Meet this month’s “Sustainability Snapshot,” Hannah Collazo, and learn more about her efforts to live sustainably:

What inspired you to adopt more sustainable practices in your life?

I grew up in Houston, TX and every summer my family and I would spend most weekends kayaking the San Marcos River. My sisters and I would have a contest for who could pick up the most trash in the river and that was when I truly understood the gravity of the plastic pollution crisis our globe was facing.

While I started making small changes over the next decade when it came to single-use plastics, I made the most significant move to sustainable practices when I learned about the waste the fashion industry produces. My favorite podcast is The Wardrobe Crisis and it is always revealing how nefarious the fashion industry is from the production of clothing to our own buying habits. Watching The Story of Plastic also inspired me to adopt more sustainable practices.

Can you give some examples of how you practice a sustainable lifestyle (either related to zero waste, renewable energy, conservation, involvement with the Evergreen Sustainability Alliance, etc.)?

I think everyone contributes to a zero-waste society in their own way according to their income level and stage of life they are at. Over the past couple of years here are a few behavior modifications I have adopted in addition to what I was already currently doing:

  • I am not buying any new clothing and instead shop exclusively at thrift stores.
  • I buy my meat from farmers’ markets so I know where the food is being sourced from.
  • I am riding my bike more frequently to reduce my emissions.
  • I am being a more conscious energy consumer, here are a few tips from an Environment Colorado blog.

What words of wisdom do you have for someone just getting started on their journey to ‘go green’?

It’s important to know that if we are going to address the plastic pollution crisis it will take the systemic change that includes holding producers responsible, developing end-markets for recycled materials, and banning unnecessary single-use plastics. Your “going green” journey includes personal behavior modifications, advocacy, voting, and being a consumer that is aware of where the products are being sourced from. Companies will be forced to reckon with their supply chain when consumers refuse to buy products that are unethically sourced.