How is your program “zero waste”?

Zero waste is a concept that typically implies nothing goes to landfill. Everything is either recycled, reused, or composted, more or less. Our bottles, tins, pumps, caps, dispensers, and other packaging for our products are all designed to be reused. We pay $2 per bottle for people to return our bottles and tins, and also pay return shipping, so we’ve done our best to pave the way for everything’s easy reuse. We clean, sterilize, and refill our packaging, and sell it to the next customer. Our shipping materials are reused as well, from boxes to fill. We ship products in boxes that customers can then use to ship back empties and get their deposits back.

Here’s a video on how it works: 

How do I return my bottles and get paid for them?

There are a number of ways! You can drop them off with us at one of the markets we do or an event we table (contact us at info at for locations). If you buy more products, we’ll ship you a box with new bottles, then you can use that box and a pre-paid shipping label to ship stuff back to us. Once we receive the bottles, we’ll send you money back via paypal or check. 

Is Pono Home a different company than Pono Home Essentials?

Same company! We started in 2014 by working in peoples’ homes to help green their lives. You can learn more about Pono Home here and request a free audit if you live in one of our service areas. We’ve performed over 9,000 energy and water saving upgrades across six islands and three states and are currently saving over 90 million gallons of water and roughly 10 million pounds of CO2 annually from the homes and small businesses we’ve serviced in the past. More every day. If you’re interested in doing that kind of work for a living, you should check out Home Efficiency, where you can get a “business in a box” package to get you up and running on greening homes and small businesses in your area. 

Pono Home launched this line of zero waste “home essentials” in 2018, simply due to the fact that many of our customers when we were greening homes asked us about how to take their sustainability journey a step further. We typically give people a demo book by our company founder, Scott Cooney, called “Green Living Ideas“. That book contains hundreds of tips and tricks to green your life, and, among them is a list of the most toxic ingredients in various personal care products. That chart left many people saying, “OK, everything in my house is toxic…help!” So we decided to launch this effective, natural, organic product line, but we didn’t want to stop there–we created a zero waste model to really live up to our values. 

How do you choose your ingredients?

We start with a filter of no toxic junk. The Environmental Working Group has a database of products and ingredients that range on a scale of safest to most toxic, and we definitely don’t do anything that scores even in the mid range. We then source locally first, and organic second.

There’s palm oil in your Hawaii based plumeria and mango shampoo and body wash. What gives? Don’t you care about orangutans??

We definitely care about tropical rainforests and all their life forms, and are aware of the palm oil challenge. We do not make all of our products in house, and the ones that contain palm are not made by us, but by a third party. That third party sources certified sustainable palm oil. This is a step in the right direction for palm oil globally, but we are actively working to eliminate palm oil in any product we sell. 

Where can we find you on social media?  

All our social links are up on the top right of the page! 

How can I become a distributor in my area? 

We see our model being a great one for creating economic opportunities around the world for people to sell our products, build client lists, and create a residual income for themselves. We’re starting with brand ambassadors, and those that sell well we will work with to create a more official relationship that might include a protected territory. Interested? Apply to become a zero waste ambassador here