Meet Tristyn Donovan, our passionate zero-waste queen who has made it her mission to educate the world on how to live life a little differently; free from plastic. Her Instagram is filled with good vibes and tips on how you can get better at lowering your plastic consumption and recycle the right way. We wanted to get to know her a little better and decided to sit down for a quick interview.
1. How come you’re so passionate about sustainability?
I am extremely passionate about sustainability for so many reasons, first and foremost I believe that the human species has evolved in the entirely wrong direction; meaning we are so far from our roots. (Infrastructure) In order for our species to proceed to evolve we need to coexist, coexist with nature, coexist with all other species and stop destroying more than we are giving back. With a focus on designing and developing Urban Cities, I do have hope for our future generations. Though, if we want a fighting chance, we must start now. Secondly, I am a strong believer in self reliance. I grew up below poverty and If we didn't know how to plant our fruits and veggies there would have been many hungry nights. Corporate dependency to me, is what is drawing the segregated line between the rich in the poor broader and broader. Being self sustainable eliminates that demand for convenience thus transitioning all major business models so they benefit the consumer, the environment and the company.
2.When did that whole journey start for you?
It started when I decided to take a leap year away from Uni when I was 18 and move to the Philippines. It was the first time I saw the full impact of single use plastic on our environment. I remember arriving, my shuttle had picked me up and we were flying down the Manila freeway. My eyes began to water under 4 minutes of driving and a full fledge cry followed. There were mountains of trash (roughly 80% was made up of plastic and the rest garbage) with kids were climbing on them, like they were jungle gyms of some sort. Plastic waste flying through out the car while cars sped by. Nine and a half hours later I was deep in the countryside of South Asia, where the waste just got worse the closer we got to Camarines Sur. It was everywhere, an insurmountable problem that I had just thrown myself in the deep in of. From that point on I began to implement sustainable alternatives while trying to simultaneously drive awareness to this catastrophic issue. Saying no to single use plastic is not just a part of my lifestyle; it is my lifestyle.
3. You’re doing such inspiring work promoting the anti-plastic (low waste) movement and people like you are what makes our future look a little bit brighter. Please give us 3 recycling advice that you wish everyone would know.
1. Separate your waste bins, don't just have one. Designate a spot in your house where you can have a few boxes to separate into its different materials; Plastic, aluminum, and glass, etc..
2. ALWAYS compost. You do not want to contaminate your eligible recyclables by tossing in old food and ruining the entire bin. Also, composting reducing methane gases from being released from rotting food in the landfills and in addition to that, can provide you with organic high in nutrient soil for gardening.
3. Commit. Commit to recycling and your waste management system at home. It takes roughly 60 days to get into the habit. Don't break it, it means the world to our future generations (pun intended) that we do master and optimize our waste streams to protect our water, air and wildlife.
4. What does being a Role Model mean to you?
To me it means driving awareness and being informative to those around me while making it fun and interactive. The more and more I talk to strangers about the Plastic Free movement the more I realize how many people just simply are not aware; a lack of awareness on a larger scale than I had previously projected. Once you do introduce new ideas to someone with an effective approach, they begin to notice things they’ve never noticed before; Its a beautiful human interaction element, to say the least. We are all interconnected and in this together, the more we inform each other and exchange new ideas the more we can collectively evolve as a species.
5. What is next up for Tristyn Donovan?
I am currently working on my Kickstarter Campaign for ModernSustain. ModernSustain is a Marketplace for sustainable appliances, you simply plug in you Sq. Ft., Utility Bills, and conservation goals and we curate appliances to decrease your ecological footprint. Anywhere from solar panels to LED lighting to Indoor gardening appliances; we want to optimize families of all income levels living space to the highest sustainable level possible. In addition, each of the appliances pay themselves off in ‘X’ amount of months providing you with a ROI while simultaneously saving you money.