The Inside New York video series brings the SUITCASE New York guide to life by filming five of our favourite New Yorkers in their corners of the city. For more stories and insights follow SUITCASE Magazine on Viber Public Chats.
Based in New York, Lauren Singer is a leader of the zero waste movement, producing only a 16oz mason jar's-worth of rubbish over a period of three years. She is one of the leading eco-warriors of our generation, although you wouldn't necessarily guess that from first impressions. Gentle-mannered and encouraging, she doesn't thrust her theories down your throat, instead she lives them and invites you to follow suit with her blog Trash is for Tossers.
In order to produce zero waste Lauren went plastic-free and in a city like New York that's no small feat. This meant she couldn't buy a lot of the products that she needed for every day life. As a result Lauren learned how to make her own soap, moisturiser, cleaning products and toothpaste. A demand from her readers for these homemade vegan products lead to the creation of her own organic, vegan cleaning company, The Simply Co.
Part of what makes Lauren so great is that she hasn't changed with her success: "My lifestyle is still the same, I have the same interests and I have relationships and I have friends. The only thing that has changed my life is that I am producing less trash to become more of a minimalist. I spend less money but I eat healthier - there are a ton of benefits from this lifestyle."
We were curious how she manages a zero waste lifestyle in a city like New York, and couldn't ask enough questions about how she sticks to it. One of her favourite things to do when she travels (or at home) is to visit second-hand shops, because she believes you get a taste of the city through clothing. She took us to her favourite shop, Beacon's Closet, to set the scene for her New York Insider story and shared with us some other low carbon footprint activities to do in NYC.
Sustainable activities in NYC
Mccarren Park Green Market - I go every Saturday to buy all of my produce here. The vegetables are fresh and everything is seasonal and sourced locally.
Brooklyn Grange - a community garden that offers cool workshops. You can learn how to make toothpaste or a candle or scents. It's a great place to meet people. You might even catch me teaching there.
Second Time Around - awesome second-hand shopping.
Intergral Yoga Natural Foods - shop here for tonnes of natural, package free foods as well as lots of other really cool stuff.