Danielle | Michigan
Hi! I’m Danielle Neiswender, from Flint, Michigan. I am inspired mostly by nature, by the connectedness of every being and by the sheer joy that growing things brings to me.
My path toward zero waste began because I became obsessed with permaculture. This is almost the gardening equivalent of zero waste. I’m also a huge proponent of living debt free, and zero waste felt like the next step in my journey. I believe that this world is a beautiful place filled with love and connectedness...sometimes you just have to be open to really seeing what’s there.
Devon | Vancouver, BC
Hi, I’m Devon and I’m from beautiful Vancouver Island!
As a student of classical archaeology, I regularly ask myself, “what can this object tell us about the person that owned it and the society that created it?” My journey towards a low waste lifestyle began when I asked myself this same question about my own possessions and lifestyle choices.
I’m inspired by the potential of intentional action. Phew, that’s a mouthful. Let me explain. A few years ago I learned that many people don’t use a compost. This was a lightbulb moment for me: I realized that I wanted to inspire other people to make informed and intentional lifestyle choices. I had always used a compost, but I had never thought about why. It was just something you did! When I learned that food waste doesn’t break down properly in a landfill, boy was I stunned! I thought about it for days. I told everyone I knew. Most of them didn’t know either! Imagine how many people would make better decisions, for themselves and for the environment, if only they knew.
Bailey | Tennessee
I’m Bailey, and I’m from a small mountain town in Tennessee where the closet thing we get to zero-waste is the cardboard box full of homegrown veggies that gets passed among coworkers and neighbors.
Connectedness and storytelling inspire me immensely and inform both my professional work and the things I pursue outside of my 9-5. I am currently working at a nonprofit and as a freelance journalist in Nashville where I focus mostly on food insecurity and waste.
When I was in the third grade, I got an assignment to dress as the historical figure, dead or alive, who inspired me most. When the time came to present, I stood next to the George Washington's and the Rosa Parks' from my class, wearing my best Jane Goodall costume, complete with a stuffed toy monkey for added effect.
Environmental issues and conservation are things that have always been on my radar—growing up with Depression-era grandparents who would lean on resourcefulness and reuse Country Crock butter containers rather than throwing them out, growing up as the daughter of a man who uses and dries paper towels and plastic bags (partly as a joke, mostly because he is really like that) will do that to you—but it wasn’t until I was sitting in social justice courses in college that things really started to sink in.
The connection between individual choices and the harm enacted by institutions began to make itself more clear—if I wanted to live my values, I couldn’t continue supporting large companies (or continue participating mindlessly in a linear economy specifically set up to benefit those companies) whose ethics did not click with mine. And it was through the Be Zero ambassador community that I was able to name the solution to my dissonance: zero-waste. I am here to learn more about low-waste living, about how to be a better resource to those looking to make green changes in their routines, and about how to be a better ally to the people of color who created the zero-waste movement as a means of survival.
I write about zero-waste, being intentional, recognizing privilege and sometimes books/journaling at littlepileofgoodthings.com. You can find me on social media @baileybblogs.
Cali | Asheville
My name is Cali Reed and I’m originally from central California. I currently reside in Asheville, NC but have also lived in Hawaii, DC, and Massachusetts before moving south. My environmental interests have always been prevalent in my lifestyle choices, but they were consciously realized while attending college in Honolulu where I studied Environmental Politics and became inspired by the community of activism. Through volunteering at beach cleanups hosted by the Surfrider Foundation and Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, I began to see the detrimental effect of micro-plastics firsthand and was devastated when I realized I was contributing to the pollution unwittingly. Post-college, I began working for a worker-owned cooperative that sells fair trade and organic products. I started regularly visiting my grocery co-op accounts and comparing their product selection to chain stores. Once I saw the difference in price for bulk products compared to packaged products I was committed to going package-less. As the years evolved, I started making switches to non-toxic zero waste alternatives whenever I would finish a packaged product. These days, I continue to learn about ways to reduce my impact as an individual and am looking to inspire a broader audience to do the same. Follow my journey on Instagram @regeneratingourworld and see what I’m up to!
Dylan | Florida
My name is Dylan Weiser and I am from Miami, Florida. Holistic healing really inspires me. You can literally heal and reverse disease with food and natural remedies from the earth...fascinating! I am inspired when I meet like minded people, and not so like minded people, to learn peoples’ different views, upbringings, and opinions.
What inspired me to move towards a less waste lifestyle? As I started to get into holistic health, conscious living came hand in hand. I watched some documentaries and what we are doing to our oceans and planet, and my heart completely broke. I knew I had to make big changes in my life and help spread the word...so here I am!
Miles | LA
My name is Miles Lewis. I'm an artist and educator in Los Angeles.
I'm inspired by deep human interaction - whether through art, sexuality, education, or social service. I am constantly struck by the thought that if life was organized around these pleasures, we'd live in a much cleaner and more peaceful world.
As far as waste reduction - We've got two legacies: What we do, and what we use for doing it. If I'm going to attempt to add material beauty or intellectual insight to the world, I'd better be cutting away the garbage that always threatens to overwhelm the small gems that we can contribute. I can't really think of a more worthwhile personal goal than trying to take responsibility for what you do and use. Mindfulness, equitable thinking, modesty, simple joy, and freedom are all plants native to that garden.
Ella | New York
Hi, I’m Ella. I’m originally from the Chicago area but I’m currently living in Brooklyn, New York. I am inspired, most of all, by community. Community for me encompasses social networks both big and small- the very large community of all species who share together on this giving planet and those who I share more specific spaces or routines with. My interest in zero waste is fueled by my experience of connectedness within the larger community of species and an unending desire to create a more just, equitable, and joyful way of living to sustain us all.
Daniela | Nebraska
Hello! My name is Daniela Watson and I live in Omaha, Nebraska with my husband Matt, two dogs, and five chickens. I started my journey to live a cleaner lifestyle in the fall of 2015 and that has led to becoming a big environmentalist, trying to follow a more zero waste and minimalistic lifestyle. My eyes weren’t fully open to how much trash we produce, especially outside of the home, until I met Andrea at a Be Zero event in Colorado. Since then I have slowly been taking one thing at a time to change in my life. I have started a blog to help better share my journey and hopefully inspire others that they too can make small changes. I hope that others find inspiration in the actions I am taking and feel that it is something they could try. I share my ups and my downs as I learn the ropes of everything from buying in bulk to living a more meaningful life. This lifestyle change has made me a better person and helped me realize what my relationship to “things” are and discover what truly is important to me vs. what is just clutter. I am so happy to be part of this community and believe it will help me in my personal life as well as help me better inspire others to live a more zero waste lifestyle and spread the message of living a more meaningful life.
Connect with me on Instagram (@theecochick) and my Facebook page (The Eco Chick) or at www.theecochick.com
Eniko | Wisconsin
Eniko (pronounced anne-eh-co) - I am originally from Hungary. I was born there, then I lived there for about 10 years in my teenage years/20's. I also studied in Barcelona for 2 years. I actually grew up in Florida, but right now I am living in Wisconsin. My husband is from Greece, so we are a dynamic family with roots in lots of places.
I have always had a green side, and also being from Eastern Europe frugality and thriftiness were just part of your upbringing (which has a lot of similar themes to zero waste). I don't think it was until a few years ago that I really started paying attention to how I am living my life (and my family as well) and what impact that is having on many things - the planet, our health, our finances. Now that I am getting 'older' I realized how precious our time is on this earth. Just having had my third child really triggered me to think about what kind of place I am bringing this child in to. Also, ironically I have spent my entire career in the CPG (consumer packaged goods) industry working for two Fortune 100 companies and kept seeing over and over again how the industry operates and how we got to where we are as consumers.
Tracy Puhl | Portland, Oregon
My name is Tracy and I’m from Portland, Oregon. I’m the owner of GladRags, a cloth menstrual pad and menstrual cup company, and my work inspires me to constantly push myself to consider the environmental impact of my choices, both in the office and at home.
Timi Komonibo | Syracuse, NY
I am inspired by creativity and change. Producing less waste lets us re-examine how we can change the things we've always accepted as the norm. We can ask ourselves can we produce this same result with less waste? With less harmful products? Can we achieve this same fashionable look with less fast fashion? It's a challenge that I willingly accept.
What inspired you to move towards a less waste lifestyle? When I moved to the East Coast, my life became greener in a lot of ways. I am inspired by seeing how small eco-adjustments lead to big lifestyle changes. I wanted to challenge myself to see how many wasteful habits I could swap out. I've found that the planet and my wallet thanks me for my greener choices. It's exciting to see how businesses and entire industries are shifting to more sustainable practices. We, the consumers, helped get them there. I'm eager to see what we can do as a movement.
Alli Cherry | California
Hi, I'm Alli Cherry. I'm from Long Beach, California and my husband Nick and I currently live in Orange County. As an artist, I find inspiration everywhere but I specifically love exploring new places and learning about their landscapes and history. The switch from a wasteful life to one of less waste has been a gradual progression for me. Four years ago, when husband and I moved in together, I began reducing my single use disposables like paper towels and plastic bags. I did this mainly because I was cheap and I didn't want to spend my money on items that I would use once and then throw away. Through this process of elimination, I realized that I didn't need those things at all. I continued to go without, happily. I've learned about the detrimental effects that plastic has on our health and our earth; doing what I can to protect the planet has become a passion of mine. This idea of voluntary simplicity slowly trickled down to all aspects of my life and is still evolving today.
Bridey Heing | London
"I'm Bridey, and I've been living in DC for the past four years. But soon I'll be relocating to London, where I'll be working on an MA and PhD in Comparative Literature. I'm a writer and critic with a focus on world literature and culture, and I have an MA in International Affairs. Learning about the politics and culture of other countries is one of my greatest passions, and that is in part what inspired me to try to reduce my waste. At a time when the impact of climate change is being felt more acutely each day and in a global capitalist economy where one of the best means of giving voice to our values is through our spending, my husband and I felt it was crucial that we do all we can on a day-to-day basis to reduce our footprint while supporting sustainable business practices. We're still early on in the transition to zero waste, but we're passionate about making choices that reflect our values, and I'm excited to be part of Be Zero!"
Tiffany Miller | Denver, Colorado
My name is Tiffany and I am originally from Columbia, South Carolina, but now live in Denver, CO and love it. Learning new things, surfing, traveling, art, meeting people, and understanding how others view the world truly inspires me. If you have read Strengths Finder by Tom Rath, one of my strengths is Woo. It makes sense that breaking the ice with a stranger energizes me. Then understanding how one's culture has shaped their views fascinates me. My love for the ocean and a pretty gnarly beach clean up in Massachusetts one day inspired me to move towards a less waste lifestyle because I don't want to contribute to the trash that lands in my home break.
Olivia Lapierre | Vermont
Olivia Lapierre is a Be Zero ambassador and racial justice activist. She is a recent graduate of Lyndon State College with a B.A. in Applied Psychology and Human Services. She began her transition to a zero waste lifestyle in January 2016. Through Be Zero she works to bring awareness to environmental racism and to provide platforms for POCs in environmental communities, which are traditionally predominantly white spaces. As a community organizer and activist, Olivia is drawn to making the zero waste community more inclusive. She does this by organizing community discussions that address, educate, and work to dismantle systemic oppression.
TV Show: Talkin’ Trash
Facebook: Be Zero Upper Valley
Appearances: https://vimeo.com/176517806 & https://vimeo.com/202229274
Hi! My name is Bobbie Erichsen and I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota with my husband, my 7-month old daughter and my dog, Arlo. I find inspiration outdoors. I love to canoe and camp in the summer and cross country ski in the winter. I also practice yoga and listen to music for inspiration. My zero waste journey started about six months ago when I realized how much extra garbage I was producing with a baby. I committed to learning how to recycle and compost properly to make up for the added waste, and that lead me to reading about zero waste. Adopting a zero waste life has completely changed my relationship to material things, and it has clarified what I want to assign importance to in my life. I am incredibly grateful to have stumbled into this lifestyle change. It has shifted my outlook for the better, and forever.
Casey O'Neil | Colorado
Hello! My name is Casey O’Neill and I am on a zero waste adventure. I grew up in Tucson, Arizona but have spent the last three years in Boulder, Colorado. I am inspired to be a more brave and resourceful person everyday than when I woke up this morning. I think the most exciting thing about going zero waste is it’s the first time I’ve felt like I found this community that understands me for the first time in my adult life. As a millennial, I’m often treated as if I won’t start to make smart decisions for a while, but I love to prove people wrong.
Brenna Walsh | Canada
Hi my name is Brenna Walsh and I’m from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. I am inspired by people who do hard work to make people’s lives better, brighter and happier every day. I am a distance runner and grew up next to the ocean in Nova Scotia and have a deep appreciation for the natural world. I am inspired to move towards making less waste because of the effects that I have seen on the natural world from our throwaway society. I really want others to be able to experience nature as I have, to be able to breathe easy, and see animals in rich natural habitats. I also have great family and friends and they remind me every day that experiences and time shared with them is more important than always gathering more stuff.
My name is Jenica Barrett and I’m from Deming, Washington. I originally started going zero waste over two years ago by analyzing my trash each month to learn what I threw out. I realized I was being hypocritical by calling myself an environmentalist and doing very little about it! Since beginning this lifestyle, I have found a way to actively help better our planet that is inspiring to me and even fun to do!
Through reducing my waste I have discovered local farmers and community organizations that I didn’t know about before. I have expanded my understanding of the recycling system, product manufacturing, and ways to support my health naturally. The zero waste lifestyle has so many more benefits than I ever imagined!
I try to share what I have learned about this lifestyle with others by hosting community workshops and writing on my blog, Zero Waste Wisdom. I am so excited to become a part of the Be Zero organization and to continue encouraging others to reduce their waste!
Kristin Schrier | Pennsylvania
Hi there! My name is Kristin, and I’m thrilled to be spreading the joys of mindful living as a Be Zero Ambassador. I was born and raised in the Philadelphia area and am getting ready to wear that iconic cap and gown as a college graduate. I’ve been interning for what seems like forever, but I’m looking forward to the terrifying prospect of entering the “real world.”
I’m fairly new to the zero-waste movement myself, and at this point it’s mind-blowing to me that the idea of reducing your trash is a movement and not, you know, normal. But alas, here we are. The least I can do is help spread the word about how all-around easy it can be to reduce your impact and keep our planet as good as new!
Abby Abrahamson | Massachusetts
My name is Abby Abrahamson and I am a young activist and environmentalist from Rehoboth, Massachusetts. I have been passionate about caring for people, animals, and the environment since a young age. I first learned of the zero waste movement when I stumbled across Lauren Singer’s Tedx Talk, “Why I Live A Zero Waste Life” in the spring of 2016. Since then, I have been making sustainable changes to my lifestyle in an effort to reduce my waste and impact on the environment. My goal is to spread awareness about the zero waste movement, and to teach others how to make sustainable lifestyle changes. I am excited to begin my journey with the Be Zero organization as a member of the ambassador program!
Abbey Donavan | California
I'm Abbey Donavan, from San Diego, California. I'm grateful to live in a place filled with natural beauty; the beach is a short drive from my home and hiking our many local trails with my husband and dog is one of my favorite past-times. I'm a Registered Veterinary Technician at a research institute, so I know just how closely the health of humans, animals, and the environment are linked. My work, passion for reading, and earth-loving tendencies lead me to the idea of zero waste in 2014.
I am so thrilled to be a part of Be Zero's Ambassador program. Even after attempting a minimal waste lifestyle since January 2016, I still feel like I have a lot to learn. But I also have a lot to offer. I am looking forward to strengthening the zero waste community and educating others on my lifestyle choices to help keep our little blue planet a healthy home for generations to come.
Connect with me on Facebook (Abbey Donavan) and Instagram (@abbey_donavan).
Fidan Karimova / Washington, DC
Hello, my name is Fidan Karimova. I was born in Baku, Azerbaijan and and I currently live in the Washington, DC area. I am passionate about all things water, technology innovation and international relations. A few years ago I created a mobile app called The Water Tracker that helps people keep track and curb their water use on a daily basis. Having worked with entrepreneurs all over the world, I came to realize that in order to make lasting change, a change in one's own lifestyle is an important step. As a result I have started working towards zero waste in my day to day life. I will be documenting my accomplishments on Instagram @fikari - and my blog - fikari.com.
Paige Myers / Iowa
My name is Paige, and I'm originally from central Iowa. I go to school at Iowa State University! I got interested in the zero waste movement and circular mindset about a year ago, when I was stressed about living in a tiny, junky dorm room, and looking to make my lifestyle more purposeful. I'm inspired by nature and seeing people enact kindness and thoughtfulness in their everyday lives!
Melanie Lamothe / Oregon
Hello, my name is Melanie Lamothe. I am a future mathematics teacher and environmentalist from Portland, Oregon. Portland, is a beautiful and forward thinking city. Full of small businesses, second-hand stores, and food co-ops, it’s a great place to live Zero Waste.
In 2015, I went to Puerto Rico to visit family. The beaches were covered with trash. We spent half of a beautiful day diving for straws! This was the first time that I realized how our decisions can impact the environment. In 2016 I heard about Zero Waste and the rest is history. It’s amazing how simple reducing waste can be. I am by no means a perfect Zero Waster, but I aspire to do my best. You can follow my Zero Waste journey on instagram @zerowasteharmony
Emily Post / Colorado
Hi, I'm Emily Post. I live in Lakewood, CO, with my 3 young children, my husband, a cat, and 3 goats. I've always cared about the environment, but didn't get involved in the Zero Waste movement until reading Bea Johnson's book last year. We always did things to reduce our impact on the Earth, but never gave our purchase power or what happened to our trash a second thought. Since reading her book, I have significantly reduced my trash, even while having 3 kids! I'm also taking a composting course to become a Master Composter, and can't wait to share my knowledge about composting. I want my children to grow up to not only love and respect our planet, but also HAVE a beautiful planet to live on.
Molly Woodman / Montana
I'm Molly Woodman from Manhattan, Montana and I'm currently living in Omaha, Nebraska to attend law school. Exploring our beautiful planet has been a huge part of my life, whether it be rafting the rivers of the northwest, jumping waves in the Pacific Ocean, hiking in the Rocky Mountains, or swimming in the Caribbean waters of Costa Rica. Through my travels I have seen too many examples how our planet is being slowly destroyed; air pollution, water pollution, and many others.
While I studied Biology and became more and more aware of what our planet has to offer, it has become one of my goals in life to make sure that I am doing the best I can to help preserve Earth and keep her safe. Nature is such a beautiful thing which has so much to give us, and I have a deep love for that. Be Zero is such a great way to get people educated and on the right path to living a healthy, safe, and awesome lifestyle, and I'm so happy to be a part of it as an ambassador. You can find me on Instagram at @mollywoodman or on Facebook.
Ryanne Frazier / Billings, Montana
I’m Ryanne Frazier, originally from Billings, Montana. My natural interests inspired me to move towards zero waste – with passions of environmentalism, sustainability, health, wellness, and travel in mind. Within the past 8 months, I’ve strived to live a zero-waste, simplistic lifestyle. By eliminating the unnecessary, it has been a liberating, educational journey. I have been actively living this out – in hopes that people will want to join.
Throughout my experiences, I’ve witnessed first hand how waste, and plastic are destroying our natural playgrounds, and negatively impacting all living species. As an explorer and adventure-seeking junkie, I hope to continue my journey through traveling purposefully, aiding to preserve our natural habitat, and making a difference through action, design, and education.
Links to my apparel work/design ideas:
Save the Surf
Extend your Garments Lifecycle
Links to Social Media: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ryanne.frazier
Sue Yee / Beijing China
Hi, I’m Sue Yee, originally from Malaysia. Currently working in Beijing, China. I studied Chemical with Environmental Engineering as my major. Indeed, I came across with TED talk which presented by Lauren Singer about her zero waste lifestyle. I am truly inspired by Lauren the way that she lives with her own value by starting from herself. That’s when I started to adapt my lifestyle with a less waste journey. Just because we love our mother planet which we called it as HOME. It’s not necessary to seek for another planet as an alternative home. But, we can actually make a change for our planet just by starting from ourselves. Thus, I started to shop in bulk, avoid using single use items and D.I.Y some stuff (toothpaste, face scrubs and etc). I hope to create some awareness about zero waste lifestyle especially in Asia countries and show that everything is possible.
Bora Jung / New York
Bora is a Christ-following, recent Wesleyan University graduate, living in NYC striving to live a more sustainable and minimal lifestyle. She hopes to eventually be completely zero waste but until then, is working on refusing, reducing, reusing, recycling, and rotting, hoping to be a light and influencing others to do the same. For a collection of the simple but grace-filled moments of her life, follow her on Instagram @borajung!