How To Be A Zero Waste Blogger: Meet Ginny Leary

“The best way is to educate by example and not to judge.

I love to encourage people for doing their best.”

Welcome back to another Feature Friday! So this past week I did an #NKMplasticban challenge on Instagram in hopes of raising awareness to others, and trying to bring about a small change in our community to become more environmentally friendly. This next Girl Boss immediately hit up my DM and was thrilled that I was doing something like this. She is all about the ‘zero waste’ kind of lifestyle, and is making a huge impact in her own community. I absolutely love what she does! In this interview she share some helpful tips that you can try, and shares some of her absolute faves. We could all use a little inspiration from this amazing lady! So grab a cup, sit back, and enjoy your Friday read! Get to know….

Current City/State: Buffalo, New York

Hometown:  Portsmouth, Rhode Island

Full-time job(s): Office Admin at and Engineering Firm

Hi Ginny! Welcome to The Boss Diary! So glad you’re here. Tell me all about how you started your “zero waste” lifestyle.

I always did sustainable things growing up, I went on beach clean ups with my mom, we recycled everything, went thrift shopping for vintage furniture/clothing. My mom and I would go to yard sales most weekends in the spring and summer, and my parents have solar panels on roof for 10 years. My knowledge increased when I attended Ithaca College and became fully immersed in a culture where recycling/compost/ trash bins existed everywhere.

 In 2011 I learned about Zero Waste from a friend who shared an article about Bea Johnson (Zero Waste Home). I immediately became interested and started following her on social media, dreaming about one day being able to reach her waste-free status. I read her book in 2013 and became even more motivated to start reducing my waste. When I moved to Buffalo in late 2013 to live with my boyfriend, I was still into the idea but I looking for a stable job took precedence. Slowly starting in late 2014 I got the ball rolling and started to make changes in our house, and became a member of the local co-op. In early 2016 I realized I had gotten to a point where I could share my tips and passion with people and that’s when I started @Zerowastebuffalo and began to connect with like-minded people in the area. I love all the connections this has made in real and online life!

Can you tell us a few tips on how to reduce waste and be more environmentally friendly?

1.) Refuse what you do not need — Swag at events, Plastic bags, Straws in drinks.
2.) Reduce what you buy — It’s not a good deal if you don’t need it.
3.) Shop second hand first — Ask a friend/neighbor, look on craigslist, shop at thrift stores.
4.) Leave the house prepared for the day — Bring a water bottle, napkin, utensils.
5.) If able, walk, bike or take public transit when possible

I recently did a challenge on Instagram and asked everyone to take part in my #NKMplasticban challenge. I love your post about recycling and re-using household items. What are some of the items that you carry with you everyday in order to reduce waste?

Thank you! I never leave the house without my water bottle (I use a steel Klean Kanteen), my spork, and a cloth napkin. If I know I’ll be getting a drink or going out to dinner I will bring a mason jar, or a container for food.

How do you find ways to influence others into a more environmentally friendly lifestyle?

The best way is to educate by example and not to judge. I love to encourage people for doing their best. We aren’t in a society of system yet that is set up to create no waste, but I support anyone who tries their best to do what is best for them and their life.

 

Everyone has a purpose, and it’s so refreshing to find women who are truly living out their dreams.. How would you define your own purpose?  

To educate and motivate people to make better choices for the environment.

Who are some of your favorite business women or entrepreneurs that you look up to and have inspired your work and current lifestyle habits?

Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home is my biggest and first influence, but honestly I love learning from all the other Zero Waste Bloggers out there, it’s a small niche community and I think we all learn from and support each other.

Tell me one thing that most people may not know about you.

I can read Hebrew! Not fluently at all, but I can like make sounds out of the letters, I had to learn for my Bat Mitzvah (which was in the oldest synagogue in the in US)

Are there any projects you are working on, and/or upcoming events that we should know about?

Trying to figure out how to make this into a business! And also I’ll be volunteering with WasteFreeEarth at Borderland Festival on Sept 22nd/23rd.

Name one thing that your hometown city is known for that some people may not know.

Portsmouth is located on the same island as Newport which is home to many famous mansions of the gilded age. Newport has so many historical facts!

What would the “18-year old you,” say to you today?

“Even though you haven’t accomplished your biggest dream of traveling the world yet, be proud of the smaller goals you’ve been able to accomplish and that you always make the best choice for you.”

Before you go, what is one piece of advice you would give to women out there who are looking to create a life that revolves around their true purpose?  

Don’t Settle.

Fave 7:

  1. Summer activity: Music Festivals
  2. Restaurant in your neighborhood: House of Hummus
  3. Podcast: I don’t really listen to any but I love Ted Talks!
  4. Lipstick: None!
  5. Color: Red
  6. Social Media App: Instagram
  7. Disney movie: Lilo and Stitch

Random 7:

  1. If you won $20 million dollars in the lottery, what would you do with that money? First, give equal parts to my mom, dad, and sisters and set up a college fund for my nephews. Then travel and volunteer at environmental organizations. (and buy carbon offsets!) and may accomplish my dream of refurbishing a airstream camper.
  2.  How would you describe your best friend in 3 words? Caring, Intelligent, Self-motivate

  3. What is the last good book that you’ve read? The Frugalwoods

  4. What is the best concert that you’ve been to? Oof, I’ve been so many that I’ve loved! Probably Magnaball (Phish’s 2015 3 day festival)

  5. Number one travel destination in the world that you would like to visit? I want to travel everywhere but if I had to pick one it would be Southeast Asia.

  6. Who is your current celebrity crush? Not sure I have one, haha.

  7. 3 things on your bucket list? Bike across the country (Boston to San Francisco), Start my own business, rebuild a vintage airstream camper

Thank you so much Ginny for joining us today, and sharing your story in my diary! So much gratitude. Ladies – be sure to follow Ginny on social media – link below. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next Friday for our next feature!

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