FEATURED TWIG MEMBER OF THE MONTH
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meet maris masel:
Hi! My name is Maris and I absolutely LOVE TWIG! Before Tennessee I grew up a Jersey girl with my mom who loved the ocean so much she would let me skip school to go to the beach! My mom was the one who taught me how to appreciate nature’s gifts and to never take them for granted. She was also a science teacher and studied the ocean’s different ecosystems when I went to visit my dad in the summer. We always recycled, saved random things to repurpose, and found a way to make food out of every scrap so as not waste anything. She was the real OG when it came to sustainability back then.
When I moved to Nashville I was pursuing music and “the meaning of life” of course! After living in EIGHT different places over five years, I never really had a second thought about sustainability in my life or at least thought I was “doing my part” … until this year. After visiting my family in Florida in April, I felt a strong pull to the earth and knew I had to do something. When I returned home to Nashville I was determined to learn as much as I could about the city and how to be the best possible member of society when it came to “going green”.
I taught myself how to compost and started bringing all my recycling to the East Convenience Center. I even went to a free workshop hosted by Turnip Green Creative Reuse where I met Michael Britt, who later introduced me to Jess Johnson (co-creators of Zero Waste Trash Talk). Now the three of us are on a mission to put Nashville on the map for more than just being “Music City”. As we learn more and more, we are building a community to share ideas and solutions that can really impact our city. I am so excited to see where all these efforts land, as the journey has just begun!
what interests you about sustainability and the environmental movement?
What doesn’t interest me about it? Now that I know what can happen if we all don’t make the switch to a sustainable lifestyle, I can NEVER go back! We can only show people how important it is by leading by example and being the change we wish to see. This a scary yet amazing time, since the future of the planet depends on US alone. I am interested because my big beautiful blue ocean is dying and I will dedicate the rest of my existence to saving it.
what steps are you taking for a more sustainable lifestyle?
What sort of steps are you taking for a more sustainable lifestyle?
Wow where to begin?! Truthfully, there are so many things we can do and I think that’s what most people are overwhelmed by. Where do we start? It starts with awareness. Once upon a time, I thought that just by recycling I was “doing my part” to later learn that there is an entire way of thinking and processing that goes along with it. I now live my life in a REDUCE-REUSE-RECYCLE-REFUSE fashion! I think about what I buy in the grocery store: is it locally grown? Is it covered in plastic? Is it recyclable? I often refuse single-use items and bring my own food to work regularly. I even started taking my office’s recycling every week along with my own. Instead of just throwing something away because I don’t need it anymore, I think of where else it could have value. I use less paper towels (opt for cotton) or reuse them as long as I can. I unplug all our appliances when they’re not in use and I even bug my roommate to turn off his lights when he’s not in his bathroom… he’s even learned to separate recycling and compost too! There’s a GIANT big picture to all of this and I know I am just scratching the surface, but I have a lifetime ahead of me to improve!
how can twig members support the zero waste trash talk team?
TWIG can support Zero Waste Trash Talk by sharing our content on social media streams and getting involved via our website (zerowastetrashtalk.com) where we are going to be launching all sorts of initiatives to propel the city into sustainability~! We are so excited to be a part of this movement and surrounded by such strong and incredible people with the same vision. TWIG has given me so much courage and confidence to stand up amongst the crowd and be a leader for others. Thank you for all that you do! The Zero Waste Trash Talk team and I salute you!