Living Waste Free – Interview with Sam White

This week’s feature is a little different, but blazing a trail nonetheless!  Sam (@livingwastefree) leads a sustainable life, cutting out waste wherever she can, and offers some great tips on her Instagram account. 

So, over to Sam..

Sam out and about hiking alongside a river.

Hello! My name is Samantha White, I’m 24, and I live a zero waste lifestyle. I started this journey over 2 years ago and back then I had no clue what I was doing. Luckily, I created an Instagram account which I titled “livingwastefree”, and through that account I found that an incredible zero waste community existed.  Since then I have started a blog and Youtube channel with the same name, as well as an Etsy store where I create knitted pieces while making minimal waste.

 

Hand knitted produce bag.
Sam’s hand knitted produce bag!

What made you decide to pursue an eco-friendly lifestyle?

Two and a half years ago I was a senior in college and felt that I wasn’t making a difference for the planet.  I had been passionate about recycling since I was a kid, but it didn’t feel like enough, especially as I looked at all the trash that seemed to surround me. And then one night I found a video talking about zero waste and something just clicked. I realized I could reduce the amount of trash I was creating instead of simply recycling what was left over.

What benefits do you think your lifestyle has brought to you personally?

This lifestyle has benefited me in so many ways and has made me healthier, both mentally and physically.  I’ve learned many new skills because of this lifestyle and the community that came along with it, and I no longer feel as though there is nothing I can do to reduce my impact.  I also eat healthier now that I’ve cut out pre-packaged foods and cook the majority of my meals at home instead of grabbing fast food.

Birds eye view of Sam's fresh groceries
Sam’s fresh groceries looking divine!

 

What do you think were your (and society’s) biggest obstacles?

The biggest obstacle that I faced and that I think a lot of people face is changing the way I viewed convenience.  I used to think that convenience was one of the most important factors when choosing a product and I would choose it over sustainable options.  But I now realize that trashing the planet in the name of convenience doesn’t make sense in the long term, and that small changes seem like a big hassle at first but they soon become habits that eventually just feel like second nature.  I think this shift in mindset is one of society’s biggest obstacles as well.

What would you say to the people who don’t believe they have the time or money to make their own products and shop zero-waste?

It’s all about small steps.  None of us can do everything, but we all can do something and that is what matters.  So I would say just choose one small thing, like refusing single use to-go cups or straws and stick with it.  These little changes are easy to implement and add up over time to create a huge impact.

And while you may not have the time or energy to make your own products, more and more zero waste companies are coming out with options so that not everyone has to. Which is really great news!

Handmade woollen cardigans
Hand knitted woollen cardigans gifted to Sam by her aunt.  I am unbelievably envious of these!

Any parting tips or advice for those reading? 

This lifestyle is all about progress, not perfection.  So don’t get caught up in trying to fit all your waste in a jar, and don’t feel bad if trash still comes into your home.  Trash is going to happen.  The important thing is to do what you can.

Thanks so much Sam for sharing your story and some advice for living a waste free life.  Keep up the amazing work; the planet thanks you (and so do I).

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