Reach And Teach
178 South Blvd.
San Mateo, CA 94402
Contact Craig Wiesner at 888-PEACE40
For Immediate Release
San Mateo's First Green Filling Station Opens
Bring Your Own Container for Earth-Friendly Soap and Detergent
SAN MATEO, CA - March 6, 2012 - Reach And Teach, which owns a San Mateo shop dedicated to peacemaking, gender equality, and sustainable living, launched a new addition to their South Blvd. store on Tuesday March 6th. Customers are now able to bring in their own containers and fill up on organic hand soap, earth-friendly dish soap, and biodegradable laundry detergent.
"Rather than tossing container after container into the recycle bin, or worse yet, into the landfill, people can stop by our shop and refill their empties, using them over and over again! Plus, they'll be filling up on soaps and detergents that are earth-friendly and produced right here in the Bay Area." said Craig Wiesner, co-founder of Reach And Teach. "People will also be pleasantly surprised at the reasonable prices we're able to offer on these high-quality green products."
Reach And Teach is partnering with Green11, a Noe-Valley San Francisco based company that is one of the pioneers in making earth-friendly products available in bulk. "We were walking by the Green11 shop and wandered in, checked out the products, and were hooked." said Derrick Kikuchi, Reach And Teach co-founder. "We'd been thinking about new ways to make products like theirs available to our customers in San Mateo and were thrilled that instead of having to re-invent the wheel we could bring in experts who had been doing this for years."
Customers at the Reach And Teach shop, located in the Dove & Olive Works Building at 178 South Blvd. in San Mateo, have expressed great excitement about this new addition. "I've been waiting for something like this for 20 years!" exclaimed one recent visitor.
The "Filling Station" was installed on Tuesday March 6th and immediately ready for business. Members of the press are invited to the shop to check it out. Contact Craig Wiesner for specifics.
Reach And Teach created two satirical versions of stories about the first San Mateo Filling Station and had a contest on Facebook to choose the best one (see below for the first version which won the competition).
About Reach And Teach:
Reach And Teach transforms the world through teachable moments with books, music, toys, gifts, fair-trade crafts, and other products that promote peacemaking, gender equality, and sustainable living. The company was founded in 2004 and opened its first brick-and-mortar shop in San Mateo in 2010.
The Filling Station [ref: Reach and Teach News Service, March 6, 2062]
Most of the old-timers remember the day they opened the very first filling station in San Mateo. It was quite a thing way back then, not something anyone ever expected to happen outside of big cities like San Francisco.
There usually wasn't much happening on old South Boulevard in San Mateo... one or two people getting their hair done in one shop while their pets got their fur coiffed in the other, a few kids getting piano lessons across the street, while their parents got the lawn mower repaired. Then there was that odd little shop that sold books, toys and olive oil, kind of a strange combination but they also had some wonderful chocolate that I'd found it hard to resist any time I wandered by. This was a typical lazy Tuesday on that quiet little strip between B Street on 16th Avenue and Palm Blvd. by 17th... on that little tiny spec of a street some practical joker had named South Boulevard just to mess with people's minds. "South WHAT Boulevard" people would ask whenever you told them your address, if you happened to live or work there.
But I digress. That morning there was quite the commotion. People were lined up past the GLOW Salon and the Chinese restaurant all the way down to the union hall. "What the heck is going on?" I asked. "They're opening a filling station!" my old chess buddy Phil answered. "A filling station, here in San Mateo?" I was shocked. I could have started singing "Everything's up to date in San Mateo, they've gone about as far as they could go..." but only a few people would have gotten the joke.
Soon the two guys who run the shop opened up the door and shouted "The filling station is NOW OFFICIALLY OPEN!" There was a huge cheer and people headed in. Some of them had big old laundry detergent bottles, others had little tiny hand soap pumps. "So what is this, recycling?" I asked Phil. "Nah. Better than that! You bring in your empties and fill them up right here. Keep on using them over and over and over again. Waste not - want not, that's what my mother always said."
I watched as people walked up to the filling station, picked their product, stuck their bottles and jugs under spigots, and started pouring. It was all "eco-friendly" stuff, organic, biodegradable, green. As soon as I saw that I figured filling up those bottles was going to cost a lot of "green!" My wife had bought a little bottle of organic hand soap once and it cost her nine bucks.
"That'll be three dollars." the clerk told one customer as she handed him her bottle of hand soap. Three dollars?!?! I couldn't believe it. "Hey, how can you do that for three dollars?" I asked. The guy admitted "We're giving folks a discount for the first day. It will be $3.45 cents next time." That still seemed like a good price. "We get the stuff in bulk and you know most of it is water. Why pay to ship all that water all over the country, or even worse, from other countries? We save even more money by eliminating all that plastic packaging."
It all sounded good to me. San Mateo really had come a long way! First we got two great farmer's markets, then everyone got composting and recycling bins, and now we had our very first filling station. And for once we beat Palo Alto and Burlingame to the punch!
I headed home to see what kinds of bottles and jugs I could bring over to the filling station the next time I needed a chocolate fix. Yep, there it was, that $9 bottle my wife had bought. Wouldn't she have a good laugh when I filled it back up for only $3.45!
Nowadays I guess our kids couldn't imagine the way we used to throw away all those old bottles and jugs, or even the concept that we'd send plastic, glass, and paper all the way to China to have it turned into products that they'd ship all the way back and sell to us! Good thing we got that first filling station in the year 2012. Everything really was finally up to date in San Mateo!
UPDATE: On March 6th, 2012, Reach And Teach added a Green 11 Filling Station to its shop at 178 South Blvd. (the Dove & Olive Works Building) in San Mateo, California. You're invited to stop on by and see history in the making. BYOC (Bring Your Own Container).