Meet 5 Women Inspiring Our Sustainable Choices
Regardless of what flawless Instagram aesthetics may lead you to believe, it’s not easy to be an eco-conscious female. Women drive as much as 80% of the consumer economy through spending and influencing, but the eco-anxiety is real. While we can’t change the fact that we need to shop to supply our homes and lifestyles, we can find role models to guide us to better options. Here are five women empowering consumers with sustainable products, services and information.
Bringing soil to her city with Local Roots
While working in her local CSA and farmers market community, Wen-Jay noticed a gap between farm-fresh food and her fellow New Yorker’s availability to it. CSA models usually require a six-month commitment, and you have to pick up your order within a certain window, which Wen-Jay struggled to do with her busy schedule. Guided by the hunch that this wasn’t working for others and motivation from her mom, she borrowed a car and started Local Roots. She put in long days and struggled with anxiety, but soon her hard work paid off.
Wen-Jay stays true to her roots to support local farms by eating Local Roots produce and ethically sourced meat.
Teaching us that Trash is For Tossers and leading the way to zero waste with the Package Free Shop
If you don’t know Lauren Singer by name, maybe you know her as the girl who fit four years’ worth of garbage in one little jar. She started the Trash is for Tossers blog where she shares tips and tricks for going zero waste. She’s also the CEO of the Package Free Shop.
Whether she’s teaching us how to shop the bulk section without creating waste, giving us the down-and-dirty on composting or making zero-waste kitchen products available to the masses, Lauren is one well-rounded sustainable babe to follow.
Showing us that you don’t have to settle for disposables with KeepCup
The late 90s saw the rise of the disposable coffee cup, and so did Abigail and her brother Jamie Forsyth as they operated cafes in Melbourne, Australia. Disposable cups aren’t recyclable, so billions end up in landfills each year. Knowing there had to be some way to have a more sustainable and still convenient option, they set out to develop what we know today as the KeepCup. Along the way, KeepCup became one of the first B-Corps in Australia.
To keep her businesses’ carbon footprint minimal, Abigail is dedicated to local production. As a mother and homemaker, she drives a Tesla, tends to native plants in her garden, and refuses to install air conditioning in her Melbourne home.
Abigail shared her vision in an interview with the Financial Times. “In five years’ time I’d like to see the world disposable cup free — that is what I am aiming for.”
Making change happen in Washington DC at Glen’s Garden Market
Whoever said food and politics don’t mix has never heard of Danielle Vogel. She worked at the Department of Justice enforcing the Clean Air Act and did everything in her power to get policies on the planet’s side. When she wasn’t seeing enough change, she took matters into her own hands and leaned into the generations of grocers that came before her. Glen’s Garden Market opened in Washington DC on Earth Day of 2013.
Glen’s Garden Market is not just a place to pick up your weekly haul. By carrying their products, Glen’s has helped nearly 90 environmentally friendly, local businesses get off the ground.
Danielle keeps herself inspired by surrounding herself with like-minded people at The Good Food Merchants Collaborative. She told Ringlet that her evenings consist of splitting a bottle of red wine with her husband, hanging out with their dog and watching Shark Tank or The Profit.
Improving the way we carry our groceries with Junes bags
Junes bags aren’t just a stylish eco-friendly accessory that will keep thousands of plastic bags out of landfills. For every bag sold, a donation is made to stop violence against women in Mexico. This purpose came to Junes founder Janean Mann in her hometown of El Paso, Texas. Moving forward, Junes became a business on a social mission. Today, Junes produces its bags by working with an all-female sewing co-op in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Janean is transparent about the fact that her journey to create the perfect eco-tote wasn’t totally glamorous. While she struggled initially with getting her product out there, now we can all benefit—and at the same time help the earth benefit—from fewer plastic bags in landfills. Just remember to bring your Junes bag to the grocery store.
If you want to read about even more women crushing it, here’s 5 Women Who Are Breaking Glass Ceilings in Sustainability. Is there a change-maker out there you’d like to see featured on SOKTI—female or otherwise? Share who inspires you in the comments, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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