While there’s ample pressure on brands to go sustainable across industries, and on governments to implement pro-green initiatives, the good news is that even people are increasingly become conscious & aware of their impact on this planet too. We know for a fact that all of us, wherever we live in the world, are trying n our small ways to change something. Be it moving away from plastic, shopping less, turning to eco-friendly options, better water and energy management, we all are trying something. So this week we introduce you to a very young & gorgeous greenie, who’s taking a Zero-waste challenge she branded Futuristic February. Get tips from her & take the challenge. Get set, go green with Kristin!
Q: Hi Kristin! Tell us a bit about your background and what you do? Your likes dislikes & interests….
Kristin: I am a 22 year old hospitality student at Eastern Illinois University. I graduate in May so I plan to get a job in the industry in just a few short months, so that is exciting! I grew up in a rural town located in central Illinois so my interests include lots of traveling. I love to see and experience new things, especially being a small town girl. I have a passion for people as well as making a difference in the world and I hope to inspire others!
Q: What was the key motivation behind Futuristic February green initiative? What inspired you to take this step?
Kristin: Less than a year ago I just happened to take a sustainability class for an elective and my life simply changed for the better. I was immediately shaken by all of the problems in our world that are corrupting our precious environment every single day. I knew from then on that I wanted to make personal changes as well as educate other to do the same. That is when I took action and created my organization ECOEIU to educate students to get engaged in working towards a cleaner environment. I would love to to find a way to have a career that links the hospitality industry and sustainability.
Q: Why do we need to cut waste? What is your take on this issue?
Kristin: We need to cut waste simply because it is easier to do so than people think.
- There is no reason that landfills should be as abundant and as full as they are today.
- Plastic bags should not be flooding the streets and fields, and there should not be as so many k-cups that they could stretch around the world more than 10 times.
- I think society has been conditioned to think that plastic and other materials are essential to daily life. Everywhere we turn, there is plastic. People live life based on convenience and unfortunately, plastic and other waste materials seem to be the convenient option.
- Waste not only effects future generations but it effects our land, air, and the ecosystems of animals and other life daily.
Q: What are the changes that you implemented in your daily urban life to fulfill the ‘reduce waste by 50%’ challenge?
Kristin: I have tried to completely cut out anything plastic that I can. No water bottles, which I never really used anyway (Psst… here are some great options to switch from plastic bottles). I use cloth bags for all of my groceries. I simply try to buy products that are not packaged in plastic, it is hard to do based on my geographically location I do not have access to specialty grocery stores. I buy milk, and juice in cartons. I have just tried to be frugal by making some of my own things which can cut down on plastic consumption. I have made some progress but I still have a lot of work to do.
Q: Did you consult a specific source for guidance to start? Can you share these with our readers?
Kristin: Yes! A girl named Carly Bergman that has mutual friends posted her idea for Futuristic February on Instagram and I was immediately inspired to join!
Tip: You can also take some tips from Parisian Couple – Gilles & Bianca on how to go Zero-waste here!
Q: What was and maybe still is the most difficult step for you?
Kristin: The most difficult step was trying to find ways to eliminate plastic consumption. Everywhere you look there it is, and it is the convenient way to buy products. The only store that I have in my small town is a Walmart and an Aldis. I try to do all my shopping at Aldis because they promote going green, and support using reusable grocery bags.
Q: What is the progress of your challenge right now?
Kristin: I am collecting my waste from this month still currently to measure how much exactly I have been using, so I can target my actually goal for the month of march.
Q: Has this challenge had a positive effect on over all life quality? How has it changed things for you?
Kristin: This had had a huge positive effect on my overall quality of life because I feel so good about making changes that benefit not just myself but the people around me. Plus, I am continuing to learn, that is what makes me feel good. I love to learn how to improve my behaviors and learn new ways to do so. Growing as an individual is so important.
Q: Can you give us some simple tips that Urbans can do to manage/reduce waste in our homes? Maybe a few initial steps that we can start with?
Kristin: Buy a stainless steel or other reusable cup for all beverages, and cut out plastic bottles all together!! That is the first easiest step you can take. Once you start using one, it becomes habit and you cannot live without it.
I would also say eliminating k-cups (and other single use plastic) from daily routine is another easy fix, use a coffee pot or press, tastes much better anyway & you save a lot of money 🙂
Most importantly, collect your waste to see how much you use, that will be the only way to open your eyes to the problem. It will make you WANT to change.
These are a couple very basic ideas to start.
You can also see what these two cool youngsters are doing to eliminate plastic straws!
Q: What are the next steps for you in this challenge?
Kristin: My next step is to try to get as many people involved as possible. I want to make this a movement. So please share my idea with you followers! Thank you!!
So readers, see it’s very simple to start somewhere. And if you already are doing one green thing, then just add one more green step to reduce waste. Imagine the impact!
Meet more cool greenies and learn from their example. Matheu shows us how to be green living in the city. And another pretty UrbanMeister shows us how to make your own non-toxic cleaner from vodka!
Have your own go-green tips, tips to reduce waste or like us to meet some cool greenie? Write to us or just leave a comment on Facebook, twitter, instagram or Linkedin!