Speaking alongside Bea Johnson at Zero Waste talk

“Phenomenal” was not a word I expected to hear of my 30 minute talk at a recent Zero Waste event. Especially coming from Tracey, the Managing Director of Bristol Waste. I even had to repeat it to make sure I’d heard it right! I had, she assured me.

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photo Kelly Cooper

I jumped at the chance to speak alongside Bea Johnson at a Zero Waste event put on by Eqo. I’ve spoken at smaller events, but to an auditorium that’s sits 200 people – twice! That was new ground, alongside no other than Bea Johnson who’d flown in from America.

It was an honor to be able to tell my story, how I came to live with less plastic in 2008 right up until my role as Creative Director at City to Sea working with national retailers.

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 21.38.23 Not heard of Bea? She’s the Zero Waste don! I have up-most respect for Bea, she’s hard-core minimalist. Think perfect white house, pintrest perfect kitchen, a dog that matches the decor and a wardrobe of clothes she can fit in a carry on suitcase. She has a best-selling book and has inspired countless zero waste shops to spring up. She really is one of those women who has her shit together!

Perhaps that’s why I find it hard to resonate with her?! I love charity shop shopping till my wardrobe aches. As kids there wasn’t much money for clothes, charity shops weren’t a thing in the 80s and as teenagers then, would have been horrified at the thought! We were mimilist by default, not choice. As an adult, I enjoy, love in fact! The choice, variety and bargains charity shops bring me.

My kitchen cupboards are a muddle. At one point we had five street cats. Since being PALL I’ve lived in over 10 different houses, in three different countries. Sometimes I struggle to see my bedroom floor, let alone get around to painting one white! Blogging took me years, in the same time Bea’s had become a book.

Bea said, “we vote with every penny we spend.” 

We have very different ways and reasons for living with less, but how we spend our money unites us.

Our differences are part of the beauty. We live with less how it feels right for us, there is no right and wrong. (Though of course, there’s been times I’ve wondered if she has it more right!)

I was really excited to meet Lizzie Outside. Her natural way of talking and her ease really inspired me. As did her story. Her reason for raising awareness of plastic, cancer. It was cancer that led her to become a voice for plastic pollution, and an adventurer leading her to paddle board the length of the country. We had a chat over lunch, and I hope to meet up with her again. lizzieThe day was presented by Zero Waste blogger and YouTuber Kate Arnell. She has a great channel full of tips and advice. She let me into a secret, it takes a lot of works and takes to have a YouTube channel! kate-arnell-2016

Remember, every refusal adds up. What ever way you choose to do it. 

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