My name is Stephanie Cochrane, and I am the founder of The Waste Less Shop.
As a child growing up in rural northern Nevada, many of my most cherished memories were playing outside on our family farm or exploring the mountains in my backyard.
In college, I took my first trip abroad and my world opened up. In the following years, I would trek to the highest mountain on the planet, swim with sea turtles in Indonesia, walk the dust and debris blown streets of third world countries, and snorkel coral reefs in the South Pacific. All of these moments would bring The Waste Less Shop to life and I didn't even know it.
(Please read this article in the Easy Reader for more background)
You see, standing on a peak at 18,000 feet staring at the sun setting over Mt. Everest gave me an overwhelming sense of humility in the presence of untouched nature. Swimming with a sea turtle showed me the grace and innocence of creatures in an unfamiliar world that are dying every day because of our indifference. Walking the undeveloped world revealed a suffocating understanding of the struggle and perseverance of those too impoverished to disguise their trash as we do. And diving in those corral reefs gave me a gut-wrenching awakening as I found a dying testimony to the colorful life that once flourished there.
All of these moments showed me the extreme responsibility we have to care for this incredible earth we live on.
I started making minor changes to my daily routine without much thought at first. The more changes I made, the more in tune with the consequences of my actions I became. Not only was I more conscious of every piece of garbage I tossed in the trash, but I realized I was saving serious money by not using single-use items in my daily routine. Eventually, my thoughts became consumed with the world waste problem and what my role would look like in solving it.
The Waste Less Shop is the embodied desire for a cleaner, more natural world. I hope to help cultivate a society whose members are empowered and enabled to do better for our earth, and for those who follow after we are gone. It can seem overwhelming and inconvenient to change habits, but The Waste Less Shop is working to make those changes easier and more accessible.
This adventure to do better is one of challenge, growth, learning, and evolution.