Going Zero Waste helps people make the transition to eco-friendly living an easy, fun, and sustainable process. By educating people on the benefits of living zero waste, Kathryn is making the world a greener place one household at a time. Learn more about her action-oriented efforts on her blog here!
What sparked your passion for a zero-waste lifestyle?
It might be surprising but didn't start going zero waste because I loved the planet. I actually started practicing many of these habits out of financial necessity and for health reasons. I had a major hormonal imbalance which led to a lot of pain, doctor visits, cystic acne, mood swings, and mental health issues. So, I started reducing my exposure to endocrine disruptors which are found in a lot of products we come into daily contact with. I started being very mindful of what I brought into my home by reducing plastic, eating more plant based, and DIY-ing a lot of my cleaning products. I realized the changes I was making for my personal health weren’t only better for me, they were also better for the planet.
What do you wish more people knew about zero waste living?
A lot of people think zero waste living is expensive, but it’s important to remember the most eco-friendly thing you can do is use what you already have. It’s not about running out and buying the latest and greatest eco-friendly product. It’s about mending, repairing and repurposing. It helps me be content with what I have— knowing that stuff doesn’t define you is radical thought in a world that says BUY, BUY, BUY.
What are ways people can get started?
Buy fewer items. Use that last drop of shampoo. Upcycle your glass salsa jar to store leftovers. Reuse that promotional cotton tote until the straps fall off and then stitch them back on. Invest in products that will last a lifetime. Focus on timeless things that bring you joy rather than trends. Shop secondhand. Start reducing single-use plastics like straws, plastic water bottles, plastic bags, and plastic coffee cups. And, remember it’s not about being perfect. It’s about wasting less and being good stewards of what we have.
How can we encourage communities to take action as well?
We need to hold corporations and legislators accountable to ensure safe access to clean air, clean drinking water, and a safe environment for everyone. Host a free talk at the local library, call your local newspaper and ask about a column or an article on zero waste living, show a documentary at a community space, grab a table at the local farmers market to educate others, host a clean-up, get involved with your local government, go to city hall meetings, talk to local businesses about implementing a straw on request only policy, get local coffee shops to incentivize bringing your own cup. One of the most important things we can do is have hard conversations with friends, family, and neighbors. Talk about the problems, and talk about solutions.