Green Parenting: 6 Tips To Parent Sustainably

Green Parenting: 6 Tips To Parent Sustainably

Ever wondered what legacy you’re leaving for your children? If a plastic-free world is part of that answer, then you’ve come to the right place. 

We are Byrd’s Filling Station, a pioneering zero waste shop and refill station located in the heart of San Mateo that was founded by a fellow San Mateo parent, Laura Porter! 

Laura started the store after realizing that “our whole world is packed in plastic and that’s causing a huge problem that won’t go away any time soon.” As she learned of the harmful effects of plastic waste in the environment, she decided to change her family’s consumption habits through the inspiration of the Plastic Free July movement. Throughout her journey, she realized how difficult it was to transition to a plastic-free and zero waste lifestyle. This gave her the inspiration to identify resources to support her goal of reducing plastics in her life.  When she found how difficult those resources were to find locally, she created the store.

So we at Byrd’s Filling Station want to share tips for a more sustainable way of life.  It isn’t crucial that you clean up every piece of plastic immediately, and we can all make big changes through lots of little steps.  Here's how to start your plastic-free journey: 

Step 1: Use Up Existing Products

Don’t throw away your current plastics. Use them up first, then dispose of them responsibly. It can be tempting to immediately throw away any plastics you have in your home when you start your journey, but you don’t necessarily have to! 

Throwing everything away would not only be wasteful, but it would cost you money you’ve already spent. So use up what you already have, remember to switch to plastic-free alternatives when you run out, refill what containers you can reuse, and properly dispose of your plastics in the recycling. 

Step 2: Recon Mission

We understand the urgency of addressing the plastic pollution crisis and recognize the pivotal role that businesses play in driving meaningful change. That's why we are dedicated to providing a convenient and accessible way for consumers and businesses, alike, to ditch plastics and embrace a healthier lifestyle. With our carefully curated selection of plastic-free alternatives and refillable options, we aim to empower individuals to make impactful choices for the planet without sacrificing convenience. 

We highly recommend taking a first trip to our store just to browse our selection and determine what items you want to invest in and what products you’d like to start refilling. Before you dive right into the world of zero waste, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with your options. A great place to start is by reviewing our website filled with eco-friendly products, tips, and guides!

Step 3: Start Small

Replace one product at a time instead of replacing everything all at once. Making changes to your lifestyle will take time and if you start all at once you might feel overwhelmed. We have lots of recommendations in our store, so if you don’t know where you want to start, come give us a visit and we are more than happy to give you some advice! Our friendly staff can answer just about any question you throw our way.

Step 4: Refill Existing Containers

If you already have a spice container, why buy a totally new one instead of refilling into the existing one? There are so many things you can refill if you choose to shop with us ranging from soaps, grains, nuts, pastas, face care, dairy, and oils.

Our shopping model is a revitalization in how consumers approach grocery shopping. Going back to the way “it used to be” of buying what you need when you need it in your own containers. By offering a wide range of bulk goods and encouraging the use of reusable containers, we have effectively provided a sustainable alternative to the traditional, packaging-heavy shopping experience.

Step 5: Have Patience With Yourself! 

It may seem impossible to completely avoid plastic, but taking the time and effort to start is what is truly admirable. Even the people who live zero waste now started somewhere, so start today! We will be here to support you through your zero waste journey :)

Customers like Jennifer Dirking have already experienced the benefits of this innovative shopping model: "Grocery shopping simplified! We are so lucky to live near a deluxe bulk store, Byrd’s Filling Station in San Mateo, California. We can get groceries without paying for plastic packaging—much better for our health and the planet’s. I can break up with plastic overnight!”

Step 6: Spread The Word! 

Habits are hard to change, but we feel more motivated to change when we are doing it together. Encourage your family and friends to join in on your sustainable journey and bring them to the Byrd’s Filling Station store to learn more! You can also involve your kids in the process by having them come and refill their favorite snacks. If you teach your kids sustainable habits now, it’ll make it easier for them in the future!

Customer excitement and positive reactions to the store have been overwhelming since our opening. Many shoppers have expressed delight at the store's welcoming atmosphere, knowledgeable staff, and extensive selection of eco-friendly products. Community members have found themselves inspired by the store's commitment to sustainability and feel empowered to make positive changes in their own lives. Whether it's the joy of discovering a new plastic-free alternative or the satisfaction of knowing they're supporting a local, woman-owned business, patrons consistently rave about their experiences at Byrd's Filling Station.


We at Byrd's Filling Station are poised to expand the stores influence and continue to serve as a beacon for sustainable living. We invite YOU, the parental community, to join in our mission to eliminate waste and make sustainable shopping accessible to all. Whether you're a seasoned environmental advocate or someone exploring eco-conscious living for the first time, we invite you to join our community and discover the joy of shopping with purpose. 


For more information about Byrd's Filling Station and its initiatives, please visit



Byrd's Filling Station

219 South San Mateo Dr., San Mateo CA 94401


Phone: (650) 242-1976
FB/IG/TT: byrdsfillingstation