Her store carries items for the kitchen, the bathroom as well as for personal care.
Monica McCoy, founder of everuseshop.com, started her shop in 2017 because she found it difficult to find zero waste alternatives to everyday items in Spain where she currently lives. She shares, “I also found that most online shops sold zero waste items which are mass produced in Asia and thus aren't very eco-friendly. I wanted to showcase more local products. I started very small, investing what little money I had as a freelance translator and with help from my husband and family.”
Each item in McCoy's shop goes through her two personal criteria, i.e. it has to be sustainable and it has to be vegan. “My standards of sustainability are that they are products which have traveled as little as possible, meaning if I can find something produced closer I'll go for that instead of the cheaper equivalent that comes from the other side of the world. It means they are either reusable or biodegradable. It means the products are derived and comprised of renewable, traceable, fair trade, organic resources. My vegan standard means that none of the products contain animal products, bi-products and are not tested on animals. Everuse respects all life, both animal and nature.
Her store carries items for the kitchen, the bathroom as well as for personal care. She says she gets a lot of messages from her customers that they can't wait to get their zero waste order. She shares, “ They are excited to make a positive impact on the planet. They are often surprised at finding certain alternatives they didn't even think of.”
The chewing gum is one of those items that many don't know about. So many people toss it in the organic bins, but supermarket gum is not biodegradable, it's made of plastic, aside from toxic ingredients which are bad for our health. She found a better alternative to the regular chewing gum. “I love Chewsy gum, and they're now making it themselves in the UK.”
Toilet paper, which is recycled, plastic-free, made in Spain is also in high demand. “Toilet paper causes mass deforestation and it's so unnecessary when you can just choose the recycled alternative and the one I sell is very soft,” McCoy says.
“Something we all do every day is wash the dishes, so I sell a lot of these luffa sponges,” McCoy adds. They are cultivated in Pontevedra, Spain, using sustainable methods. They last as long, if not longer than conventional plastic-based dish sponges. They're 100% biodegradable and compostable.
“Wax wraps have become pretty popular, but mine are 100% plant-based, no beeswax,” McCoy notes. The ones she sells uses tree resin, which makes them really sticky so you can cover bowls and wrap food without the need for plastic wrap or aluminum foil. They are made by two Italian entrepreneurs in Barcelona.
Another best seller is plastic-free natural, vegan toothpaste made in the UK by Truthpaste. “It's really minty, fresh and creamy,” says McCoy.
She concedes however that one of the biggest challenges in having a zero waste store is that the price of the items are higher than regular items. To overcome this, McCoy provides very detailed product listings with all the information including the country of origin, producer/artisan name, details about the material, the packaging, etc. “Information builds awareness,” she remarks.
Her top three tips for people who are just starting on their zero waste journey are : 1)Reuse what you already have. If you already have shampoo in plastic bottles, finish them instead of replacing them. Reuse the bottles to refill with an eco-friendly shampoo. 2) Upcycle to make your own zero waste items, like a jar wrapped in rubber bands instead of using a new reusable coffee cup. 3. Research whatever you do buy to make sure it fits all of your own sustainable criteria.
She shares, “For anyone interested in zero waste, remember to share everything you learn with those around you. Don't just keep it to yourself. Remember that it's worse to not say anything out of embarrassment. Our lives are short, but the planet's life is getting shorter every minute.”