Answering Your New Year's Questions!

A Drop in the Ocean Zero Waste Store Answering New Year FAQs
Listen to the audio of this post here:

This post first appeared in our weekly Make Waves Mondays email series on January 3, 2022.

Happy new year,
friend!! It’s officially a new year, 2022 here we come! (Do you also feel like 2021 was a blur? What a strange year…)

With the new year, we’re gonna take a step back to basics for a few weeks. My hope is that even if you’ve been in the zero waste or sustainability world for a minute, you’ll find some new nuggets of info, or maybe do some re-centering with yourself to continue your journey sustainably. 

And if you’re new to sustainable living, WELCOME 🤗 I hope you find inspiration and knowledge to empower your new journey.

To kick off the year, a couple days ago I sent you a survey asking for your feedback on A Drop in the Ocean - what we do, how we do it, and how you like it all.

If you haven’t yet filled it out, please take a couple minutes to do that now! I’d really love to hear your thoughts, and once you fill it out you’ll get a code for 10% off your next order as a thank you.

So far, the responses have been super helpful and I’m learning a TON. So huge thank you if you’ve already filled it out!

So for today’s post - the first of 2022 - I wanted to take a moment to answer some of the most common questions I’ve seen so far from the survey. Because chances are if one EcoWarrior has the question, there’s likely several more in the community who are also wondering the same.

Let’s dig in!

Is there a place on your website that describes how you named your shop?

Indeed there is! We also have a TikTok all about why we’re named A Drop in the Ocean, if you’re into that kinda thing 😉 If you’re not into that, our About Us page also covers it!

@adropintheoceanshop why are we named "A Drop in the Ocean?" #zerowastestore #greenliving #ecotok #zerowaste #ecofriendly ♬ April (No Vocals) - The Young Ebenezers

I wish there was a more clear way to adjust delivery dates when you order something new when you already have auto-refills scheduled...

... Or you could have a setting where whenever you order something it just gets added onto your next delivery."

I feel ya. This is something I’d love, too!

I could give a long answer, but it’s super boring.

The short answer is that at this time, for this to happen, we’d have to pay lots of cash monies for someone to build us a custom website, probably on a completely different platform - which isn’t something we can do at the moment.

But in the meantime, we do have a solution!

If there are one-time items you want to add to an upcoming subscription order, you can place a second order with the discount code ADDON at checkout.

This code will (A) give you free shipping or delivery on that order, so you don’t pay for it twice, and (B) tell me that you want that order shipped or delivered with an upcoming subscription order.

I’d recommend placing this add-on order before your subscription, just to be sure I don’t process your subscription order before you place the add-on order.

A Drop in the Ocean Sustainable Living Zero Waste Shop Refill Program

I probably need to look again at the online refill program but I have a ton of empty bottles at my house I've been collecting to give back.

I get it! Our refill program can be a little confusing at first.

If you’re not familiar with the process yet, check out the step-by-step system on our website, and hopefully that’ll clear up any confusion. If it doesn’t, please shoot me an email.

In short, though, if you’re in Tacoma and we’re delivering your order, just leave your empties on your porch on delivery day (hold onto any pumps though!). Easy peasy!

If we’re shipping to you, we’ll include a return label with your refill. Just pack the empty container(s) back into the box your new one just arrived in, put the return label on it, and hand it off to USPS, at no extra charge to you.

I really wish you stocked…

Laundry Detergent

We’ve got it already! It’s actually by far our best-seller. Our EcoWarriors love it!

And ✨ surprise! ✨ we added a new scent today, too. We now have both eucalyptus and rosewood-scented zero waste laundry detergent available in the shop 😁

A Drop in the Ocean Sustainable Living Zero Waste Shop laundry detergent

Face Toner

We do have an organic witch hazel available in the shop!

That’s what I use as my face toner and it’s so great. It’s not drying and does wonders for my skin. 

Sometimes I’ll add some tea tree, juniper berry, and grapefruit essentials oils to create a copycat version of Lush’s Tea Tree Toner, but sometimes I’m lazy and just use straight witch hazel. Either way, it works great!

Pump Conditioner

We’ve got a refillable liquid conditioner in the shop already!

It comes packaged in an aluminum bottle with a pump, and refills come without the pump. You’ll just keep transferring the pump to your new bottles so it’s zero waste.

Dishwasher Pods

Got ‘em! We actually have two different kinds 😍

We have both Dropps brand dishwasher pods and locally-made PVA-free dishwasher pods.

A Drop in the Ocean Sustainable Living Zero Waste Shop Dropps Dishwasher Pods

Body Wash Liquid

Got that too!

We have refillable body wash in both lavender rosemary scent and lemon drop scent.

The lavender rosemary is my favorite year-round scent, subtle and relaxing, while the lemon drop is my summer fave.

Both come packaged in an aluminum bottle with a pump, and refills come without a pump. You’ll keep transferring the pump to your new bottle so it’s totally zero waste. We also have refillable hand soap and body lotion in the same scents!

Beeswax Wrap

Yep, we’ve got that, too! Beeswax wraps are one of our newest additions to the shop, and they’re made with organic materials with the ca-utest tropical prints. You can even get to know the face behind them in our Vendor Spotlight chat with the founder, Melia, where we talked all things sustainability and beeswax.

A Drop in the Ocean Sustainable Living Zero Waste Shop Beeswax Wraps

Portable sunscreen that doesn't come out gloppy/clog the dispenser

Now that we’ve had sunscreen in the shop for a while, we’re starting to see this feedback more. The pump just doesn’t seem to work well with our sunscreen 🤷‍♀️

So as of yesterday, our refillable reef-safe sunscreen is packaged in a glass jar - in either 2oz or 4oz, too, so it’s even better for travel. 

Thank you so much for this feedback to everyone who has shared their thoughts!

Products for Aging Skin

I’d love to hear more about this! If you’re interested in this, please comment below with specific products you’d be interested in.

In the meantime, just today we finally added a zero waste skin serum to the shop!

A few of you had asked for a skin serum, but TBH I had no idea what serums are for. So I asked around, read some articles, talked to some experts, and bought a tester of a refillable skin serum to give a shot.

And lemme tell ya - I fell in LOVE.

After just a couple uses, my skin was softer, smoother, and all-around healthier (and I didn’t realize it wasn’t before!). I’m addicted, and I hope you love it as much as I do. It’s the bee’s knees.

A Drop in the Ocean Sustainable Living Zero Waste Shop Skin Serum

A planet-friendly de-icer for my windshield in this silly weather!

Honestly, this isn’t something we’re likely to add lol And being from Ohio, this is something I forget a lot of people don’t have around here (in the PNW).

Since it seems this kind of snow accumulation doesn’t seem to be an anomaly anymore, you’re gonna want to get something like this snow brush/ice scraper and keep it in your car. Reusable forever and no chemicals!


Some fun office supplies, like non-plastic highlighters or stapleless staplers.

Agreed! This would be awesome! We’ll likely add things like this in the future, but I don’t have a timeline and it’s not an immediate priority.

However, I do have a go-to shop for things like this - Wisdom Supply Co. It’s founded by two women and they have some awesome stuff. 

Gift Suggestions

Have you checked out our Ultimate Sustainable Gift Guide? 🥰 It’s a wee bit holiday-themed, but overall got lots of suggestions for sustainable gifts!

Compost Bags

I have a long answer to this one, and I’ll probably give it it’s own post, but honestly this is not something we’ll ever carry in the shop. 

Short answer, basically no compostable bags are actually compostable, and they’re basically never accepted in municipal composting programs (they’re definitely not accepted in Tacoma composting!). 

Check out this blog post all about bioplastics for a deeper answer, and keep an eye out for a post on the topic!

Instead, I recommend using paper bags and/or keeping your compost in the freezer. I keep mine in my never-ending supply of Chipotle chip bags in the freezer, and when the bag is full I take it out to my compost bin. 

If your requested product isn’t on this list, it means we don’t yet have it and it’s been added to our list!

Who makes the products? Especially the “made locally in Tacoma” ones?

Ooooo you’re gonna love this year’s Make Waves Mondays. Stay tuned! 😉

The price point is a little higher than comps but I know there are behind the scenes reasons for this including your research and efforts to be as eco-conscious as possible while still making a living.

Yes…some of our products are a bit more expensive than alternatives. And I so appreciate the understanding in this feedback! I’m thinking this will be its own Make Waves Monday topic, because I have a lot of thoughts on it, faaaaarrrr beyond our own products and prices. 

For now, know that I recognize this, and I do keep products priced as low as I can. I don’t want sustainability to be exclusionary. 

Our products are very high quality - the best that I’ve found - and sourced from other small businesses, which in and of itself leads to some higher prices. Combine that with our high standards for our business practices with ocean conservation donations, carbon negative shipping and delivery, offsetting all of our mileage any time we have to drive anywhere, our jar and bottle return program, and our ocean rewards program - aka basically all the reasons you love A Drop in the Ocean - our prices have to be a bit higher at times.

But know that I hear this feedback, and I’m always evaluating what we do and how we do it to try to keep our prices as low as I can. And I will forever thank you for your support.

You are by far my favorite shop and I sing your praises to everyone I talk to about sustainability. Keep up the amazing work!

Awwww thank you SO much!! Did you know we have a referral program? 

If you share your unique referral link with friends, they can save $5 on their first order of $25+, and when they do, you’ll get $5 back, too. 

To find your code, log into your account on a desktop or laptop and click the pop-up blue “Rewards” button on the bottom left side of the screen (not the one in the footer). 

We can even customize your code for you so it’s easier to share; maybe your name instead of a rando string of letters and numbers. If you want us to do this, just shoot me an email and let me know!

I hope this clears some things up for you and if you have any other questions or concerns about what we do or why we do it, please fill out the survey or just comment below.

Happy 2022, my friend! I hope you have a great week, and that you’re staying safe and healthy.


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