Anita Vandyke encourages us to live a zero-waste life
One of the best things i’ve found about this journey is consistently finding new people who inspire me more then the day before. Anita is one of those people, who I found by doing my interview with the lovely Faye Delanty.
To me, Anita is the epitome of a Mover and Shaker. She is a Qualified Rocket Scientist, who now studies Medicine whilst also contributing absolute wealths of knowledge for all things zero waste, second-hand fashion and eco living on one of the most valuable Instagram accounts I have come across to date. You can find her here.
She provides #everydayactivist tips and has a specific topic that she focuses on every month to help each and every one of us live a more meaningful life. Previous topics have been things like:
-#FRUGALFEBRUARY: All about saving money
-#MAKEOVERMARCH: All about changing habits
And for April? Simple, everyday activities that create a cumulative positive impact.
Within every post, she provides facts and figures, along with practical tips for changing our own habits to live a more meaningful, zero waste life. I couldn’t be more excited to have been given the opportunity to promote what Anita is all about.
I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did.
Firstly, Rocket Sice! So cool! What made you want to study rocket science?
I studied a Bachelor of Aeronautical (Space) Engineering at the University of Sydney because I wanted to be an astronaut! I have always loved the concept of literally “reaching for the stars”. But now, I am back at University after a quarter-life crisis, studying Medicine.
What made you start working towards a zero waste life?
My zero waste lifestyle started in July 2015 when I was going through a ‘quarter-life’ crisis, I had climbed up the ‘Corporate Ladder’ and was a successful Engineering Manager, however despite the monetary success I was not truly happy. I was stagnating in my personal growth and I realised I needed to align to my core values. So, I decided to make some changes to my external environment in hope to be able to heal my inner turmoil. I turned towards minimalism and a living more eco-friendly life, this was a start to learning more about consumerism and sustainability. It was then I realised I didn’t need much to be happy, so I finally gained the courage to quit my corporate job and go back to university to study Medicine.
What has been the most challenging part since you began living zero waste?
I actually don’t think there has been anything challenging about it – I believe in the 80:20 rule, just try to do as much as you can 80% of the time, and the other 20% will take care of itself.
Do you have any top tips for people interested in the zero waste movement who are unsure of where to begin?
1. Replace your disposables with reusables – items such as paper napkins, plastic grocery bags, disposable coffee cups can be replaced with cloth napkins, reusable cloth grocery bags and Keep Cups (reusable coffee cups)
2. Secondhand first choice – whenever you need to buy something, try to see if you can buy it secondhand first. Look at local thrift stores, ask neighbours and friends, try eBay – make a good effort to try to buy secondhand before buying new
3. Head outside! – head outdoors and enjoy doing activities such as hiking, swimming or simply just sitting still and being with nature. By enjoying the outdoors and seeing how amazing Mother Nature is, I have come to appreciate that every step (no matter how small) is important in helping our planet.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Watch your thoughts. They become words. Watch your words. They become deeds. Watch your deeds. They become habits. Watch your habits. They become character. Character is everything.
What is one piece of advice that you would give to others starting out?
Do a garbage bin assessment! See what you are actually throwing out and start making switches from there.
One book you think everybody should read?
Cradle to Cradle by McDonough and Braungart. It is a wonderful book about redesigning the way we make things.
Are there any other Movers & Shakers out there in your world that you think we should all know about?
I recommend @zerowastebunny on Instagram. She’s a budding neurosurgeon who is also zero waste!