Building a Zero-Waste Mindset with Moji Igun
Meet Moji Igun
Moji is the founder of Blue Daisi Consulting which offers zero-waste + sustainability consulting services to small businesses. She supports her clients in reducing waste by helping them find creative ways to keep trash out of the landfill.
Moji is certified as a TRUE Zero Waste Advisor that enjoys drawing connections between zero waste and the broader spectrum of sustainability.
Moji is a self-proclaimed amateur gardener, chef, and cat-mom from Seattle Washington on a journey to build a zero-waste world! Every day she works to make the world better in some way. As the Founder of Blue Daisi Consulting, you can find her building reports and doing research while other days she’s teaching workshops about zero waste and how to implement it. And you might be surprised to find her head first in a trash can doing a zero waste audit!
Moji says that performing zero-waste audits are her favorite part of her job. A zero-waste audit is when you analyze what someone is throwing away. Moji takes her time working with small businesses to dump their trashcans, photography, and weigh what is in them for an in-depth analysis of their waste.
“What I really want to accomplish with the work that I do is show people how accessible zero waste is or can be if you just look at it from a different perspective.”
She started her zero-waste journey in 2016 when she caught wind of a viral video of fitting trash into a mason jar and seeing what ensued as “mason jar mania.” This visual brought her to step out of her comfort zone to learn more about her own waste. Leading her down a journey of sustainability and zero waste living. She found a community of like-minded individuals on social media and kept building on her knowledge to make it to where she is at today.
Before going zero-waste, she would be the type to go to Target and end up with tons of stuff in her care and not know how it happened. (That’s pretty relatable, right?)
Starting her journey, she began to look at her food waste and learned about Bokashi composting (Bokashi in Japanese means to fade away). She felt that starting to compost began to teach her about how the world works and the cycles of nature.
“We don’t think about waste very critically as normal people, it’s just so easy and convenient”
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Bridging the gap between people and systems
Blue Daisi Beginnings
Moji realized that she was getting plasticware and straws from the local restaurants she was supporting and she could start a conversation with them about it.
She reached out and started working with these small businesses to help them figure out new solutions. Moji knew small businesses usually don’t have the time or energy to put sustainability first when they have to make an income so she stepped in to help ease them into the process.
“What I want to help business(es) do is really create a culture of sustainability and one that’s holistic. Zero waste is just one piece of it but I use it as a way to show people how interconnected all of the pieces of sustainability are.”
Through workshops, one on one coaching, and general education, Blue Daisi Consulting works to help people understand where they are and how to get closer to zero waste without the overhwlem.
Currently, systems aren’t set up for zero waste to be easy for individuals or businesses.
“We all need to be figuring out what’s our role in creating the waste and what we can do to shift it”
Sometimes the most creative solution is one that is the most obvious. This is why Moji helps businesses to brainstorm solutions and build structures that allow people to live zero waste.
As a member of the Zero-Waste board of Washington, Moji sees the importance of applying pressure to systems to make a change. She sees herself as a guide to businesses as they are learning new policies. She wants to make sure it’s a collaboration and partnership. It’s never to punish someone or to make life hard but to make to play their part.
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Thinking critically about your trash is important. Starting to think about: where your trash does go, where is the local landfill, where is your local recycling, and where did the product come in the first place?
“I feel like that culture of curiosity and just noticing things and looking at the world not on the surface but actually asking questions is what we need to shift systems. “
You shouldn’t feel guilty about enjoying things in life that you cant prevent. Business decisions, packaging design, and policy all come into play for things you can’t avoid sometimes.
You can do this by adopting a zero-waste mindset.
“Zero waste mindset, I’m hoping, takes the pressure off of the actual goal of making no trash and focusing it on a lens at which we look at the world so that we can understand our consumption and production habits and approach them in a more intentional way”
Zero-Waste is more than trash
Environmental racism comes into play when you’re talking about zero-waste or waste in general. Ask yourself where landfills and incinerators are located. Moji points out it’s where poor and black and brown people are located.
“The zero-waste movement as a whole can’t be just about mason jars and rubber bands and plastic packaging. It has to be inclusive. It has to be intersectional with all of the other pieces of sustainability. And it has to lift us all up together…When we think about zero waste it’s not just what we see as disposable, like the actual physical waste, but who we see as disposable. Who is unwanted. Who is unusable.”
Final Thoughts and advice
Moji says that one of the biggest mistakes businesses make is limiting sustainability to a green team, one person or one day.
“What I really want people to understand is that Sustainability and zero waste are not just a one-time event or a one behavior switch. It’s a way of being”
When starting zero-waste you want to start by digging deeper and figuring out why you have the waste in the first place. It’s looking at the core of the issue. Was it that you were rushed? Or could you of planned better to not have this waste? What systems could you put in place to not have this type of waste in the future?
For individuals or businesses, Start with noticing and observing before jumping into sustainable swaps or products. Once you’ve noticed your waste, you can do a zero-waste audit. Then you can start to make a strategy to work with your business or your lifestyle. There is no one size fit all solution!
If you’re an individual approaching a small business – frame your suggestions as a question instead of attacking and blaming. Moji says that is where you get the most results. Tell the business that you love their product and you wish you could get it a different type of way (with less packaging, without plastic, etc.).
“I’m all about making zero waste a journey and a process instead of a jarring shift that we’re working towards. It’s really a process that we’re working towards together – individually and systemically.”
Listen to the entire episode for more details!