Located on Highland Avenue in Manhattan Beach, The Waste Less Shop is the perfect stop for eco-friendly gifting.

Owner Stephanie Cochrane grew up in a small town in northern Nevada, two hours from the nearest city.

“We were isolated and surrounded by nature, which created a strong bond to the natural world from a really young age,” Cochrane said. “I was also a little entrepreneurial as a child and always knew I wanted to own a small business.”

Cochrane said that incorporating her love for the planet into her career was a long-term plan, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that she began working to reduce waste in her own life.

“I made the connection that I could create a living while also working to protect what I love - the beauty in the natural world.”

Cochrane lives just three blocks from her shop.

“It's incredibly humbling to wake up and see the ocean every day, but with that comes a sense of obligation to help keep it clean," she said. "It's our home. I'm devastated by how many animals are dying daily due to our careless waste, it's over one million ocean animals per year from plastic-debris alone.”

The Waste Less Shop offers a wide variety of products that Cochrane explains can replace every single-use item in one’s daily routine with a more sustainable alternative.

“Some of our most popular items include dryer balls, which replace single-use dryer sheets; bamboo cutlery kits, which can help eliminate the need for single-use cutlery at restaurants and make awesome gifts; and our refills,” she said. “We carry bulk refillable household cleaners and self-care products like laundry detergent, all-purpose cleaner, dish soap, shampoo, and body wash. Customers can bring their own containers or purchase one from us. Aside from reducing the number of single-use plastics, the refills are also great because customers can buy as much or as little as they would like if they want to sample the product before committing.”

Cochrane said she's “just a member of the community who saw a need and worked to help create a solution. I have a degree in dental hygiene and still have an active license and practice in El Segundo. I think it’s important for people to realize they don’t have to be an expert to create change. I work daily to educate myself and reduce my footprint on the environment, and I hope my store will help make that easier for others in our community.”

She added “We live in a world created for consumption, convenience, and consumerism, but we can see that lifestyle model is broken. I understand we can’t all go plastic-free overnight and I don’t shame those who haven’t started taking steps to reduce their waste. We are here to provide education and resources to help make it easier and more affordable for our community waste less, one day at a time.”

Cochrane notes that the store has been very well received in the community.

“What we are creating is something that people have been wanting for a long time,” she said. “Our refills and reusable products are more affordable than the single-use plastic items in the big box stores, so it makes sense on multiple levels to support a small business working for people and the planet.”

The Waste Less Shop

3515 Highland Ave. 

Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

thewastelessshop.com

Contact this reporter at mhixon@tbrnews.com or on Twitter @michaeljhixon.com.

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