It's another Waste Less Wednesday and this week we will be hearing from another zero waste blogger, Kathryn Kellogg, author of Going Zero Waste. What I love about Kathryn's blog is that it's honest, open, and practical. She wants to show that everyone can participate in the zero waste movement. Today Kathryn will share with us a little bit more about her blog, how she got interested in zero waste, and how sustainable living fits into her ideas of health and well-being.
Tell us a little bit about the mission and vision behind your blog!
I started GZW January of 2015. I wanted to create a place that was warm, inviting, and most importantly wasn't about being perfect. I wanted to create a really honest and transparent zero waste blog that showed what I buy in packaging and talked about all of the gray areas like shipping and second hand vs. new and sustainable. I want anyone and everyone to feel like they can participate in the zero waste movement. Even if they only do one thing, one thing is better than doing nothing. We can all make a difference!!
When did you first become familiar with the term zero-waste and what did you initially think about it?
My zero waste journey started when I went plastic-free for health reasons. BPA, BPS, and other phthalates found in plastic are endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors mimic estrogen and can cause tumors, reproductive issues, and birth defects. I had six, thankfully benign, tumors in my breast when I was 20. I started avoiding endocrine disruptors in my products, like parabens, and trying to avoid plastic in contact with my food. After ditching plastic the transition to zero waste was almost seamless.
What inspired you to start a zero-waste, sustainable lifestyle?
When I moved out to California, I saw litter everywhere! We're so close to the water, and it really hit home when I'd see floating plastic and debris. During my time researching the health side effects of plastic, I also learned that our planet can't digest it.
Plastic doesn't biodegrade, it photodegrades. That means it gets smaller and smaller and smaller. Every piece of plastic ever created still exists! It's especially dangerous to marine life. The pieces get so small they're often mistaken for plankton. Plastic is in our food chain. Learning all this cemented going plastic-free even more, that and this cheesy poster, "If you're not a part of the solution, you're a part of the pollution."
What was the hardest/most challenging thing you encountered when transitioning to a more sustainable lifestyle?
I hate this question; I'm asked this question in every interview. Lol. Going zero waste or plastic free is not like climbing a mountain. It doesn't get harder the further you go. It's more like walking across a field. Each step is equal, but over time you cover a swath of land. It's all about little tiny habit changes like remembering to bring a water bottle with you when you leave the house or bringing your reusable bags to the grocery store. It doesn't take any time or effort, just commitment!
What is your #1 tip for those us interested in reducing our waste or even transitioning to a zero-waste way of living?
Take your time, but be committed!! Just commit to doing one thing at first. I recommend bringing a full reusable water bottle with you every time you leave the house. Phone, wallet, water, keys - don't leave the house without any of these things! If you don't like the way your tap water tastes, invest in a filter. They make charcoal sticks which I love! https://www.goingzerowaste.com/blog/filter-water-without-plastic-use-a-charcoal-stick
How does living sustainably fit into your ideas of health and wellness?
When you don't eat food in a package, you're pretty much left with whole foods. My diet has improved immensely. I eat a very plant forward diet, and I walk almost everywhere. It's been great for both my physical and mental health.
What is your favorite zero-waste healthy snack?
Right now, my favorite snack is apple slices with peanut butter. Mmmmmm. Or a banana. Or a cookie. Or just chocolate chips because I'm too lazy to make cookies. OOOOO. Apple slices with peanut butter AND chocolate chips. Done.
What advice do you have for those of us who are trying to balance work or school with personal well-being and living sustainably?
I am no stranger to the balancing act. I have a full-time job, a part-time job, and blog which is a part-time job too. It really doesn't take any more time. It's just about readjusting your habits. Once you have your routine down, you're set! In fact, I'd say living zero waste saves me time! Just pick one thing and go for it! We can all make a difference. We can all choose to do one thing better.
Follow Kathryn and Going Zero Waste on instagram here.