What if we stopped seeing sustainability as a sacrifice and more like a fun adventure? While Brett Howell is focused on systemic, breakthrough solutions to sustainability, he encourages businesses and individuals not to get overwhelmed and just to get started! "Build momentum and see where it goes, you're going to learn something by starting your journey...Make it simple. Make it fun. A lot of it is about becoming aware and then wanting to challenge yourself. It has to be something fun, because if it isn't fun, you're not going to do it." Brett is a champion of environmental entrepreneurship. His mission is to catalyze teams to achieve breakthrough solutions to the systemic issues we face on our planet. Influencing governments, non-profits, startups, and global corporations. As part of his personal mission to end plastic pollution, Brett led the 2019 beach clean-up team at Henderson Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the South Pacific considered the world’s most plastic-polluted beach.
[1:00] Breakthrough Solutions get to Root Causes: Rethinking the "Starfish" story
[2:30] Breakthrough Solutions are Market Driven
[3:45] Breakthrough Solutions are "Hell Yes" solutions
[5:00] Cleanup at Henderson Island
Learn more about the world's most plastic polluted beach here:
[9:00] Early learnings from researching the trash to get at root causes for prevention
[12:00] Bringing more transparency to global recycling markets and local regulations
[13:00] How his experience has inspired a change in his personal habits (i.e. not eating seafood) - "A lot of it is about becoming aware and then wanting to challenge yourself. It has to be something fun, because if it isn't fun, you're not going to do it."
[20:00] Why and how businesses should make sustainability a coherent strategy rather than a patchwork of solutions
Learn more about United Nations Sustainable Development Goals here:
[23:00] Big impact changes that are often forgotten - food waste, flying, residential housing
[26:00] Issues with creating transparency and transforming industries
[28:30] What is the circular economy?
"Going back, in some ways, to our roots of not having a disposable culture."
Listen to the NPR Throughline Podcast on "the Litter Myth" here:
"Plastic came out in the 1950s and now we're expected to have more of it in the oceans than fish by 2050...how do we use environmental entrepreneurship to see this challenge as an opportunity and create the path forward"
[35:00] What types of policy changes are needed for systemic change?
[38:00] "You can definitely have death by analysis...as a consumer, it has to make sense, it has to be simple, it has to be fun. From a business perspective, you have global supply chains...it's incredibly complicated, but don't be afraid to start! It's fun! Build momentum, see where it goes. You're going to learn something from starting your journey."
[39:50] Brett's other projects on regrowing coral reefs, lead poisoning for loons
"What if we gave nature rights like a corporation?"
Learn more about Brett's other projects here:
[45:00] Advice to parents on raising environmentally conscious kids
Learn more about breakthrough solutions here: