Striving For Zero: Vendor Spotlight with Elana Axelband Smith of One World Zero Waste
(From left to right) Elana and Stephen Smith
Name: Elana Axelband Smith
Company: One World Zero Waste
Items sold in LMC's gift store: Unpaper Towels, Utensil bags, bowl covers, painted oil jars, all from One World Zero Waste
Where are you from and where do you currently reside?
We're from the Jupiter/Palm Beach Gardens area – born and raised! We currently live in Jupiter Farms.
How did you become inspired to start One World Zero Waste?
We are super passionate about reducing the amount of trash that we create. We want to live in a beautiful world and know that everyone needs some support and a place to shop free from single-use plastics! One World Zero Waste is that place for us and for our community. At One World, you'll find support, fresh ideas, and open minds that are happy to listen, learn, and also share zero waste journeys.
What are some of the most popular products that your customers purchase?
The list is very diverse! Bulk food and refillable essentials for the whole house are certainly very popular and they keep customers coming back. We do our best to have high-quality consumable products in bulk, that are used in our everyday lives, so that customers can come and get their goods without packaging. They just bring their own bags and containers to refill!
In addition, our handmade, reusable swaps for single-use plastics are popular items as well. From personal use to gifts for loved ones, these products (i.e., un-paper towels, bamboo utensil kits, snack bags, bowl covers, etc.) allow you to stop purchasing and using trash essentially. They're one-time purchases to replace something that is constantly being used and thrown away.
Whether you're filling up on bulk essentials, or purchasing reusable swaps for trash, Zero Waste living is not only more environmentally-friendly, but it is also more economical for our pocketbooks.
What would you consider your store’s greatest success to-date?
Our greatest success is most definitely helping people reduce the amount of trash that they use in their day-to-day lives.
Do you have a mind-blowing fact about the global waste that usually stuns your shoppers?
On average, every single person in America alone creates 4.3 lbs. of plastic every single day. Roughly 17.6 billion lbs. of plastic enters the marine environment every year! That's not just the oceans but also estuaries, rivers and more. Those numbers are crazy and unsustainable. With given statistics, it can sometimes feel like we've already been defeated by trash, and that leads many people to stop worrying about this phenomenon because they sense nothing can be done – and that's simply not true.
While global waste is a serious issue, it is sometimes hard for individuals to grasp the magnitude of the problem. That's why we often like to keep things close to home. Some of the most stunning facts that really get to our customers are things that we learned from Loggerhead Marinelife Center. The fact that 100 percent of the sea turtles treated at Loggerhead Marine Life Center have been found with plastic in their digestive systems is a staggering takeaways that hits a lot of people.
Who is your role model in terms of sustainability?
Bea Johnson is the mother of zero waste living, and a fabulous role model for us, along with millions of other people around the globe. We actually had the pleasure of getting to meet and spend an afternoon with her. It was truly inspiring.
Another incredibly inspiring role model is Captain Planet, AKA Garrett Stuart. He is a pillar for sustainability and eco-preservation from south Florida, up to the treasure coast, the gulf and all across the state. He is a super cool, down-to-earth, algae scientist who is a true steward for our world.