Jenica Barrett first began living a zero waste lifestyle back in 2015 when she was an undergraduate student in Bellingham, Washington. After seeing how much waste she was making every single day, she realized that she was hurting the planet by relying on disposable products. She began by simply switching out one or two products a month for a sustainable alternative: reusable water bottles and coffee mugs were the first to be implemented.
Slowly but surely, her reliance on disposable items was reduced and her trash can got smaller. Several months in to this lifestyle change, she started a blog, Zero Waste Wisdom, to help inspire and guide others who wanted to make the change.
Going zero waste has had its ups and downs, but overall Jenica has been privileged in her access to bulk stores, curbside composting, and overall acceptance of her sometimes strange behaviors. Recognizing that not everyone has access to this, Jenica believes in encouraging people to take the sustainable actions that are within their power right now, and those will be slightly different for everyone. Her moto is “Everyone can’t do everything, but everyone can do something”.
Jenica currently lives in Portland, Oregon where she is pursuing her master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. On the weekends, she hosts workshops on waste reduction practices, DIY skin care, composting, and sustainable classroom ideas. She has also been a guest speaker at the Washington Family and Consumer Science Educators Conference, the Zero Waste Conference PDX, and provided educational seminars for various local businesses such as the Clark Public Utilities.