In episode 122, Kestrel welcomes Anita Vandyke, the author of A Zero Waste Life: in thirty days, to the show. A rocket scientist, blogger, and current student of Medicine, Anita is passionate about inspiring others to be every day activists by making small, individual steps to reduce their waste.

"Zero waste living to me means reducing your waste, but also at the same time, it means not wasting away your life - so, not wasting your time, your energy, and finding purpose in your life." 
-Anita Vandyke, Author of A Zero Waste Life


In this episode, Anita shares more on her path toward a more zero waste life, how she wasn't always a minimalist, and how she gradually evolved from her past maximalist lifestyle.

Additionally, Anita shares some really digestible, accessible tips to help us think about reducing waste while traveling and beyond. For her, there isn't one specific way to work toward a more zero waste lifestyle, which is why she built a tiered system that offers options for you, depending on what's going on in your life at different time periods.

For Anita, it's about having grace for yourself throughout the process, and always understanding that life happens.

The below thoughts, ideas + organizations were brought up in this chat:

  • Dr. Sylvia Earle, founder of Mission Blue / The Sylvia Earle Alliance

  • Anita's 3 Tiers To Zero Waste Method:
    1) Reduced Waste Option
    2) Low Waste Option
    3) Zero Waste Option

  • "It's also a big reminder when you go into a thrift store that fashion has become almost worthless. So, when you see the sale of a jacket or a dress for $3.99, which is less than a coffee in San Francisco, you have to question yourself: how far have we come that fashion is so worthless?"

  • "I like to use the terminology that we have enough."

  • "You can be passionate about a way of living such as zero waste living, but you don't have to be militant about it."

  • Anita suggests to bring your own Zero Waste Kit with you when you travel, including the below:
    + napkin, stainless steel straw, reusable coffee cup, reusable drink bottle + cutlery

  • "It's like any muscle, though - if you make a conscious decision, it's a muscle that you work at - mindfulness is a muscle, so if you keep practicing at it, it will get easier."


A new book just launched by political analyst - turned eco lifestyle expert, Ashlee Piper. It's called Give A Shit | Do Good. Live Better. Save The Planet. Tune into the intro of this week's show to hear my favorite paragraph thus far from the book.

Check out more about Ashlee + her book here >

Thanks for listening! Subscribe, download, and leave a review for Conscious Chatter on iTunes if you get a chance. I big time appreciate your support! <3 Kestrel