Interview with Alison White

Alison using her  reusable tiffin  and  fork  at an Arts Festival

Alison using her reusable tiffin and fork at an Arts Festival

Zoetica is having a blast interviewing customers for the monthly profile. This is a great way for us to share ideas of what our customers are doing to reduce their single use plastic footprint. We all have so much to learn from each other.

This month we interview Alison White, a wedding and portrait photographer, mother, world traveler, and athlete. Read more to discover her ideas, tips and challenges.

What are the hardest hurdles you have encountered trying to be plastic-free? Businesses (especially in airports) don’t understand why I am asking to use my own reusable container. They look at my like I have some sort of weird dietary restriction. Or their health codes won’t allow them to handle my bowl. In the case of airports, they sometimes don’t have ‘for here’ options that I could use and then transfer. So I have to ask for no bag, no silverware, no napkin, etc.

What is your current challenge you are working on? Getting the rest of my family to wholeheartedly embrace it and remember to come prepared.

What is your best travel tip? Any observations from your recent travels? Telling the server up front what I am trying to do seems to help. When I remember, I’ll say that I am trying to reduce my trash so would it be possible to use this instead? Sometimes I get a big grin, and sometimes they still look annoyed.

As a mom making lunches everyday, what do you do to make your kid’s lunch plastic free? He has his one stainless steel bowl with a lid that he has to use every day.

What is your daily system and your travel system? I actually don’t use it much unless I’m traveling, since I almost always eat at home. But I carry a ton of leftover bread bags for my produce at the grocery store as well as bring my own shopping bags, and in my kit I have a stainless steel cup, a square tiffin with a lid, a napkin, fork, spoon and straw. If I go out to dinner I’ll replace the cup with a mason jar and a lid and that can double as a second to go container.

Why is it important we work as a culture to be plastic free? Recycling is not as reliable as we’d like to think it is. Our best shot at eliminating waste is to get in the habit of bringing your own. We’ve been trained to be lazy and to rely on what’s provided for us. I find it really empowering when I can get through an airport without using the trash can!

What do you wish we had asked you? Not sure, but my other comment is that I will also bring a plate when I go to school functions and I always get comments about it being a great idea and others say they wish they had brought their own….maybe if I keep doing it, eventually people will also remember.

The  Wayfarer Kit  that fits it all

The Wayfarer Kit that fits it all

Are there any of our Zoetica products that you prefer to use the most?

Probably my square tiffin by Ukonserve and a fork. But the game changer for me was getting the bag from Zoetica to hold it all. Keeping it handy and contained, and not digging a fork out of the bowels of my purse is what makes it SO easy. So maybe the zipper bag is what I use the most :).

Elizabeth Smith