Many of us want to limit our negative impact on the climate and the environment around us, but it is not always easy to know how we can do this. By making changes to the products we buy and where we buy them from, we can start to make a difference.
Across Essex, we are lucky to be home to several businesses that provide refill services. Refill shops allow you to bring your own containers along on your shop, filling up as much as you need from a range of products. This helps reduce the amount of plastic packaging we use and throw away.
There are also many shops and online stores where residents can buy eco-friendly products.
For Billericay, visit Nic-ECO. Nic-ECO offers local refill deliveries to the Billericay area, covering cleaning, laundry and personal care products.
For Braintree, visit The Natural Way at 82 High Street, Braintree, CM7 1JP.
For Braintree, visit Naturally Unwrapped at Blake House Craft Centre, Blake End, Rayne, Braintree, CM77 6SH.
For Brightlingsea, visit Mending Matters Brightlingsea at 3 New Street, Brightlingsea, CO7 0BZ.
For Chelmsford, visit Chelmsford Wholefoods at Chelmsford Market, Bellmead, Chelmsford, CM1 1LE.
For Chelmsford, visit Lathcoats Farm Shop at Beehive Lane, Galleywood, Chelmsford, CM2 8LX.
For Chelmsford, visit Refill Chelmsford at 22 Bond Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1GH.
For Clacton-on-Sea, visit UnSealed at 2a The Grove, Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 1TJ.
For Colchester, visit ColchEco at 37 Layer Road, Colchester, CO2 7JW.
For Colchester, visit Rowhedge Village Green at 9 Head Street, Rowhedge, CO5 7HN.
For Colchester, visit Colchester Food Co-op at 15 Queen Street, Colchester, CO1 2PH. Refill services for members only.
For Earls Colne, visit Ecolnes Refillery at 75 High Street, Earls Colne, CO6 2QX.
For Leigh-on-Sea, visit The Refill Room at 15 Elm Road, Leigh-on-Sea, SS9 1SW.
For Manningtree, visit The Wholefood Store at 26 High Street, Manningtree, CO11 1AJ.
For Ongar, visit Refill Mill at 153 High Street, Ongar, CM5 9JD.
For Rochford, visit Elysium Refill at 69 West Street, Rochford, SS4 1BE.
For Saffron Walden, visit The Refill Barn at Walden Road, Radwinter, CB10 2SP.
For Saffron Walden, visit Green Pear Eco for local refill deliveries.
For Thurrock, visit The Refill Cabin at various locations across the area.
For Tiptree, visit REco Store at Tower Business Park, Tiptree, Colchester, CO5 0LX.
For Southend, visit Southend Refills for home deliveries to SS0 to SS7 (and SS9) postcodes, and collections at 94 Kensington Road, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 2TA.
For Uttlesford, visit Gifted at Recorder's House, 17 Town Street, Thaxted, CM6 2LD.
For Uttlesford, visit REFILLit. REFILLit offers refill deliveries of cleaning and personal care products to Stansted Mountfitchet and the surrounding area.
Starfish Eco, based in Rochford, stock a range of naturally-sourced items in biodegradable packaging.
Halstead Eco Party Kit, covering the Braintree area, allow you to hire reusable party equipment, such as plates, bowls and bunting.
Rochford Eco Partywear also offer a service to allow you to hire out party items for special occasions, reducing the need to buy new.
Puchi Treasures, based in Saffron Walden, sell customised handmade items designed to be reused.
Mission Better, based in Maldon, sell plastic-free starter kits and planet-friendly products.
Pantry Shelf deliver sustainably-packaged groceries and other plastic-free products to a number of CM postcodes.
Honest Supplies, based in Tiptree, manufactures plastic-free toilet paper and centrefeed roll here in the UK, minimising transport to reduce carbon footprints.
Love Vintage Wax Boutique, based in Clacton-on-Sea, sell locally-produced soaps, bath bombs and deodorants.
La Pomme, based in Ingatestone, sell health and beauty products with a focus on sustainability.
To find your local Ecover refill station, use the Ecover refill station locator.
Essex County Council cannot be responsible for the safety or description applied to any products supplied via local eco and refill shops. We would strongly recommend that anyone wishing to obtain goods via this route seek advice on how to check the safety of consumer items.