By: Jennifer Eckley
Meet Lou! She came all the way from Paris, France to intern here at TerraCycle. I had the opportunity to sit down and ask her some questions. Here is what she had to say:
Why did you want to be an intern at TerraCycle?
I first heard about TerraCycle through my mother who was involved in one of TerraCycle’s free recycling programs for MARS Petcare. I was very curious about how this system worked. I also wanted to meet inspiring companies and discover how people in other countries are trying to change the dysfunctional waste management system. I am very passionate about garbage, which is an uncommon passion. I try to reduce my own waste by:
- Being a vegetarian: not eating meat is one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Not using plastic soap, shampoo, and deodorant bottles: I use solid soap, shampoo, and deodorant to avoid buying plastic containers that I will eventually need to throw away.
- Avoiding single use containers and packaging: I use reusable cottons to remove makeup and make my own lipstick. When I go out to a restaurant, I bring my own tupperware so I don’t need to use their plastic packaging. To reduce waste even more, I would love to try and make my own toothpaste and detergent.
What has been the most interesting thing you learned?
There are many interesting things that I have learned. First, I was amazed that it is possible to make an entire office out of upcycled products. My favorite upcycled designs would be the octopus chandelier made out of plastic bottles and the elephant made out of tires and car floor mats. Second, I enjoyed seeing how different a company is run in American compared to France. Third, it was interesting to see how engaged people are in the work and to experience how they are fighting for the environment.
Who is one of your inspirations?
One of my inspirations is my favorite artist, Cesar. He makes art out of trash. Cesar uses materials found in dumps and manages to bring an amazing beauty out of it. At first, people viewing see it as a normal piece of art and as they get closer they realize what it is made of. The art makes the audience think about the amazing possibilities of waste. Cesar invites us to reconsider our approach towards waste, using it as a primary material. In a way, a bit like TerraCycle!
Tell us something interesting about yourself!
Back in France, I am engaged in politics to try and change things. I am apart of “Allons Enfants”, a French political party which is ran by 18 to 25 young people. I started as the leader in charge of the environmental statements where I promoted several program propositions such as forbidding single usage place settings in eat-in restaurants.
I became the vice president of the party putting together the whole program. We presented 100 candidates for the French legislative elections, I was a candidate in the 5th “circonscription” of Paris. Even though we did not win, the experience really confirmed my willingness to fight for my convictions, especially regarding the environment and to never accept what I felt was unacceptable.