Mini-interview with Katie-Louise Herring, founder of Tribe Zero Waste

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Mini-interview with Katie-Louise Herring, founder of Tribe Zero Waste


Science, technology and the environment


Tribe Zero Waste are helping Oxfordshire go plastic-free by offering fortnightly plastic-free delivery of bulk detergents, self-care products and organic food to your doorstep. 

Why did you want to get involved with minimising waste? Why is it such an important cause?

"I’ve always naturally tried to re-use and reduce waste but what really motivated me to start making significant changes to the way I live was learning how much plastic we create each year. I was horrified to learn that every piece of plastic created still exists and that we’re creating more and more plastic each year. Seeing the line on the graph soaring upwards indicating that we’ll be drowning in the stuff in my lifetime was enough to make me ban single use plastic-from my life. Once I started making changes it was clear other people were looking to do the same. I helped set up some detergent refills in my local community centre and soon realised there was a demand for food refills too, That’s when my personal zero-waste journey became my business. I feel that minimising waste is not just something for governments and corporations to focus on its something each individual can play a part in, making a difference to our planet thriving in the future and that’s why it's an important cause to me."

What are the keys things that do you as a business to try to make sure you have a positive impact on the world and the environment?

"As a business I’ve tried to keep as small and low impact as is possible. I plan our delivery routes to reduce co2 and will hopefully be getting an electric van in the coming months. When we do have to package things we make sure to use easily recyclable items or reusable tubs. In fact our re-usable tubs are old ice-cream tubs which were surplus from a local farmshop and were destined for landfill. Where possible I look to get second hand items and equipment. Our storeroom shelving has all come to us second hand. I also prioritise stocking organic produce which ensures it’s produced in a way which helps the natural environment rather than taking away from it."

Do you have tips that people can use at home to reduce waste? What do you think are the barriers we need to overcome to make this easier for people?

"The best way to start reducing waste it to take it one step at a time. Picking one item to swap or thing to change a month is a good way to make sustainable changes. One of my first steps was swapping from disposable cups and water bottles to re-usable ones. It may take a while to aways remember it but once you do form the habit it’s simple to maintain. Pick the easy changes first and you’ll soon build momentum and the confidence to tackle the bigger changes. It almost becomes addictive and once you start cutting things out or swapping them you’ll be looking at ways to do it more. It is still hard to go shopping and find all products without plastic, especially if your only option locally is a supermarket but this is something I’m hoping to tackle with the services we offer at Tribe Zero-Waste."

Katie-Louise Herring, founder of Tribe Zero Waste

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