Circular Economy and Zero-Waste Advocate
My name is Alexa Smith, and I am an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign studying environmental science and sustainability. Through the coalescence of my study abroad in Thessaloniki, discovery of zero-waste advocate Lauren Singer, and reflection on my own daily consumption habits in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have begun to unpack the circular economy and uncover the true meaning of "waste." This journey led me to write my book An Economic Eclipse: Shifting Toward a Sustainable Future by Eliminating Waste. In writing this book, a #1 best-seller in Green Business on Amazon, I effectively pushed the limits of my own environmentalism to inspire other players of our complex, anthropocentric economy. My hope is that through my book, I can spread my belief in the power of entrepreneurship to drive sustainability, while consciously connecting consumers with the things they throw away. Continue to follow my journey through my weekly blog content!
PODCAST FEATURE ON FANCY SCIENTIST
I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Dr. Stephanie Schuttler. We had a lovely conversation about how the zero-waste lifestyle can be made a lot less intimidating than it may seem, and provide some tactical advice you can apply to your own journey towards sustainability! The episode is now available on YouTube, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
My devotion to sustainability on multiple fronts is demonstrated through several of my current projects, internships and other leadership activities. Check out some of them here:
AN ECONOMIC ECLIPSE: SHIFTING TOWARD A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE BY ELIMINATING WASTE
This #1 best-selling book in Green Business is now available on Amazon (link below)! An Economic Eclipse, formerly titled Coming Full Circle, is a book about the use of business as an institution to spearhead waste reduction in the daily lives of individuals. Specifically, it explores strategies that business leaders can adopt to harmonize their work with the circular economic movement and zero-waste ideology.
2020 ILLINOIS CLIMATE ACTION PLAN
As a part of this project, I have drafted and implemented university programs, policies, events and other initiatives to increase zero-waste and sustainability engagement at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The Climate Action Plan is a comprehensive guideline which will help achieve university-wide commitments to carbon neutrality by 2050.
This social enterprise which I am fortunate enough to manage provides a curriculum for local high school students in areas where arts education is severely underfunded. Phoenix provides the students with the materials, space, guidance, and selling platform to create their own sustainable fashion brand--made entirely of secondhand material!