Welcome back to another Eco Friendly Tuesday! On certain Tuesday's I'm taking time to shine a spotlight on neat people, businesses, and innovations. So far we've featured the first Head Chef at Google and his efforts in eliminating food waste and we've talked about one of my favorite businesses BagPodz! They're a reusable bag company that have completely rocked my world.
This EFT we're focusing on a good friend of mine, Andrea from Be Zero. You might remember that we co-authored the 30 Day Zero Waste Challenge. She is so awesome. She's president of a non-profit that spreads the zero waste message all over the GLOBE!
When did you start your personal Eco Journey?
Growing up on the Gulf Coast of Florida inspired me to become deeply interested in marine biology and marine animals. I started to volunteer at a our local marine research center back in 1994, I was 14 years old. I spent the next 5 years volunteering and educating the public on local marine conservation and also spent time on the marine mammal care team, where I helped treat sick and stranded marine mammals - from dolphins to small whales.
When did you decide to go zero waste?
I started my path on the zero waste lifestyle back in 2007. My career continued in environmental education and with that I started to realize that my actions in my personal life were not exactly aligning to the beliefs I held and shared towards being an good environmentalist. A random online search led me to a blog called The Zero Waste Home. Bea Johnson's zero waste blog had just started back then and following her insights and story was a true inspiration to me. I was hooked.
What did you expect from it or did you have an expectations?
At the time I was living in a city that wasn't exactly receptive to very many progressive or environmental ideas, so I expected it to be an uphill climb from the start. Just bringing my canvas bags to the grocery store brought strange and curious looks.
When did you start Be Zero the Nonprofit?
Be Zero started in early 2014 as more or less a simple blog for sharing my zero waste journey. I had kept my lifestyle to myself since I had started, but questions and curiosities from friends and family inspired me to get back to my roots in environmental education and share the zero waste mindset on a public level. Be Zero became a nonprofit in late November 2015.
Why did you start it?
I started Be Zero because I really felt that there needed to be more inspiration, voices, and understanding about our personal waste footprint, material mindfulness, and how our waste is truly interconnected to so many other facets of our life both on the global, community, and personal level.
What are your missions and goals/ what do you hope to accomplish?
Be Zero's mission is to inspire, educate, and activate individuals to rethink their trash and plastic footprint and to lead more simple and sustainable lifestyles.
We are working on creating a global network of engaged individuals who want to live simply, sustainably and with less waste. We believe education is key to understanding our how our consumer actions can shift the way products are designed and recovered. Also in creating enriching and alive local economies. Through educational and volunteer programs, social media and speaking engagements we are providing simple and actionable methods to create change.
What’s popped up along that way that’s surprised you?
The kindness of others. In less than a year of Be Zero being in the public's eye, it's been overwhelming the positive response from individuals around the world towards this lifestyle. We are so very much all in this together.
Have you had any major light bulb moments or truly defining moments that have caused you to shift focus?
Yes, one being that this isn't a story just about trash in a jar. I realized that what I call the zero waste mindset is truly a story about what we value. Putting value back into our things by becoming owners of our things instead of consuming for convenience alone. And always simplify, simplify, simplify.
What would your dream world look like in 2050?
I truly hope that I'll live in a world where individuals are more conscious, intentional, and compassionate of their relationships towards the planet and each other.
Currently, buffalo cauliflower tacos with vegan blue cheese dressing on corn tortillas.
Where can we find you to follow along?
I'm so grateful that Andrea took time out of her busy day to chat with me. I'm looking forward to doing another community spotlight.
I'm thinking about interviewing some ZW moms. It's one subject I don't know much about. Do you have any questions for zero waste mamas? What about any zero waste mamas that would like to be interviewed? Leave me a comment below or email me using my contact form.