Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Student Advocacy: Zero-Waste Lifestyle

In Part 2 of my series following some of the 2019-2020 Severn School Van Eney Fellows Projects, activism moves away from a documentary on activism and takes a look at living a zero/low-waste lifestyle. Environmentally-minded high school seniors (now graduates) Maddi Meyer & Solana Page did a deep dive into what taking on a zero-waste lifestyle would look like, living that life for the better part of a year.

Secondarily, they turned their own personal activism into advocacy by creating a guide for other folks to follow in their footsteps. Their pursuits had them in search of environmentally-friendly shops that promote zero-waste that use reusable containers and locally-sourced items. They looked at more natural products to replace common items such as dryer sheets or toiletries. Some of their finds included reusable snack bags, wool dryer balls, cellulose sponges, and bamboo scrub brushes. They visited the landfill to see where our waste ultimately lands.

Their guidebook plan shifted from a coffee table-style book (with plans to have it printed on recycled paper and with soy ink) to an eBook when the coronavirus quarantine shut down their publishing plan. That eBook guide can be found on their Fellows website, with distinct ways to reduce waste in your bathroom & kitchen, and at the grocery store, restaurant, beach, and with your school supplies.

Here is a brief 6 minute TED Talk style video explanation of their process and product.

Van Eney '09 Fellows: Maddi Meyer' 20 and Solana Page '20 from Severn School on Vimeo.

May their dedication on this project serve as inspiration for you to think through what you are using (and perhaps ultimately wasting) at home.

As Maddi said in their video: "Small changes can have big impacts."

Video from, image created at using pictures from Maddi & Solana's website:

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