Meet this month’s “Sustainability Snapshot,” Natalie Matthews, and learn more about her efforts to live sustainably:
What inspired you to adopt more sustainable practices in your life?
Reading about Bea Johnson’s zero waste home in Sunset Magazine years ago really opened my eyes to how needless most of the disposable items in my life were. Once I got started reevaluating every product I use, it became a regular habit. Since my son was born five years ago, my interest in reducing waste and conserving resources has only increased.
Can you give some examples of how you practice a sustainable lifestyle at home (either related to zero waste, renewable energy, or conservation)?
In my family, we avoid single-use items whenever possible. We haven’t used a paper towels in years, opting for rags instead. We’ve made a habit of bringing reusable water bottles, coffee mugs, utensils, straws, and to-go boxes whenever we are out and about. We participate in the Evergreen Sustainability Alliance’s composting program too. We love it!! We also utilize the Windsource program from Xcel Energy, so we can show our support for renewable energy options in the area.
What do you think is the biggest roadblock for people trying to practice a sustainable lifestyle?
Convenience and habits. Our society makes waste so convenient. Most of us have never thought about the disposable habits we grew up with, so we just keep on wasting, and teach our children to do the same.
What have you done over the years to support the Evergreen Sustainability Alliance and sustainability in the community?
I have had so much fun over the years volunteering as a Zero Waste Hero at local events. It is extremely rewarding to have a hand in keeping huge volumes of waste out of local landfills.
What inspires you on a daily basis to continue practicing sustainability?
My son. I want him and his children to enjoy a beautiful, healthy planet decades from now. Also, striving for zero waste is so much fun. I’m a bit of an addict now. I’ve even started a blog, ZeroAspirations.com, to spread the word.
What words of wisdom do you have for people just getting started on their journey toward a sustainable lifestyle?
Try out different ideas, then incorporate what works for you. Over the years I have tried countless changes for living a more sustainable life. Some have been very easy and enjoyable, so I do those every day. Some didn’t work for me, so I had to leave those behind.
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