Hi! Green Indy (est. 2017) is an online resource here to help you break down the complex issue of zero waste into simple, actionable steps.

I’m Polly – a writer, teacher, and a natural-born researcher/experimenter. I started leading a full zero-waste lifestyle in 2015 after experiencing life in an Indianapolis community where affluent trash gets left behind. Food desert conditions and a lack of infrastructure meant many of my clients and neighbors rarely ate fresh fruit or vegetables.

Since going zero waste, I’ve tried to spread the word – particularly about how accessible it is – because I’ve lived first-hand knowing how hard it is to even eat healthy when you’re worrying about paying rent.

I spent two years in Indianapolis before buying a house in Lafayette, Indiana. I’m currently in Lafayette getting to know the area, meet new people, and test strategies for engaging non-traditional audiences (ie. not us urban, affluent, white folks!) in zero waste practices.

The biggest zero waste myth

The biggest zero waste myth is that to be zero waste means you have to produce ZERO trash. False. We operate in an economy that makes it impossible to be truly zero waste. (If you don’t bring trash home, it’s just further up the production stream.) You can read more about why zero waste isn’t zero – and why that’s OK here.

There’s also the idea that zero waste is hard, expensive, and time-consuming. Yes, it might be one of the three (or maybe two at times), but not all of them. I did a case study on whether shopping at Walmart was cheaper than shopping 100% bulk – check out the answer! (Spoiler: it’s bulk!)

I know that a lot of people can’t afford zero waste options, don’t have time, or don’t even have access to the resources that would let them go fully zero waste. That’s OK. Taking steps towards reducing your waste is a huge first step. This blog is here to break down a zero waste journey into 100% manageable steps.

Explore the 12 zero waste zones

After several years of practice, wins, fails, and a lot of education, I’ve found the way I wish I’d looked at zero waste in the first place: through twelve different, but interconnected zones of life. By segmenting the idea of zero waste, it gets a little easier to tackle. The goal of “I’m going to audit my bathroom cabinet and swap two products” is so much more realistic and manageable than “I’m never making trash again!”.

Where are you going to start?