far would not be possible without the support of our community. We deeply appreciate every contribution and effort toward spreading our mission! We cannot wait to welcome you into our store!