Ferndale's Walking Lightly opens for customers to refill body wash bottles

A new store opening in Ferndale is made for customers who want to live a more planet-friendly lifestyle with a focus on 'refills not landfills'.

Tessa Benzinger opened her zero-west eco-store in Ferndale, Walking Lightly. But she's not hoping for a light crowd, she's hoping for heavy traffic in the store that will sell home and body products that you can bring your own container in to fill.

"Folks are welcome to bring in their own containers as long as it's clean and dry. You bring it in and we weigh it empty and you fill up with whatever product you like. We’ve got shampoo condition soaps cleaners. Practically anything you need for health and body and then you weigh it again that way you’re paying just for the product, not any packaging," Benzinger said.

She opened the store on Hilton Road in Ferndale on Thursday after running a pop-up and making home deliveries over the past year. The motivation grew from her own desire to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

"I’ve been trying to reduce our waste - our packing waste - for a long time and pre-COVID, I had gotten pretty good at reducing grocery waste and food waste, but the one spot I was really stuck on was home and body products," Benzinger said. "I figured there had to be other people in the same position - so here we are."

Inside the store, which she calls a 'refillery', you'll find a slew of local products with plans to get more soon. 

"We have some soaps from Penny Girl Soaps, we’ve got a couple local women that make a laundry detergent that we carry - Save the Turtles Laundry Detergent. We have M.A.R.S. Body Butter coming. We do partner a lot with Be Kind Detroit. We really believe in the makers of this community," Benzing said.

She said small steps in the community can send a big message to companies and manufacturers.

"Hopefully this is something that the more people participate in it, the more larger companies have to work with that and that also drives price down and so then maybe it’s more common we have products that have safer ingredients and that are more biodegradable. So here’s to hoping!"

For information on Walking Lightly, check out their site.

Walking Lightly, a 'refillery' opened Thursday in Ferndale.