One Girl for a Clean World
Monica Rosquillas is Instafamous -- that is, famous on Instagram -- for all the right reasons. Her platform “Girl for a Clean World,” which has over 11,500 followers, describes and shows pictures of how Monica lives her zero waste life.
What exactly is a “zero waste” life, you might ask? It means living in a way in which you use all that you consume, without a need to throw away trash or plastics.
Monica started down this path 5 years ago as an environmental educator. She developed a passion for conservationism and began working for “I Love A Clean San Diego.” She spoke to Middle and High schoolers about the environment, protecting our watersheds, and the leading problems such as litter and the great Pacific garbage patch. She found that the students were extremely interested in this information and really did care about the environmental impact of their actions.
Three years ago she developed the idea of teaching adults, friends, and family ways to help serve the environment through Instagram. Through her online platform she posts ideas and photos of how to live sustainably, covering everything from plastic-free food prep and storage to cleaning up the local beaches. She’s basically a real life Captain Planet.
Outside of her daily posts online, she is an active member of The Ecology Center (formerly the 1to1 Movement), a collective group of individuals that aim to inspire and simplify sustainability in daily life, as well as the Waste Reduction Movement.
Monica vocalized that the biggest issues our oceans face today are:
1.) Overfishing, and its detriment to the ocean
2.) Rising sea temperatures. She spent the last 8 months in Asia and was astonished at the reefs that are bleached, dead, or dying from rising sea temperatures.
3.) The amount of plastic in the ocean. The 5 largest contributors to plastic trash are: China, Vietnam, Japan, Philippines, Indonesia.
When asked what changes the average person can make that will have a big impact:
- Start buying less stuff. The path of consumerism is not paved in green.
- Reduce the use of beef and dairy products—The UN just did a report on how large of a carbon footprint that beef and dairy have on the environment. Stay educated and know the impact your diet has.
As for Monica, she plans to continue her lifestyle for the unforeseeable future. Her personal goals are to eat more foods that are “in season” and buy more locally.
She and her boyfriend are currently planning to hike the John Muir trail, a 215 mile hike through the Sierra Nevadas, without generating any sort of trash.
A true testament to the power of one. Because one become many, and many becomes more. Never feel put down by what you cannot do, but remain empowered by what you can do. Every movement began with an individual. Remember that you count and you can be the change you wish to see in the world.