Local Series: Protea Zero Waste Store – Hawaii’s First Zero Waste Refill Store
Aloha! My name is Amy and I’m lucky to be the marketing director for Protea Zero Waste Store in Kailua. We are Hawaii’s first ever zero waste refill store!
We’re named after the Protea flower which grows on the western slope of Haleakala on Maui. It’s one of the oldest families of flowers in the world, and it symbolizes diversity and courage. I find this very fitting considering the impressive diversity of the island of Oahu, and the courage it took for the founder of Protea Zero Waste, Lori Mallini, to open the first refill store in the state of Hawaii.
Here at Protea Zero Waste, we are passionate about educating others about how they can reduce their waste, and the impacts of plastic waste on our environment which we see so evidently here in Hawaii. One of the biggest ways we can reduce our plastic waste is by refilling everyday cleaning & personal care products, instead of buying new plastic bottles each time we run out.
We just opened our doors in June this year and we’re so thrilled to offer a wide variety of refillable products, including cleaning products, personal care products, and even facial care! We do our best to source locally as much as possible, and always ensure that the products we offer are made from high quality, non-toxic ingredients. We strive to offer the most natural & sustainable products we can, at prices that are affordable and accessible.
Some of the local products you can find in our store include:
- Refillable reef-safe sunscreen & after-sun balm from Wild Forces
- Refillable all-natural shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion from Puna Noni Naturals
- Luminous facial oil from Hawaii Skin Treats (also refillable!)
- Clean & gentle facial care products from Oahu Organics (refillable!)
- Shampoo & conditioner bars by Kealia Organics
- Soap bars made by Indigenous Soaps
You can refill on these and other products by bringing your own containers from home, purchasing containers in-store, or grabbing one from our free bin in-store! (Check out our website to see our full list of refillable products).
It’s super simple and fun to refill! Here’s how the process works:
- Weigh your container at our weigh station while it’s empty and write down the weight.
- Fill your container with whichever product you’d like!
- Bring it up to the register where we will subtract the weight of the container and charge you for the amount of product within.
We hope you’ll stop by sometime soon! And while you’re in Kailua, you can visit some of our other favorite places around town:
Places to eat/drink: The Protea team loves Kalapawai Deli for a nice dinner and glass of wine, BeetBox Cafe for healthy & delicious breakfast or lunch, and Mother Bake Shop for a plant-based baked treat!
Lanikai Brewing is a great place for a casual atmosphere and refreshing local beer after the beach or a hike!
Beaches/hikes: Lanikai Beach is a well-known beach, but it’s hands down a favorite for all of Protea’s team members.
Maunawili Falls Trail is a fun jungle getaway to a nearby waterfall where you can jump in – just be prepared to get muddy! For a beautiful view of the east side of the island, check out Pu’u Ma’eli’eli Trail nearby in Kaneohe. And, if you’re up for a bit more adventure and intensity – including climbing three waterfalls – I highly recommend a personal favorite: Ka’au Crater Trail in Honolulu.
Boutique places to shop: Right next door to Protea you can find Leinaia, a cute local boutique with handmade jewelry and other trinkets! Just around the corner you’ll find Olive & Oliver with the cutest local clothing and home goods.
For online Oahu boutique shopping, we recommend Yireh for beautiful, ethically sourced dresses & island wear, Lilikoi Beach Designs for her adorable earrings made from microplastics (sustainability + fashion!), and MicroMahalo for great gifts also made from microplastics.
Protea Zero Waste Store is located at 35 Kainehe Street, Kailua, HI 96734.
You can also browse + shop online!