Sustainability Series: Audrey

Welcome to the Sustainability Series! 
As I mentioned, I reached out to a few friends to answer questions on how they work sustainability and waste reduction into their lives.
First up is my best friend, Audrey!  Audrey and I have been best friends since highschool.  Audrey went to the University of Illinois for undergrad, worked for AmeriCorps in Charleston, South Carolina, and then went to the University of Texas for her Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning.  She is now an urban planner for the city of San Francisco!  She got married last June and her and her husband, Mike, live in the city of San Francisco.  Audrey is really creative, loves hiking, camping, reading, and is an AMAZING creative baker (like, not just a normal cake, but like Ace of Cakes style).
Read below for her answers to my sustainability questions.

1) What ways you have reduced waste in your home? (This can be plastic waste, clothing, or even food) 

Composting!! But we’re also lucky that the city we live in offers weekly industrial composting pick up along with recycling and trash.  It would be much harder to do without that service.  Recently, I’ve tried to wait to buy any new clothing unless I feel it is necessary and will be something I can wear for a long time.  See ya lata H&M!


2) Have you tried to reduce your fossil-fuels use? If so, how? What challenges have you discovered in this effort?
My husband found out that you can buy carbon offset credits as gifts or for yourselves and that’s been something we try to let other people know about.  Also: we take the bus to work or walk everyday, which again, is a luxury we understand is not available to everyone.
3) Have you changed something about your consumption in an attempt to save money and discovered it was actually a benefit for the environment as well? (for example, DIY-ing a product you would have previously purchased). 
This year I originally tried to stop buying so many clothes because of trying to save some money, however it’s since become about realizing how much I truly don’t need  in terms of new or fashionable clothing.  And buying cheaply made crap off Amazon is definitely not doing the planet any favors, either.
4) What are your favorite reusable items? 
Ready for the most hipster answer ever?  Mason jars.  They can hold whatever you need and don’t get warped, stained or smelly the way Tupperware does!  Also, my Yeti coffee mug.  I also like it because it’s aqua colored.
5) What is the biggest impact you see yourself making on the environment through your lifestyle? 
Not using our car more than once/week and composting feel like they make the biggest differences.  Only filling our trash can up about once every 2 weeks feels pretty good and we’re lucky that we live in a city where composting and recycling are so easy to do. We also really love nature, so going out every weekend to bike, hike, etc feels like we’re doing an activity that isn’t harmful to the planet while also being fun for us, too!
6) What about where you live makes it easier or harder to live a sustainable or eco-friendly life? What would you change if you could?
Breaking News: San Francisco is expensive.  As such it’s forced us to live smaller. We have a 1 bedroom apartment with no A/C, no dishwasher or washing machine, no fireplace. We also live in a city where we can manage without all these things (and one where it’s expected to live smaller for the sake of the planet).  I think its much easier to live an eco-friendly lifestyle here than it is in many other parts of the country, so I really have no excuse not to.
I wish this country invested about 100,000x more into public transportation infrastructure.  I wish there were easier ways to take trains, ferries, buses, etc. to more regional destinations.  Even in the Bay Area, if you want to travel more than about 20 miles outside of San Francisco, you have no choice but to drive.
Thank you, Audrey!  You da best!

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