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Everyday Heroes #1

Just1Bag2020 is huge team effort. It's the result of individuals, families, and community organizations getting involved all around the world. So each week, we'll feature someone who's making a positive difference, just one action at a time.

First up is Kristen Banning, from Massachusetts in the USA.

We know you as our phenomenally talented Just1Bag website creator, but we'd love the Just1Bag2020 community to get to know you, too. Tell everyone else a bit about yourself.

I’m Kristen, mom of four, wife and small business owner. I live in the seaside town I grew up in.

That sounds like superwoman to me! Had you ever litter-picked before?

I don’t think I had specifically gone out to litter-pick before Just1Bag. I started in January 2020 when I became fascinated by my wonderful neighbors. We’ve probably gone at least once a month or so since then. Sometimes I go with just one of my kids at a time.

Litter picking can lead to some crazy and unexpected discoveries. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever found?

Ummmm, I’m not sure I can include this on your website. But let’s just say I saw a full progression of someone’s “fun” night in the woods. Hubba hubba.

I remember you telling me about that! It’s one of my favorite stories 😊

We all have our happy places. What’s your favorite place to litter pick?

I like the beach cleanups best because I feel like I am directly saving an animal with each and every piece I pick up.

You mentioned you got your whole family involved. What’s the best thing your kids have said while litter picking?

“I feel like a good person.”

That's so cute! Has picking up litter led to any other changes in your day-to-day life? Or is there anything it’s given you pause to think about?

Yes! One of my resolutions in 2020 was to invest in cleaner products and create less waste in my home. This has included everything from the products I buy, to composting my food scraps. My current goal is to wean my family off our insane dependence on paper towels. Quick Update: It’s actually much easier than I thought it would be and the kids are treating it like a challenge! That's great news!! Ditching paper towels can be a tough one to break, but it’s a great way of reducing waste and saving a huge amount of money.

What has picking up litter taught you?

It has taught my family a lot about what we bring to (and carry home from) the beach. My kids have become amazing litter-finders!

If you could ban one piece of litter from the world what would it be?

Plastic bottle caps. 100% agree. Imagine how much cleaner our beaches would be without them!

What would you say to anyone that’s yet to collect Just1Bag?

Try something new to help others and you’ll realize you’re really helping yourself.

Thank you so much Kristen!

Kristen runs her own strategic marketing consulting business called The Local Market helping small businesses expand their reach while staying true to their brand. She also co-owns Go Bloom Organic, which produces nutrient enriched organic herbs and spices (they're superb!). Click on the links to find out more or follow here on Instragram: @thelocalmarketma and @gobloomorganics

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