Saponettit.Ca – the future is about refill

Saponetti.Ca soap delivery
Saponetti.Ca soap delivery

For us the future is all about refill.

Greening our cleaning is a mandate of most of us choosing a Zero Waste lifestyle, this week Zero Waste Canada interviews Saponetti.Ca, the soap refill delivery service on Toronto Ontario.

Owner Nikki von Seydlitz explains how Saponentti.Ca offers both convenience and less packaging.

How did you decide to start a soap delivery service In Toronto?

 Saponetti is the result of a search for a solution to our own personal conundrum about all the empty containers we were tossing into the blue bin after only a single use. With refill options in Toronto being almost non-existent we realized that were probably not alone and that a lot of people would likely refill their soap and other cleaning product containers if it were easy and convenient. This impulse was the beginning of the process that lead my husband and I to offer this service.

 

Can you tell us about the products you offer? Are they made in Canada?

The product lines we carry are made here in Canada by suppliers who are focused on creating products that are environmentally friendly and safe for health and home. Soaps and detergents for all your homecare needs area available fragrance-free as well as scented with essential oils and organic ingredients. Recently we added shower gel as an intro into personal care essentials and we plan to expand our inventory offering as we grow our business.

 

Does your company have a mandate on what products you carry?

It is important that our suppliers share our vision for a more sustainable future so in that way we are selective. The companies we work with do things differently because they are more conscious of the impact their activities have on the environment as well as their communities. We love that by working with smaller manufacturers we are able connect with the humanity behind the brand.

 

How do the products you offer help folks to reduce waste?

Refilling completely eliminates the cycle of plastic waste.

 

As a company that offers refills for cleaning and personal care do you have any challenges for standardized measurements using mason jars?

We have simplified our refill process by offering all our refill products in either 500ml & 1L mason jars so we don’t need to be concerned about matching the volume of the original product package. Refill is a type of bulk purchase which means better value for our customers.

 

When products come in packages is all the packaging recyclable?

Yes, all our packaging is recyclable.

 

As an entrepreneur launching a small company did you have a marketing strategy to find your niche?

Because we started in our local community we targeted our neighborhood first with postcards delivered door-to-door and also left in local coffee shops and retail outlets introducing our service. From there news spread via word of mouth. Everyone uses soap but our target market is essentially “millennial mom” so we are working to develop our social media strategy to connect with our customers where they hang out. Also, we are participating in local events to connect with members of our community who are already thinking like us.

 

Several of the small businesses Zero Waste Canada has interviewed have benefitted from small business incubators or mentorship programs, did you have any support for your start-up?

So far, we haven’t benefited from any of these programs however we are definitely doing our homework and connecting with the community networks and various programs that could be a good fit to take our business to the next level.

 

Who is your customer base? Have you encountered any specific demographics?

Essentially anyone who is concerned about their environmental footprint fits our customer profile however we are finding that millennials and especially millennial moms are most interested in this service.

 

Your company also helps businesses to “green” their cleaning, do you find that offices, restaurants and other businesses have a desire to use more earth-friendly products with less packaging?

Offices and other businesses are responding to employee and customer attitudes regarding environmental awareness. Businesses with sustainability policies in place are looking for innovative and simple ways to green their operations and refilling essentials like dish soap and hand soap not only eliminates waste but is cost effective as well.

 

What kind of vehicle do you use to deliver soap?

Because our clients order typically once per month or even every couple of months the volume of deliveries is still manageable enough for us to be able to use our own vehicle. At the end of this month we will be updating our Jetta wagon to a hybrid vehicle so we can minimize our emissions while making deliveries. We are also in conversation with a local eco-friendly delivery service that uses electric cars and bicycles as another way to increase our service area.

 

If a person fills out the on-line delivery form when will they receive delivery?

Currently we tell our clients 5-7 business days to fulfill an order but typically we respond within 3-5 days.

 

Do you have a regular clientele that use your service?

Happily, yes!

 

As a “milkman” style of delivery do you feel that have more interaction with your customers?

Definitely! When we develop new client relationships people often share how thrilled they are about the service we are offering and we get to connect with them on a more personal level allowing us to learn more about their needs and how we can develop our business to meet those needs.

 

What did you do before Saponetti Inc.?

My background is in interior design but recently I have been involved in commercial project with a primary focus on managing the projects LEED requirements in order to qualify for green building certification. I am actually just finishing up a project now and will be full-time with Saponetti in the next few weeks. Christian, my husband and business partner, is working as a graphic designer in an ad agency by day and dives into Saponetti business evenings and weekends. We will be ramping up our operations over the next few months and hope to be able to develop our client base so that we can both commit 100% of our time to this business.

 

What are your dreams for Saponetti Inc.?

We want to change the way people buy everyday household staples. Our dream is to grow Saponetti and develop delivery networks with electric vehicles across southern Ontario and beyond. For us the future is all about refill.nikki-at-warehouse_150dpi

 

More and more entrepreneurs are realizing the creating Zero Waste solutions can grow business opportunity and have a positive impact. Zero Waste Canada will continue to feature the efforts of Canadians making a difference.

Saponetti.Ca has a website and facebook page.

Grow Your Own Zero Waste Solutions

lavender-167794_640Our gardens can help us create Zero Waste Solutions for our households. Growing our own fruit and vegetables can reduce packaging and give our families healthy food choices, but our gardens can grow even more options to help us create Zero Waste households.

This week, Zero Waste Canada gives some planting ideas for growing in your garden or plant pots.

lufa vine
luffa vine
  • Grow your own (loofah) luffa:  Reduce plastic of microfiber usage by growing your own luffa.  Loofah sponges as often seen in the bathroom as a means of exfoliating skin are neither sea sponge nor plastic product; loofah  sponges come from the luffa plant which is an annual similar to a cucumber. The loofah sponge is actually a fibrous seed pod from the luffa plant.  Loofah/luffa sponges can be used both in the bathroom and in the kitchen for scrubbing. You can also eliminate microplastics by making your own loofah soap. By growing luffa you can reduce plastic sponges that need disposal, and you have a product that can be composted at the end of life plus the young smaller gourds are also edible.
  • Grow your own band-aid :  Instead of plastic band-aids, Wooly Lamb’s Ear, botanical name Stachys byzantina, has been used for centuries as a wound dressing on battlefields. Not only do the soft, fuzzy leaves absorb blood and help it to clot more quickly, they also contain antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties. All of these factors make this plant a really great alternative to store-bought bandages. Wooly Lamb’s Ear Lamb’s Ears is a very hardy and strong-growing perennial, with thick white-wooly foliage and pink-purple flower spikes, valued as a dense, low growing, spreading bedding plant in the landscape.
  • Grow your own air freshener : Reduce chemical sprays by growing lavender. Lavender is an easy to grow perennial. Lavender has medicinal uses, culinary uses and producing a pleasant calming scent. Dried flower buds can be used scent pillows or linen in drawers. Essential oil can be made to be used for aromatheraphy, relieving headaches or making bath products. It is possible to make simple nature air fresheners sprays by using lavender essential oil instead of using toxic chemicals like acetaldehyde .
  • Grow your own tea : Growing herbs in our garden or in pots is a wonderful inexpensive way to produce your own herbal tea blends. Leaves, buds and petals of a number of different plants can be trimmed and dried or mixed together with other herbs for tea blends that last for months. When it comes to herbs, a single plant can produce quite a bit of usable parts, but you may want to plant more around your garden for aesthetic purposes. And what you don’t use fresh can easily be dried (in a dehydrator or hung) and stored for later use. Homemade teas make a most wonderful gift, too! Tea can be stored in a mason jar.
  • Grow your own spices: Growing herbs in a pot on a windowsill or in the garden gives the option for both fresh and dried seasonings.

Growing your own reduces waste, uses less plastic and means having less toxins, and is more fun.

 

 

The Mason Jar- Zero Waste Living

The Mason Jar
The Mason Jar

The Mason jar is a versatile container for Zero Waste living.

In 1858, John Landis Mason, patented a square-shouldered jar with a threaded screw-top, matching lid and rubber ring for an airtight seal. His design would revolutionize home preserving allowing food to be safely stored and used beyond the season of harvesting, but it would be after his patent expired in 1879 that competitors would market his design to the masses. While the invention would continue to bear his name, John Landis Mason would die in poverty.

By the early twentieth century, industrial advances made jar manufacturing faster and more economical. Mason jars became the container for home canning. Wartime efforts promoted   “ Victory Gardens” and preserving food by home canning but after the war years with the proliferation of supermarkets and the marketing of store bought products home canning declined.

Sales of mason jars are once again spiking up, in part, because  there is a revived interest in home canning, but also because the brand owners like Ball and Bernardin recognized that consumers were looking for eco-friendly packaging , versatile products for do it yourself projects, and healthy comfort food. Marketing strategies changed to social media and online canning demonstrations instead of traditional print ads. Pinterest and facebook help to connect to a younger market.

Many of us for health and environmental reasons are attempting to use less plastic, the Mason jar offers us an alternative container. One of the easiest places to reduce plastics is in the kitchen. Glass advocates highlight that glass containers do not leach harmful chemicals into food or drink, glass does not absorb odours or food colours, glass lasts longer, glass can be made of recycled content and can be recycled.

The Mason jar is more that a jar. The versatility of the design of the jar with the metal rim top and screw-top neck make it a container that can easily be adapted for uses beyond holding jam. The standardized design of the product allows innovators to create accessories that turn the jar into a reusable drink cups and soap dispensers.

The attractive appearance of the jar has encourages the consumer go beyond the display in the kitchen cupboard and find more uses for the containers. Mason jars can be seen as hanging lights, centre pieces for weddings, bathroom accessories as well as individual serving containers for oatmeal and salads. It is a container that can easily be repurposed.

Mason jars can be used to freeze foods. Both Kerr and Ball brands of jars have a freeze fill line marked on jars. Remember to thaw slowly and that to leave room for expansion of liquids when frozen.

Rodents and pests can get into dry goods stored in jars. Kombucha and ice tea can be brewed in Mason jars. Mason Jars have lots of uses for The Zero Waste household.

The original use of the Mason jar that allows safe, convenient preserving of food for another day is also incredibly important as we do our part to remedy food waste and food insecurity issues.

The Mason jar is a product designed for a Zero Waste lifestyle.

 More ideas on recipes and Mason jar uses

Salad in a jar
Salad in a jar

Cookie Dough in a jar

Bernardin website

 Fresh Preserving.com

Creative and decorative uses for mason jars