Interview with Zoetica Founders, Karen Hoskin and Elizabeth Smith.
In this interview with Zoetica founders, Karen and Elizabeth, we discuss their mission to free society from convenience trash and plastic. Learn how they came up with their innovative solution and run operations from the ground up. In this discussion, you’ll hear helpful insights about starting a social good business and how to manage e-commerce, especially during the early years.
Karen and Elizabeth know that once you begin observing, you notice the crisis of convenience trash everywhere around you. Stand outside any office buildings in downtown San Francisco, LA and New York and observe first hand how many disposable coffee cups, to-go containers, plastic forks, straws, and plastic bags are used and tossed every day, all day. We had to ask ourselves the hard question: who is going to fix this?
They decided they couldn’t sit around waiting for some politician to pass an ordinance. No, they took action to solve the problem themselves in their own way. In comes Zoetica! Lifestyle change has never been easier.
“I began traveling for work in 1991. Every day for years, I was heaped upon with throw away trash: plastic shopping bags, coffee cups, cutlery wrapped in plastic, to go containers, straws, plastic water bottles. I began to feel like the Native American in that old 1970’s commercial with the tear streaming down his face. The trash cans filled with single use waste hurt me. The litter left around the airport lounges and hotel lobbies hurt me. I needed to make a change. Today, I refuse an average of 19 to 20 pieces of single use trash each day on the road and 5-6 when I am home. All it took was making a pledge, reorganizing my life with systems and sticking to the Zoetica zero waste lifestyle – no matter what.
I have been an entrepreneur for almost 20 years. I am currently the owner and founder of a craft distillery called Montanya Distillers. Zoetica is my first social entrepreneurship project and my first time partnering with another female business owner. It is an incredible blast and so empowering. I believe one day Zoetica will come to represent a lifestyle that we all live to keep our planet habitable for our children.”
“I am fortunate to have spent time in many beautiful places on this planet. I enjoy exploring wilderness areas and diverse cultures in this world. Travelling has awakened me to so many issues affecting our planet. Watching the destruction of our planet is heartbreaking for me. I am often left with a feeling of helplessness in not being able to change what we are doing to our only life-support system.
In those moments, I remind myself to examine my own life and the choices I make on a daily basis. It all begins with being the change you want to see. Convenience trash such as plastic water bottles, utensils, coffee cups, and straws are literally choking our planet. Every piece of plastic we have used is still here. Plastic just gets broken into smaller and smaller pieces, eventually penetrating our oceans, our soil, our food chain, and our drinking water. The production and disposal of these products are affecting our planetary health worldwide. This convenience trash is not going “away”. There is no “away”, and no one is going to clean it up for us. It is up to each of us to create solutions and find new ways to make a change. Convenience trash is not the only issue facing us but it is one problem I can take on as an individual.”