Consume less, live responsibly, save the planet. That’s the message behind Anita Vandyke’s one-woman campaign to dramatically cut household waste across Australia.
Anita, a third year medical student at The University of Notre Dame Australia in Sydney, is so committed to showing people how to live better that she has suspended her studies for a year to write a book and run a series of “zero waste” workshops.
Her book, A Zero Waste Life: In Thirty Day (Penguin Random House), was published on Monday and Anita has embarked on intensive round of publicity, including appearances on both Studio 10 and Channel 7’s Sunrise program, to promote the new title.
“To me minimalism is [about] stripping away the excess so that you can live a life that is truly yours,” she says.
“You can only do that by decluttering – not just your external environment but your internal environment as well.”
In her book Anita, who was born in China but raised in Australia, shows readers how to reduce waste without losing their lifestyle, providing consumers with the rules, tips and tricks they need to eliminate plastic and live a cleaner, kinder life.
Anita, a former rocket scientist who divides her time between Sydney and San Francisco, has not bought anything new for two years, lives a zero waste lifestyle and only purchases second-hand items.
“I used to chase a life based on money,” she says. “How much I earned was another status symbol. Living a minimalist and zero waste life has shown me that money is just a tool, not a destination.”
In addition to writing, lecturing and running a popular Instagram account devoted to zero waste living, Anita is preparing for the birth of her first child in November.
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