Did you know that over 58 billion paper cups are thrown away, not recycled, every year. And where does that come from? Trees. Approximately 20 million of them are cut down in the cup making process.
Did you know over 300 million tonnes of plastic is produced annually?
And what if we told you that 90% of all floating material found in the ocean is plastic?
Let us introduce you to Lauren Singer, an inspiring 23-year old from NYC who has adopted a completely trash-free and waste-free lifestyle.
Her’s is no ordinary tale. Lauren studied Environmental studies major in College and made the conscious decision to live sustainably about a year and a half ago. She has gone on to launch, Trash Is For Tossers – a blog to document her journey to living a waste-free life, which has to date accumulated over 40,000 followers.
Lauren describes her movement for a “waste-free life” is to simply “lessen the impact” for the environment. And to show us that leading a Zero Waste lifestyle is easier than it looks, cost-effective, timely, fun, and possibly for ALL. Mark our words.
Since quitting her job at the Department of Agriculture in New York, she has launched The Simply Co, which creates sustainable cleaning products for people who want the products she makes. Her line includes a natural three-ingredient laundry powder!
Im launching a Zero Waste company!! It's called @thesimplyco and our @kickstarter just launched to fund our 3-ingredient chemical free vegan, organic laundry detergent. Please like our page, share it on Facebook or Twitter and help me make my dream a reality!! #trashisfortossers #zerowaste #organic #thesimplyco #livesimply #notrash #zerowastecompany #sustainable #vegan
In two years, from hard work and pure dedication to saying NO TO TRASH – this is ALL the trash she collected. #Inspiration much?
At first we wondered, “How on earth was this possible?” – 2 years of trash in 1 mason jar – no way. But upon further discussion we realised the steps she takes to ensure minimal waste is something we can actually all apply to our lives. Lauren composts regularly, uses a menstrual cup, purchases recyclable and biodegradable products, minimises packaging by bringing in her own containers, utensils, jars etc – all relatively easy steps if you’re willing to make that change
I mean…just look at her zero-waste cabinet in her home!
Her fridge is also living proof of her journey. Lauren explains that, “she only buys fresh produce for the week.”
She also regularly hosts a number of DIY events to combat waste – like creating your own toothpaste or body scrub…
Lauren is a one-of-a-kind and conscious consumer – leading the way for change in minimising waste.
2 STEPS TO ZERO WASTE
The path to zero waste is never-ending but always strive to downsize, find better alternatives, and educate yourself.
- Evaluate: the first step is to take a look at your daily life and ask yourself the following questions:
- How much garbage am I currently producing and what types? Ex: food packaging- this can help you determine the places you can start reducing and looking for alternatives.
- Why am I even interested in decreasing my impact? Is it for the environment, is it to decrease toxins in my life, is it to decrease clutter, is it because i’m totally broke and want to save money?
- What do I actually use on a daily basis (what is in my daily routine) and what do I not use/need?
- How much and what do I really need to be happy? Really assess what you own and hold on to certain things, and determine if you really need them.
- Transition: start to downsize and properly dispose of the unnecessary things:
- Bring a reusable bag and water bottle with you everywhere!
- Get rid of the plastic. From tupperware to take away bags – plastic is toxic. Instead, replace them with sustainable, long-lasting alternatives.
- Be creative. Figure out what you can use in different ways.
- Make your home your sanctuary.
- Minimize. Ask yourself, what do I not need? What do I wear every day? What did I buy last year that still has tags on it? Whatever it is, it most likely has a value of some sort.
- Think Organic, think Local, think Sustainable and BUY IN BULK.
Lauren believes that we can slowly change the way we live with some simple alternatives that she has personally tried, tested and approved! After all – we are supposed to be the future of this planet and here we are with our trash, messing it up. So why not change the world positively by following her footsteps?
Looking for more inspiration on why we should all be looking to lead a waste free life? Head on over to www.contiki.com/storytellers. Over 10 days, 11 Contiki Storytellers will be travelling the East Coast of Australia, seeking to learn the dangers of plastic within our oceans and changes we can all make to reduce our plastic impact. We’ll be filming their journey every step of the way, and you can follow along with action as it unfolds at #ContikiStorytellers.