It’s not every day you get the opportunity to talk to your role model, yet it’s exactly what I had been doing for the past week. I first heard of the term Zero Waste on a blog called Gittemary.com when I was looking for (and found) a tutorial on how to make mascara. The author and creator of this page is Gittemarie Uggerhøj Johansen, who kindly took the time to answer a few questions 🙂
You started out as a fashion blogger. What drew you to switch to blogging about life without waste? Was it a particular person that inspired you?
Firstly, I felt so out of place in the fashion community, it felt way too superficial and trivial for my taste, and almost in addition to these feelings, I found Lauren Singer’s blog Trash is for Tossers.
It seems that fashion is still a big part of your life. Where do you get zero waste clothing and accessories?
I buy all my clothes from thrift stores and vintage stores. Sometimes I find, or work with, clothing brands that challenge waste culture and support sustainability, if that is the case I love to support those initiatives.
How did people close to you react to you becoming a zero waster?
Most people were interested, almost fascinated by my interest for sustainability. I have experienced very little negative feedback from friends and family.
What was the most difficult thing for you when you started living zero waste?
In the beginning, I had a hard time wrapping my head around the “refuse” part of the lifestyle. Saying no to things and denying yourself things were tough in the beginning, but now, it is one of the easiest parts of Zero Waste. It is all in the habits and routines we teach ourselves.
What is, in your opinion, the most useful item in a zero waster’s life?
A canvas bag, no doubt. Generally whatever tools that works in versatile ways, and that in my opinion, is the canvas bag, or a glass jar of course!
What are the difficulties that you, being a zero waster, encounter most often?
Going out is always difficult, because you have to be on top of everything, making sure they don’t pop a straw in your drink or give you disposable napkins, it is all worth it though!
What is your country’s policy about waste management and what do you think about it?
In the area I live there is a moderately adequate recycling system, luckily. There are locals options for recycling paper, glass, metal and plastic, and we also have a returning system for beverage containers of most sorts.
Your first video I saw was a video of you making mascara. What other cosmetic products do you make yourself? Are they as good as store bought ones?
I’ve made foundation powder, concealer, eyeshadows, bronzer and blush. Of course there is a little difference between my products and the storebought ones, but that in my opinion, is the smallest price to pay for living your values 🙂
Is living waste free in your country more or less expensive than living »normally«?
I think many people will assume that it is more expensive, however, I actually use the same amount of money as before, or maybe even a little less. There are so many things I never buy, so there are so many things I save money from not purchasing. Because of this, I have the opportunity to purchase conscious and sustainable items that will maybe seem a bit more pricey. In that sense I would say that living this lifestyle, at least in my case, costs the same as living a “normal” lifestyle.
So there it is. Let me just say again how happy I am to have had a chance to talk to Gittemarie. She is the person who introduced me to the zero waste lifestyle and sent me on a journey, full of wonderful moments and lovely people that I’ve since met ❤ If you’re interested in what else Gittemarie has to say, go to Gittemary.com and check it out.
* All photos in this post are property of Gittemarie Uggerhøj Johansen, published with permission.