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Inspiration for a Waste Free Lifestyle

EarthSavvy for plastic free july

‘Inspiration for a waste free lifestyle – An Interview with Kristy Lorson’

As we come close to the end of July, for many this also means the end of another Plastic Free July.  For those of you unfamiliar with Plastic Free July, it is a key initiative of the Plastic Free Foundation that encourages and allows a growing global community to work towards the shared vision seeing a world free of plastic waste.

This month, in line with Plastic Free July, we have been sending more of our reusable containers into our Glen Innes, Panmure and Meadowbank shops to support our plastic free champions on their mission to choose less waste.  We have had such a positive response from our customers, so much so that this week our shops asked us to send them extra stock!  When shopping at Dove Hospice you can also find cool keep cups (for coffees on the run), linen napkins, reusable cutlery (finding the perfectly odd set), and totes… we have plenty of totes for you to carry all of your reusables in.  By shopping at Dove Hospice for your reusables, you are also supporting people in your local community with life-threatening illness.  A double positive!!

To learn more about a plastic free lifestyle, and a lifestyle with less waste, and how we as an organisation can begin a journey of less waste, we have connected with local zero waste champion Kristy Lorson.  Kristy is the founder of the zero-waste informative brand ‘EarthSavvy’ and the inspiring human behind the Facebook group ‘Zero Waste in NZ!’

Kristy Lorson from EarthSavvy and ‘Zero Waste NZ!’

Q. We are keen to learn what inspired you to committing to choose to life with zero waste.  Can you tell us how you started to implement this new lifestyle?  First steps?

Back when I first started reducing waste in early 2015, the first thing I did was look in my rubbish bin to see what our biggest waste items were.  For our family, it was tetra packs of vege stock and soy milk.  So, I decided to start making these things myself.  The vege stock was pretty straight-forward.  The soy milk was quite a bit trickier (these days, because it’s difficult to source soybeans, I make sunflower seed milk instead – it’s much easier!).  After looking in our bin, I then went through our house, room by room, and made a list of all the consumables that we purchased.  And then I just slowly went through the list and started looking for alternatives.  I looked for options that were package-free, I started making some things myself and, if I wasn’t able to get it package-free or easily make it myself, I chose products in reusable glass packaging or, failing that, metal or cardboard packaging.  I also managed to eliminate some products altogether!  For anyone looking for ideas for sustainable swaps, you might like to check out my Zero Waste Room by Room Guide.

Q. How do you encourage your daughter to embrace zero waste, and what do you think Savana would suggest to her friends at school as easy things they can do to, to look after our planet?

We’ve been living this way since Savvy was 2 years old, so it’s all just normal for her.  My advice for parents of older children is to make sure that your kids understand why you want to make changes.  Instead of being the one who bears the burden of telling everyone else what to do, try educating your family about the problems related to waste.  Read books together, watch videos, get them onboard and then work together on solutions.  I find that talking about how animals are affected by plastic pollution can be a particularly powerful motivator for kids.  

I asked Savvy what advice she would give to her friends to help them care for the planet.  Here’s what she said:  Use beeswax wraps instead of plastic.  Talk to people about waste (ask them questions like “do you know what happens to plastic?”).  Say no to lollies wrapped in plastic.  Say no to stickers!

Q. The Plastic Free July global movement has been making huge change across the planet since 2011.  Now 10 years in, what has been your personal motivation or inspiration for plastic change this year?

It has been so fantastic to see the growth of Plastic Free July.  Over 320 million people participated last year and it’s just going to keep getting bigger.  As a family, we’re at the stage where there’s not a whole lot more, we can do to reduce our waste and, I must admit, with every year that goes by, it becomes more challenging to think of a pledge for Plastic Free July!  This year, I’ve been inspired by the #NoLoveToLitter campaign organised by Laura at UYO and Plastic Free July Aotearoa.  It’s a very simple campaign to take part in, regardless of where you are on your zero-waste journey.  When you pledge to give “NoLoveToLitter”, you agree that you won’t “like”, reshare or post images of wasteful single-use packaging.  I’ve also been taking it a step further and messaging businesses and influencers who post images of single-use packaging and asking whether they too will lend their support to this campaign.  It’s all about educating people and normalising a culture of reuse.

Q. As an organisation, Dove Hospice are taking small but determined steps towards the use of less plastic.  What would you suggest would be 3 key changes that we should start with as a business to implement going forward?

That’s awesome that you’re taking steps to reduce your plastic consumption.  Every business will be dealing with different types of waste.  So, the easiest way to start is by doing a waste audit so you know where improvements are needed.  It’s also really important that all of your staff are onboard so that you can work on solutions together as a team.  Lastly, make sure that your stakeholders and customers understand the reasons why you’re using less plastic and hopefully, you can inspire them to do the same!

Q. You are also the champion behind the ‘Zero Waste in NZ!’ Facebook page.  Firstly, thank you for being you, and for taking action to inspire change throughout our local and national communities.  What are some key ‘actions’ that our Dove Hospice community could get involved in through this Facebook page?

The ‘Zero Waste in NZ!’ Facebook group is a pretty amazing resource thanks to all of the generous and knowledgeable people who share content within the group.  We now have over 30,000 members – some of them have been walking the zero-waste talk for many years and lots of people are just starting out on their journeys.  We always welcome new members and you might also like to participate in one of our collective actions where we work together on a specific issue to help promote a zero waste Aotearoa.

Q. How do we find you on social media, online, and in person (events)?

You can find me on Facebook, Instagram and via the EarthSavvy website.  I occasionally pop up in the media and I also run zero waste workshops around the Auckland region – keep an eye out for a workshop happening near you!

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