It's tricky to come up with new ways to entice the kids out of bed each morning, with school here in Seattle starting an hour earlier than in Australia. This morning I stretched the truth a bit with "it snowed last night!!" and stomping around in the pre-dawn crunch of frosty lawn ❄️it worked! ❄️
Summertime in Seattle. 📷 One of my favorite trips of the year.
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“Once you understand how to make a positive change, it’s something you talk about.” @genevievelivingston
Seattle’s first zero-waste store @ecocollective_ is run by three women helping to propel the movement in the Pacific Northwest. They define zero-waste as “seeking high quality, sustainable, conscious alternatives.” Their business emphasizes the positive repercussions as well, like less clutter and saving money.
“It’s really a new wave of environmentalism,” said Founder Genevieve Livingston. The store in Ballard recently turned 1 year old. When the business started, Livingston says many people hadn’t heard of zero-waste. But now, when the team speaks at local companies, they ask if people have heard the term, and “all hands go up,” she said.
Through her own love for the environment, she began pursuing minimalism and living simpler, naturally leading to cutting back trash.
I started by making my own deodorant, and from there it spiraled into how to reduce waste at home, she said. People do want to switch but don’t have the time or money to try all the products, she added. Eco Collective is “the resource I wish I had when I started.” One misconception is the lifestyle is too expensive. But, Livingston said, “if you really look into it, zero-waste is all about using what you have. The most sustainable thing you can do is reuse what you already have at home.”
The importance is placed on buying items that last, which may cost more upfront but typically save money in the long run because they are not continually being replaced.
The Eco Collective team chooses long-lasting products through a strategic vetting process, aligning with set packaging, material and origin requirements.
Not every rule applies to every product, though, Livingston explained, using the example that shipping something like their bamboo toothbrush without packing is just not allowed.
“Everyone has to have their own set of standards,” she said – like maybe your distinction is always buying organic but placing less importance on keeping it local. “You have to decide what sustainability means to you… It’s very personal.”