COMMUNITY VOICES SERIES – May

Intro to Zero Waste
by Carrie martin Haley & Libby Bloom

Photo by Jasmin Sessler on Unsplash

Taking that first step toward zero waste living can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Join Carrie Martin-Haley of Summit Sustainable Goods and Libby Bloom of The Crooked Carrot for an intro to the world of zero waste and learn how you can break it down into simple actionable steps. 

In the Zero Waste Basics workshop, you’ll learn what zero waste is all about, the essential components of a low waste lifestyle, and examples of how to reduce your daily landfill footprint. Through this interactive workshop, you will have a chance to reflect on your everyday routine habits, and brainstorm concrete, measurable ways to reduce waste in your daily life. You will leave with an exclusive zero waste workbook, ready with your actionable goals to start (or continue) your zero waste journey. The curriculum encourages you to tailor your goals to your own lifestyle, so whether you’re a seasoned zero waster, or new to the concept, you’ll walk away with next steps that you can implement right away at home. 

Co-host Carrie Martin-Haley is the founder of Summit Sustainable Goods, a zero-waste shop serving Colorado and beyond. Summit Sustainable Goods sells eco-friendly and plastic-free household and personal care products, including refills, online and through local pop-ups. With an emphasis on Colorado and US-made products, Summit Sustainable Goods is designed to provide high-quality and sustainable products for your everyday life with minimal environmental impact. Carrie’s background in education has led to a strong focus on intimidation-free zero waste education and providing a safe space for individuals to learn about zero waste and engage with more sustainable living.

Co-host Libby Bloom is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and founder of The Crooked Carrot, a weight-inclusive nutrition practice that helps people create a peaceful relationship with food, find movement they enjoy, and nourish themselves in a way that also supports a healthy planet. Libby is passionate about working to keep our planet beautiful and she enjoys helping people reduce their waste in a non-judgmental and compassionate way that works in their everyday lives and aligns with their values. 

Carrie and Libby define zero waste as “practicing lifestyle choices that create less landfill”, and lean into the shame-free exploration of sustainable living through multiple lenses. They have collaborated on previous workshops to educate the public about zero waste, and look forward to extending their workshops through the Women In Sustainability platform. Together, they address zero waste through the discussion of conscious consumer choices, nutrition, and daily behavior shifts, offering a muti-faceted approach to lessening your everyday waste.

This interactive workshop provides a way for Women In Sustainability community members to empower themselves to make small eco-minded adjustments to their daily habits and purchasing practices. By reducing the waste we all consume on an individual basis and as a society, we can reduce the demand for landfills, decrease plastic consumption, minimize plastic pollution, and connect more intentionally with our daily habits as powerful tools to address the climate crisis.

Have any questions? Want to learn more? Shoot Carrie an email at carrie@summitsustainablegoods.eco

Carrie Martin-Haley • Summit Sustainable Goods

COMMUNITY VOICES SERIES – April

Embedding Sustainability in Business Operations
by BRIE DELISI ZOLLER (SHE/HER/HERS) ~ BRIE Z OPERATIONS

Photo by Josh Power on Unsplash

You live and breathe sustainability and supporting the planet, right? Sustainability is in every fiber of your being! But is it embedded in every fiber of your business operations? Protecting the planet goes beyond just a value you hold when you’re in business – it needs to be engrained in the work that is being done by everyone who touches your business.

Today let’s talk about what are the critical operations management systems necessary to embed sustainability in day-to-day business. Here is a high-level rundown:

  • Operations management system is the blueprint for how a company does work – it is meant to support the whole organization from the top down.
  • Circular approach in which leaders are supporting employees, who are supporting the operations, and feedback is returned and acted upon at all levels.
  • Goals and metrics that are related to sustainability – equal to and integrated with production and revenue related metrics, they could be:
    • Lagging indicators (output after an event occurs): Energy consumption, emissions, water usage, waste, supply chain
    • Leading indicators (input before an event occurs): Sustainability project efforts, pre-implementation sustainability audit, environmental audits, employee training
  • Communications – leaders need to be able to clearly explain what the company goals are, why they are important, what they are doing to support the goals and what employee’s roles are in the company efforts
  • Written requirements and instructions for how work is performed (standard operating procedures (SOPs), standard work, processes, operating instructions) and those should include sustainability measures. Ideally there isn’t a separate document for the same task, otherwise it isn’t viewed as one in the same.
  • Tools and equipment: should be aligned with sustainability initiatives.
  • Training: Training is important to ensure that all employees have the same understanding of how to perform their work and how environmental efforts tie into the work that they perform.

What are best practices to engage employees in sustainability initiatives?

  • Employee engagement efforts are important to gain buy in and to get important insights into how work is performed.
  • A great tactic is to include sustainability as a part of each employees’ annual performance goals with tangible activities that can be performed to meet those goals.
  • Employee-led committees with leadership support.
  • Department representatives for sustainability and environmental efforts.
  • Leadership should highlight those efforts to the entire organization so that everyone understands the importance.

As business leaders, how do we know if we’re succeeding in embedding sustainability in the organization?

  • Conduct assessments or audits to verify within the operations and conduct a root cause analysis for any issues or gaps that arise
  • Get feedback from employees: Circular feedback loop when an employee submits concerns, Townhalls, Employee surveys – most importantly, this should be a regular conversation that is happening internally so that its normalized and not just a ‘check-the-box’ activity.

Have any questions? Want to learn more? Shoot me an email at brie@briezoperations.com

Brie DeLisi Zoller • Brie Z Operations
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