Zero-Waste Hero: An Interview With Patricia (Zeroquestpeople)
We posed some questions to Patricia to get her valuable insight on all things zero-waste.
Check out the interview below:
1. Introduce yourself
I am a teacher turned entrepreneur and Zero Waste enthusiast with a strong social conscience. I’m on a mission to inspire communities and individuals to find their ‘zero’ or recognize the need for simplicity, find the beauty in basics, explore origins and create strong, vibrant, conscious communities.
image courtsey of patricia
2. What motivated you to start your zero-waste journey?
I guess you could say that I was shocked into action. The more I probed and looked into topics such as waste management, ocean pollution and air quality, the clearer the connection was with inefficient education, environmentally irresponsible economies and indifferent communities.
3. What was the first change you made?
I started buying more local and organic, reduced what I didn’t need, took my own cloth bags and containers for food shopping and started cooking food from scratch. I also designed and implemented a whole school, Eco school initiative program at the school where I worked. As an educator, I felt hugely responsible for guiding my community.
image courtesy of patricia
4. What have you found hardest to give up?
I found bottled conditioner pretty hard to give up for ages as I wasn’t convinced that another alternative would work on my hair. I also struggled with the menstrual cup (and still do by the way!) Then there are things I really love to eat like rice cakes which come wrapped or the occasional plant milk. The thing to understand about all this is that just by having the right intentions, you can reduce your footprint hugely. On this journey we should not strive for perfection as we will only be disappointed and lose sight of the objective. There are things I have not been able to swap or give up but then I tell myself that I don’t own a car and my diet is plant based. I guess that what I’m trying to say is that where you can’t change one thing, there is always another.
5. What's your favourite zero-waste swap?
That would have to be hands down, anything that can be replaced with repurposed fabric such as bags, napkins and at the moment, facemasks. Knowing that I’m not contributing to waste from single use and reducing textile waste by using fabrics that are already out there, is extraordinarily gratifying.
6. What advice would you give someone just starting out on their zero-waste journey?
Here I’m assuming that this person has already formed a true conviction. My advice has always been to ‘take it slow and make it grow’. No two journeys will ever be the same. Every decision you make from now on will be an opportunity to examine how your options can have a larger or lesser impact. Many people who have started this journey have often said that they were surprised by where it took them, the people they have met and by how thoughtful, resourceful and creative they have become.
image courtsey of patricia
7. What's next for you?
I would like to start an urban composting project in my community, a swap shop opportunity where brands can become involved, create a digital course and oh, so much more…
8. Where can people find you?
Physically right now, I’m based in the Canary Islands where I live. Throughout the past couple of years I’ve been traveling and giving talks and workshops overseas but as we are heading towards an uncertain future, I’m taking on a more digital presence which is altogether not a bad thing. For one, it has a lighter footprint and for another, well, I can reach, and hopefully inspire many more communities in this way.
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