STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Bay Terrace resident Ariana Palmieri has taken her daily zero-waste life and cultivated it into a blog, giving others tips on how they can live life more sustainably.
Palmieri has always been interested in sustainability, but her journey started with green beauty. Green beauty refers to natural skincare, generally made with natural and sustainable ingredients.
Switching to this type of beauty, she was paying attention to the ingredients she was using and the impact they had, but soon enough felt like she could be making more of an impact.
“I started noticing that my green beauty products were just piling up, and there was so much packaging. I liked green beauty, but I felt like there was more I could be doing,” Palmieri explained.
Palmieri started her blog, Greenify Me, in 2015, talking about sustainability and environmental impacts on Staten Island.
In 2017, her life took a turn for the better when she discovered the zero-waste movement.
The zero-waste movement consists of people that are slowly filtering out trash from their life, using more reusable or biodegradable products to reduce their carbon footprint. Many zero-wasters, like Palmieri, can hold all of their trash in a mason glass jar.
“When I discovered [the zero-waste movement], something inside of me just clicked… I found out that the average American generates 4.4 lbs. of trash per day, and I did not want to be a part of that, but I felt like I already was,” she told the Advance. “So, I started to change up my behavior and make a bigger impact, and I’ve been zero-waste ever since.”
One of the biggest changes that Palmieri changed in her life was shopping. Rather than shopping at a traditional grocery store, she turns to local resources for package-free goods.
The Staten Island Mall and St. George Greenmarkets have been a massive part of changing her routine.
She first started going to the Greenmarkets when she began composting, she recalled. Palmieri would collect her food scraps and participate in the composting program set up by GrowNYC. She told the Advance that she then realized how convenient it was to shop package-free at the markets.
For other goods, she travels to Tastebud’s Natural Food Market in Dongan Hills where she can bring her own containers and fill up on bulk goods.
Now, Palmieri uses her blog to spread tips and tricks on how she lives zero-waste on Staten Island. Her reach extends beyond just her blog, as she’s cultivated over 20,000 followers across her Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook accounts.
In April, Palmieri also released her e-book titled “How to Reduce Food Waste,” sharing her various tips and tricks on how to start reducing waste. The book is meant for beginners, giving step-by-step instructions on how to begin reducing food waste.
“[The earth is] suffering because of human activity and all of the things we constantly take from it. Unfortunately, we have a habit and not giving back,” explains Palmeri. “So, it’s incredibly important that we think about the ways that we are taking and start to adjust it and learn more eco-friendly ways to give back to our earth, such as reducing our plastic consumption.”
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