Changemakers: Sarah Andert
Wanting to raise more awareness about plastic pollution, longtime environmentalist Sarah Andert opened Vintage Green Review, the city’s first zero waste supply and bulk refill shop. By making it easier for people to live more sustainably, Andert aims to make in-person bulk refill shopping accessible in New Orleans.
Reducing your plastic consumption can start with simple steps at the individual level. “I think it’s very easy to be overwhelmed by all of the other bigger forces at work when you think about trying to fight plastic pollution,” says Andert. “It can feel like what you do as an individual doesn’t matter. But as a consumer, every dollar you spend is a vote, putting toward the company and values you want to support. When you choose that, this is what you value and want to see.”
Nearly every body or home cleaning supply can be purchased at Vintage Green Review. Soap, face masks, lotions, sunscreen, laundry soap (powder, liquid and detergent sheets), hand soap, dish soap, all-purpose cleaner, toilet bombs and shampoo and conditioner bars are some of the everyday items offered. “Everything in this store is sustainable, reusable and almost entirely plastic-free,” says Andert. “I’m able to be extremely transparent about where I get the stuff, who makes it and what you do when you’re done with it.” You can bring your own containers to the store, and glass containers are also available for sale. (Andert recommends bringing your own shopping tote.)
Reducing the amount of plastic in your life can be a budget-friendly choice as well. “People often assume sustainable, eco-friendly things are more expensive, but when you look at how much longer you can use these products, it works out to be cheaper or about the same cost,” says Andert. “Generally, it doesn’t cost anything to say no to plastic.”
Andert encourages people to think about plastic reduction like any other hobby, skill or body of knowledge. It takes time, and you don’t have to get rid of all single-use plastics overnight. Newcomers to the idea are invited to drop by the store and learn more about sustainable living. “We want this to be a space where everyone feels welcome, so don’t feel afraid to ask questions if you’re totally new to zero waste,” says Andert. “Don’t be shy and come on in.”
Visit Vintage Green Review
3530 Magazine St.
Sunday 12–5 p.m.
Monday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Thursday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Friday–Saturday 11 a.m.–6 p.m.