La Crosse business works to reduce waste

Company refills bottles, eliminate plastic waste

One La Crosse couple is trying to make a community-wide impact with their unique north-side business.

Full Circle Supply opened last September as a small eco-friendly store selling organic and re-fillable products, and within the first few months, it’s nearly tripled in size to offer a range of items you won’t find anywhere else in La Crosse.

Mary and Joshua Larson, shop co-owners and parents to their two boys, live a green lifestyle at home by virtually eliminating their use of plastic. Last September, they decided to build a store around the idea.

“We refill everything – our shampoos, our conditioners, our lotions, our laundry soap,” Mary said. “It really is a lifestyle, and it’s an easy one to adapt to. Refilling is really a simple thing people can do to eliminate plastic waste.”

“We decided that at the end of the day it was something we could be happy about doing, having a positive imp act on our community,” Joshua said.

The business works by buying in bulk, then selling in ounces – customers can purchase bottles to be returned and re-filled as needed. So far, the model appears to be working. 

“We’ve refilled over 2,000 bottles here already, which is just under 400 pounds of plastic we’ve already saved in less than a year,” Joshua said.

“If you think about how many things are actually made with plastic, it’s crazy – and the amount of waste we’ve eliminated from opening the store alone, is like, whoa. We’re making a difference here,” Mary said.

Their goal is to create a community-wide conversation on reducing waste through their store.

“We both knew we were going to be a part of this community for quite a while and wanted to start influencing as much as we could,” Mary said.

But the Larsons say it’s about more than making a difference in the here and now – it’s also about leaving a better world for their kids.

“We want our children to be able to raise their children here,” Mary said. “It’s scary to think about that not happening, or them living in a world where it’s dangerous for them because what we’re doing to it.”