The Story Our Trash Tells: Zero Waste Living with Andrea Sanders

Our trash tells a story... a story about what we value. ~ Andrea Sanders

What does your trash say about you, and our society at large? What if all of the waste that you accumulate throughout the year could fit inside a mason jar... what would be the impact of that on our environment and what would it mean for us in terms of how we choose to live?

These are the questions that Andrea Sanders asked herself that led her on the path as a young environmentalist grappling with the extensive ecological damage that she was witnessing... and her place in it.

I really wanted to bring in the topic of waste, consumption and the zero waste lifestyle movement, because i believe it is critical for our overall health - all beings and the planet - to look at the way we live and how we consume.

Andrea tells us how she got inspired and started on her path with zero waste living, and many of the biggest obstacles we face today. She talks about the concept of “biomindfulness” - exploring practices that help us focus our attention back on relationships we hold between ourselves and our environment. We touch on the importance of space and pause when you’re making any kind of lifestyle shift, and Andrea shares what she believes the sweet spot between the hardship of our ancestors and the ultra convenience we have today (but at the expense of the health of our planet).

Of course she also shares the practices that support the reshaping of our relationships with nature and practical steps you can take if you want to move toward a zero waste lifestyle.

There is so much here that you can hit the ground running with!

Andrea Sanders is an environmental educator, mindfulness advisor, TEDx speaker, traveler, artist, and dog mom. Her work focuses on encouraging ecological responsibility, day-to-day mindfulness, and compassionate eating through a plant-based diet. Andrea is also a zero waste influencer and educator on Instagram with a global outreach of over 80,000 followers.


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Show Notes

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Andrea gives us a primer on what is zero-waste living and what is the story that our waste is telling about us
  • How Andrea got inspired and started her path, and what she sees as one of the biggest obstacles we face
  • Andrea shows us how our own perception and mindset are part of the issue
  • Why mindfulness meditation is a critical part of the work that andrea does with zero waste teachings
  • How pausing is the first step - why we need to create space for looking at our relationship to “stuff”
  • The importance of our WHY and how we have to learn how to be less distracted from the things that are pulling our attention from action
  • The concept of Biomindfulness - exploring practices that help us focus our attention back on relationships we hold between ourselves and our environment
  • The importance of space and pause when you’re making any kind of lifestyle shift
  • There is no right or wrong way
  • Simplicity is understanding our true wants and needs, and cutting through the noise from consumerism and distraction
  • What Andrea calls our “design problem” - and why we need to create a circular infrastructure
  • Practices that support the reshaping of our relationships with nature
  • First step is awareness that we have a problem
  • How to begin a zero waste lifestyle... starting with waste: Doing a trash audit. Look at what you’re going away and what can you reduce
  • Low hanging fruit actions:
    1. Bringing your own bags and produce bag to grocery store
    2. Taking your own cup or water bottle to places
    3. Meal prepping each week
    4. Use bulk section
    5. Make your own cleaners
    6. Looking at things in a different way and how you use stuff
    7. Making small changes that make sense for you and family
    8. Look at your consumption - can you replace boredom with a walk , swap activities out that are more meaningful and bring more value in your life in place of consumption
    9. Build a relationship with your food. Learn about where your food comes from - and ask if it aligns with what you believe in. if it doesn’t, cut it out or create something else.
  • The biggest challenges Andrea sees and hears when people try to change, and how she has learned to embrace change
  • What andrea calls “quiet activism” and how that’s been WAY more effective at sharing than raising your voice loudly or preaching
  • Books or resources you would suggest for people wanting to learn more and get started


Connect With Andrea Sanders

Website | Instagram 

TEDx Talk: What if we refuse trash?



Resources + Links Mentioned

Bea Johnson - Zero Waste Home

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo*

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer*

Joyful Militancy: Building Thriving Resistance in Toxic Times by Carla Bergman*


Note: Links marked with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links. Making a purchase through these links won’t cost you anything but we will receive a small commission. This is an easy, free way of supporting the podcast. Thank you!


Feed Your Wild :: Gut :: Virtual Masterclass


Date: Sunday, August 26th, 2018

Time: 12pm - 3pm PST / 2pm - 5pm CST / 3pm - 6pm EST

Duration: 3 hours

Where: Online, from the comfort of your own home!

*In case you can’t make it live, this virtual event WILL be recorded and you will get access to all of the materials and bonuses.

Investment: $67 

Click here to learn more


Wildly Rooted Resources

Sacred Ecology Activation Journey Audio


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