Words From Sustainable Birds - Sarah Jenkins

Welcome back to our 'Words from Sustainable Birds' Blog. We've been making lots of extra changes on the back of these boss birds blogs.
This week is all about Sarah. Sarah Jenkins is the founder of Sustainably by Sarah, a sustainable fashion consulting firm. She loves helping brands work towards sustainable supply chains and educating consumers about sustainable practices. In her free time, she enjoys baking and hiking. Check out sustainablybysarah.com for more info.
What's the weirdest thing you’ve recycled?
I used to recycle plastic films. It depends on regionality whether or not this type of plastic can be recycled, but a local grocery store used to accept them when I returned plastic shopping bags.

Your first memory of being sustainable/waste reducing etc (ie mum using ice cream tubs for school lunch)? 
Crushing aluminum cans at my grandparent’s house to make it easier to take to the recycling center. They both grew up at the end of the Great Depression and a lot of the cost-saving habits they had ended up being sustainable too.
What does sustainability mean to you?
I’ve got a really textbook answer for this one. Sustainability is the balance of social, environmental, and business factors for any system to ensure the system can operate far into the future. While a lot of consumers focus on the first two, businesses obviously have to be able to turn a profit and striking that balance can be really difficult in a world of fast food and fashion.

What has been the hardest thing to let go of in your sustainable journey? 
Less of a material thing and more of an idea I’ve had to let go of: I cannot convince everyone to live more sustainably. In light of that, I want to educate people to get them to understand the importance of sustainability and let them make their own choice from there.

Who do you admire in the sustainable living community?
Leah Thomas! She’s such an amazing advocate and has done so much with her platform. She created @intersectionalenvironmentalist in June and I’ve learned so much from about the importance of marrying social and environmental discussions. You can’t have one without the other.

Alanna Mnich is another great advocate for sustainable living. Her approach is more about personal sustainability and I love that she includes data-backed sustainability tips.

Can you share your tips for shopping sustainably?
Research! It’s pretty daunting at first if you don’t know GOTS certified from Oeko Tex, but there’s a learning curve! Don’t feel bad if you don’t know everything at first. If a company claims to be sustainable, ask “How?” and make them back up claims. Sustainable commitments are a start, but if a company doesn’t track progress towards those goals for consumers to see then it doesn’t mean that much. Google any certifications a company has to understand what it means.
How do you create less waste? - tips/tricks
In terms of food, I will keep veggie scraps in the freezer to make into stock, and compost my other produce. I reuse glass jars and plastic containers instead of purchasing mason jars/Tupperware for food storage. The biggest thing is taking the time to think critically about what you purchase and how to reuse it.

Who to follow?
Already mentioned, but @greengirlleah and @greenmarinescientist
Brightly is another great follow on Ig (@brightly.eco). They have a recurring segment “Old Me, New Me” with sustainable swaps for things you might have initially thought to be sustainable, like cutting up an old T-shirt instead of consuming something new like reusable paper towel alternatives.

Future goals
I’d love to be able to affect climate policy, while still living my best sustainable life!