Fill & Refill Revolution

Edwards, Colorado

Allison Burgund’s sustainability story began at a very young age. Her father was an attorney for an environmental protection agency, and she has aunts, uncles and much more of her family invested in this line of work in some way, shape or form.

Photos by EJ Dilly Photography

Her renewed vigor began when she visited a recycling plant with her second-grade daughter for a school trip. At the facility, guides explained that China was not buying the recycling the plant produced, so the trash was compacted and stored there. Burgund then realized that recycling had become a business before it was a way to save the planet. When she returned home, she started a one-month trash audit of her family, during which she saved every piece of trash her family of four generated. The results shocked her and were the final push she needed to open her business in an effort to give back to the earth and her community.

In 2019, Burgund launched Fill & Refill in Edwards, Colorado. Burgund recently relocated the shop into Riverwalk at Edwards. The business identifies itself as “an unpackaged store dedicated to reducing single waste plastics” by providing “refillable, eco-conscious, sustainable, bath, body and home products.” They sell hand soap, laundry soap, shampoo and conditioner, dish washer soap, cleaning products, lotions and DIY ingredients, such as argon oil and rose hip seed oil, to name a few. All of Burgund’s products are sourced from local vendors.

“You save energy by using local products,” she explains. Every bottle and product needs to come from somewhere. Using local products saves gas, lowers production costs and supports the community. Burgund says one of Fill & Refill’s vendors, Solandra, uses locally-sourced ingredients to craft her hand soaps. “It gives you a wonderful, silky feel and is all natural — a win all the way around,” she adds.

"Small acts, repeat often — that’s my motto" Allison Burgund

Converting to a sustainable lifestyle may seem daunting, but Burgund says that it just takes getting your feet wet to start. “My number one recommendation? Start with your laundry detergent,” she says. “Those containers are made well; you don’t need a new one, just new product.”

In fact, Burgund prefers that people bring in their own containers to Fill & Refill, rather than purchase one of her reusable glass bottles. “Landfills have less than 100 years until they have to find another place for trash,” she explains. The less you can contribute to landfills, the better. Other easy ways to start are with their natural deodorant, sold in a compostable card-board tube, or the reusable napkins that replace wasteful paper towels.

“You have the opportunity to possibly save five bottles a month. That equates to over 50 a year per person,” Burgund says. She encourages customers to pick their top five most used products and swap them out. For most people that’s hand soap, dish soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion. Reusing the old bottles and refilling them with locally made, natural products is one of the surest ways to limit your waste.

“Small acts, repeat often — that’s my motto,” she says.

Hopefully, more people like Burgund can create places where small acts can happen more often.