Cassidy Putney is the Co-Founder and Director of Sustainability and Communications at Impact Earth - where they work to create Zero Waste Communities. Cassidy is working to achieve policy change surrounding problem areas including environmental sustainability, food security, and environmental justice. Cassidy graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2016 with a Bachelors in Public Policy and a focus on Environmental Sustainability & Policy and did a senior project with the Town of Brighton, designing and conducting a municipal greenhouse gas inventory and helping recommend goals for the Town's Climate Action Plan.
[1:30] The beginning of Cassidy's interest in sustainability
[3:20] Creating an independent major at RIT
[5:00] The intersection of sustainability and social justice - "At the end of the day, environmental sustainability shouldn't just be for people who can afford to be more sustainable."
[7:50] From sustainability passion to sustainability business
[11:20] First Impact Earth event for Ithaca Celtic Festival - "If they know the right thing to do and how to do it, they will. If we give them the resources, education and infrastructure, people can do the right thing every day."
[14:30] Impact Earth's services - Events, K-12 Education, Composting Infrastructure (Residential and Commercial Hauling), Helping Processors Get Up and Running
[20:00] Cassidy's personal "zero waste" behaviors and advice for getting started - "We teach a lot of mindfulness in all of our programs. Being mindful in your life, of your body and your surroundings go hand in hand with a zero waste lifestyle. We find that a lot of people that start to live low waste lifestyles also become healthier because they're being more mindful of their choices."
[25:30] Trying to be low waste in the grocery store - voting with your wallet
[29:10] Policy changes that would have the greatest impact - an EVOLution, not a Revolution - bans can be great on paper, but we need to focus on implementation and creating viable alternatives
[34:00] The future for Impact Earth - "I would love to have an Impact Earth in every major metro across the country...I would love to see a lot of other companies pop up doing the work that we're doing. People say, 'why would you want competition?' but realistically I can't do it all. I would love to find someone else to share my knowledge with and have them do their own thing on their own journey, in their own community and be helping people there."
[39:30] Why businesses should adopt zero waste as part of their strategy - "Any type of company, regardless of where you are, we need to evolve to better represent and serve our clients...a big push from my generation, we care more about transparency, we care more about environmental impact, we care about not spending too much, we love supporting local...zero waste and low waste operations...are going to better represent what people in our communities need and what they want."
[44:00] Cultivating the next generation for a low waste lifestyle
Learn more about Cassidy and Impact Earth at: https://impactearthroc.com/