Get to Know Me: The Simple Environmentalist Q&A

I’m writing this post as a script for my YouTube channel that just hit 1,000 subscribers! To celebrate, I wanted to make an introductory post about who I am, why I created this channel, the future of this channel, and so forth. So, let’s just get to it!

Hi, I’m Emma, the creator of The Simple Environmentalist. I created this channel/website/Instagram to inspire people.

You can learn about my full environmentalism/zero waste journey here, but in short, I grew up in a small community in rural Ohio where it was hard to visualize our impact on the planet. Our trash was whisked away, out of sight out of mind. It wasn’t until I moved to a bigger city in west Texas. Here is where I first noticed our impact on the planet as humans and it started with plastic. Texas is a non-incentive state meaning that recycling costs out of pocket which makes it sometimes more expensive than the landfill so oftentimes it just ends up in the landfill. I dove in head first and got really involved with solving this problem. I felt so accomplished fixing the end problem of recycling, even on a small scale. Then, I moved to Okinawa, Japan. We are 700km off the coast of the mainland of Japan meaning in the middle of the ocean meaning we see a lot of worldwide garbage on our shores. Like I said, I had fixed the end problem, but moving here made me realize we need to fix the early stages first: consumption. If we consumed less, we wouldn’t have to worry about recycling properly!

That’s when this channel was born. It was born out of me doing insane amounts of research but wanting to share it with the world. Why should the knowledge just stop at me, I thought, I need to share it! It’s taken a long time. I started this channel over a year ago and didn’t even hit 100 subscribers until January 2020. It’s taken 12 months to gain 900 subscribers and I want to thank you all for joining me on my journey to living more sustainably as I teach you about living more sustainably.

I’m imperfect as you can see in this video here about things I still buy in plastic. While I think going completely plastic free is great, it’s not practical for most. And thus, my idea of practical sustainability was born. That is what I focus on here. You might have caught me saying it a few times if you’ve been around for a few months and that is, my goal is to make sustainable living easy, free, and fun for almost anyone. I want to get rid of the notion that zero waste is hard and zero waste is expensive and zero waste requires you to change your entire life. While living completely 100% zero waste might, if we all just live a little more sustainably, we can all do so by making such small changes we might not even notice them.

So, over the last year, I have spent countless hours trying to get you guys 2 videos a week full of content from free ways to live zero waste (currently a 5-part series but growing), easy ways to conserve energy and water, and so forth. But, I also want to talk about issues you might not know about to spread awareness like environmental racism, weather vs climate, the truth about bioplastics, and so forth. I want this channel to be part tips and tricks and part educational material you can use to get yourself inspired and inspire others to make changes.

So, by my own definition, practical sustainability is living a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle day by day by making small and easy changes that help you and help the earth.

That’s why I chose the name The Simple Environmentalist. From day one, I wanted to be the Practical Environmentalist. But, that’s a bit of a mouthful. So, here we are. Anyone can be an environmentalist. I have no formal education yet (foreshadowing) in environmental science. All it means to be an environmentalist is someone who cares about the planet and preserving it. That’s why I chose this name. Practical sustainability plus the notion that anyone can be an environmentalist equals, The Simple Environmentalist.

The future of The Simple Environmentalist

I plan on continuing to release two videos a week through June or so. These videos will continue to be about practical sustainability tips everyone can implement as well as educational videos. But, come June, Dan (my husband) and I will be moving back to the US. We still don’t know whereabouts, but we are headed back in that general direction.

In the US, we have big plans that we can’t quite announce yet, but the first announcement will be on our sustainable travel channel/Instagram. That being said, I will have to start dedicating more time to that channel as well to help it grow and produce the quality of content we want. Not to mention, I will be going back to school starting in August hopefully for a Masters of Resilient and Sustainable Communities. Plus, if you didn’t know, I am currently employed by the US Air Force and work full time. So, working full time, studying for my Masters, and running two YouTube channels, I’m going to have to cut back somewhere. So, starting in June, for the foreseeable future, I will be only releasing one video a week.

One day, I’d love to make content creation my full-time job and if that happens, I will resume two videos a week. That being said, I will only have half the room for content I want to make so I will have to be picky with the topics I film. I ultimately want to film what you guys want to see. Let me know what topics you’re interested in down below! As much as I love the DIYs and declutter with me’s and brand reviews I’ve done on this channel, I don’t know what value they add to the fight against climate change. So, moving forward, I want to really kick it into gear about practical ways we can fight climate change and live in a practically sustainable society, which is pretty much what my major is going to be about. I can’t wait to implement my studies into the real world and into this channel and hopefully inspire you all to make big actions around your neighborhoods.

I’m going to be focusing a lot of my energy on this channel in the next six months to create my “baseline” content which is things I have already created like my free ways to live zero waste series, what is climate change, what is veganism, and so forth. These will be videos that you can refer back to when I mention them in the future, but in the future, I really want to dig deep into focusing more on things rather than just switching to a reusable water bottle. The big question inspired by the climate clock added in NYC: what can we do as a society within the next seven years to change our lifestyles and habits to reverse climate change and continue to live sustainably without making everyone completely uproot their entire livelihoods.

But, just like I said at the beginning, this information can’t stop with me, so i’m educating you, I hope you feel the same. I hope that you feel this information shouldn’t just stop with you. Share my videos, share others videos, talk about these topics in class and at work and at dinner, start your own activist Instagram or YouTube channel. Because the reality of things is, a lot of people do care, but we need more people to care.

One of my favorite quotes is “you don’t need 100 people doing zero waste perfectly, we need everyone doing it imperfectly.” It inspired my outro quote of “your small changes have a big impact in the long run” meaning that yes, choosing to eat one vegan meal a week sounds meaningless but look at that on a scale of a year. That’s 52 meals a year! Going vegan for just 30 days would save 620 pounds of CO2, 913 sq feet of forets, and over 33,000 gallons of water. Just one person for 30 days. So, to put that quote into perspective, think of just 100 perfect vegans. Yeah, they’d save a lot in terms of the environment, but think instead about 1 million imperfect vegans!

Avoid the labels if you must. Don’t label yourself vegan or zero waste or sustainable or minimal. Do what you can on a day to day basis, even something as small as turning off the lights when you’re not using them can save a lot in the long run.

As always, thank you so much for reading along, I appreciate your time :)

Your small changes have a huge impact in the long run!


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Hey there! Thanks for stopping by! 

My name is Emma. I am a 20-year-old new to this sustainable lifestyle. I am here to give you my tips as I learn them and help beginners begin their sustainable life...


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