Claire Green Goes Green

Claire Green '19 has been trying to go zero waste this year and is spreading the word about how you can too


Shoshie Hemley

Claire Green '19 holds her metal straws

Shoshie Hemley, Reporter

Humans produce waste everyday. Tons of plastic end up in oceans and rivers, hurting the ecosystems. However, there is a solution for individuals who want to reduce their harmful impacts on the environment. Claire Green ‘19 is a senior who was conscious of how she as an individual could impact the environment. She then came across a blog, Trash is for Tossers, a zero waste website by Lauren Singer. She then decided her New Year’s resolution was to go zero waste.

Zero waste is essentially sending nothing to the landfill. It puts a large emphasis on recycling, reducing, composting, and finding alternatives for materials that don’t decompose easily, such as plastic.

“It’s been hard, that’s for sure. I can’t say I’m completely zero waste, because it’s definitely a process. That was my goal, especially since I live with a family who isn’t going zero waste,” Green said. “My goal is just to do my best.”

Green has been finding many switches and alternatives in her everyday life to reduce her impact. When it comes to food and drink, she has switched to metal alternatives for straws and water bottles rather than plastic options. Additionally, she has been using reusable coffee cups. She also has started to grow some of her own food, fertilized by the compost she makes. And when grocery shopping time comes, she uses canvas bags instead of plastic and utilizes emailed receipts instead of paper.

Not only has Green found a way to go zero waste in her food consumption, but she has also been finding alternatives when it comes to beauty and aesthetics.

“The best part is how natural it is. I’ve had to change up my skin care routine,” Green said.

Green has switched to using face soap bars instead of soap that comes in a plastic bottle, as well as natural products from stores such as Lush. The soap bars don’t have any packaging, therefore they don’t have any waste after use.

“The bars of soap that you get are automatically going to have so much less chemicals than the pumps that you get that you don’t really know what’s in it,” Green said.

When applying toners and serums, instead of using disposable cotton balls, Green has been reusing cut up old towels. Rather than using a foam beauty blender, she has been using solely makeup brushes.

Additional lifestyle changes Green has made include doing in-depth research about recycling and recycling more, as well as using cloths soaked in beeswax to substitute saran wrap. The molding nature of the beeswax makes it possible for the cloth to morph into whatever shape its covering, just like saran wrap.

Brands Green has been shopping for to be less wasteful are Lush, Dirty Hippie, Meow Meow Tweet, Trash is for Tossers, and the Fat and the Moon. These brands have zero waste options, however most stores and brands do not. But Green is trying to change that.

“I’m someone who’s big at Glossier makeup. I’ve been talking with them and being like, well they have a G team that responds to you,” Green has been emailing her favorite brands to try to get them to switch to sustainable options.

“A lot of them are like, well we try our best to do things sustainably,” Green said.

Not only does she influence other stores with reducing their impact on the environment, but she also goes zero waste on her own Depop account.

“I just have to try really hard to make sure things are in cardboard. At the end of my notes when I do ship something on Depop, I say please recycle this box, because I am a zero waste store,” Green explained. “Obviously I can’t control if they do that and neither can the zero packaging store, but it just doesn’t ship with plastic upon plastic upon plastic that’s wrapped in plastic.”

Green wants people to know that reducing your waste isn’t as hard as it seems.

“It’s a lot [of] fun, to kind of experiment with different things. Its super easy to just not ask for a straw, or say no to a receipt,” Green said. “It’s just making the teeny switches that are going to make the most impact on the trash you produce every single day.”