10 Questions With… Society Zero

10 Questions is back! And what a way to kick it off again than with Sophie from Society Zero. Over the past year or two I have been trying my hardest to cut down my waste and start switching products to ones better for the environment. A few weeks ago I was at a zero waste event with Lush & Society Zero and was keen to learn more about Society Zero and the work they are doing for people and the environment. I asked Sophie 10 questions about their work & missions. So, say hello to Society Zero… 

1. What is Society Zero?

Society Zero is a social enterprise focused on making environmentalism and zero-waste more accessible while supporting those otherwise disadvantaged and to support an inclusive society working towards zero waste.

2. Why did you start it? 

While studying Environmental Science I noticed there was a massive gap socio-economically and environmentally for this kind of thing as at the time there were no zero waste shops in Scotland. Then when I noticed what zero waste looked like on Instagram and around the world, it looked very inaccessible to me and others I knew so I decided to challenge this while combining my other career love of community work.

3. What makes it a social enterprise?

A social enterprise supports social problems, my vision for Society Zero C.I.C is to tackle employment support for those who are care experienced, single parents who can only work during school hours, long-term unemployed and those deemed ‘too qualified’ for the work place.

There have been many studies of not only the economical and productivity benefit for a company to have a multi-generational workplace but also those with a social mission and most importantly for the huge benefit of those working in these types of companies.

What’s not to feel good about working towards a healthier environment while also supporting and breaking down social issues? Environmentalism incorporates politics, sociology and economics just as much as the science part.

4. What is your top tip for reducing waste? 

Stop consuming what you don’t need! Leave something you would like for a month then ask yourself again do you need it or just want it? Then wait another month, do you still need it or is it really just to impress social media followers or friends? Fight Club quotes come to mind…

As soon as you stop consuming what you don’t need and realising you just ‘want’ them for whatever reason, move onto being prepared. Carry your reusables and pack a lunch, you’ll not only save money but a massive amount of waste too.

5. Is it more expensive to live a waste free life? 

If you follow above, not at all! You end up saving yourself a fortune. Swapping disposables for reusables may require a small investment, but compared to how much you’d spend on disposables it’s pennies.

6. What is your favourite zero waste product? 

Ooooh this is a difficult one… I drink more a lot more water since my reusable water bottle so that’s been great but I’ve also saved a tonne of money and health problems since using a menstrual cup and reusable sanitary pads… but then there’s also my safety razor which has saved a fortune and gives me the smoothest legs ever… I honestly can’t pick!

7. What’s your advice for the fashion lovers out there to be more sustainable? 

Buy second-hand! I’ve found so many gems for half even an 8th or less of the price of what it would have been at first (a Ted Baker cardigan for a fiver and a pair of Chloe boots for £3). You can also get great quality with vintage clothing if you go older than the 90’s. If you can’t find anything second hand that you like and ‘need’ to buy new, invest in something that will last and wear it over and over, and look after it with pride.

I recently had to buy a dress for weddings coming up, posted photos of myself on social media wearing the same dress at each wedding, did anyone care? Nope! Guys get to wear their kilts over and over, why can’t we wear our dresses over and over?

8. Do you think it’s possible for the world to go zero waste?

There is no such thing as zero waste but we can certainly aim for it! Change is scary even when necessary but the more of us who do it proudly and openly, the more people will recognise and catch on. The world will catch up and governments will have to listen when their people demand change.

9. Is there anyway for us to influence the big companies to make changes to their packaging and waste? 

Stop buying from them, encourage everyone to write to them and boycott them where possible until they start changing. Companies love to please people as they don’t want to lose their customers so complain on social media to them for others to see until they start reducing their packaging. Challenge them and make them listen.

10. How can we support the work the Society Zero does?

You can follow us on social media and share our posts, blogs, activities, join us for our litter picks, at workshops, swap shops and many other events. Also buy from us to support our social impact work so that we can grow to support those who really need it. Social enterprises are profit for purpose companies, our purpose is to normalise environmentalism and break down barriers. Join us!

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