VICTORIA
CHIRIBOGA

Founder of UpcycleMind

I majored in Environmental Studies and Sustainability at the George Washington University, in Washington DC. After using Ecuador as a case study for all my classes, I decided to come back home to Quito, in order to contribute with the conservation and protection of our natural treasures. During this time, I came to realize that my actions and my values were not aligning, I had a speech about being the protectors of earth, and how it was imperative to change in order to save it, while at the same time producing an insane amount of waste and plastic pollution. Zero-waste, came to me as a solution to align these two, and a lifestyle that allowed me to live my values and reduce my impact over the environment. I decided to create UpcycleMind, to blog about my experience with zero-waste in Quito, with the purpose of motivating others to re-evaluate how their habits have a direct impact on the stability of our earth. The idea is to give local solutions to a global issue.

DESCRIBE YOUR MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET. 
The growing consumption of plastic, contributes directly to global warming because it is a petroleum based product. It contributes to the growing oil drilling in the amazon, plus the gas emission during transportation and production, and the loss of fertile land to build the landfills in which we store all our waste. As additional side effects of this, the plastic problem creates issues of water, and air pollution, as well as a direct effect on hormonal disruption, food insecurity, and species deterioration. The idea is to create greater consciousness about how we consume, and what effects that has over others and our planet.

UpcycleMind was created with the purpose of providing simple, tangible and permanent solutions to the plastic pollution problem. A way to combat against the mass destruction of our environment through the simple act of re-designing our habits. As the XXI century slowly transforms into the “disposability equals utility” era, we face the growing issue of plastic pollution everywhere. Every day we put tons and tons of plastic into our oceans, creating an unnecessary and avoidable pressure over our ecosystems, therefore contributing directly to global warming. As a result of our increasing unconscious consumerism, we have created a series of social justice issues by making vulnerable communities more vulnerable, environmental justice issues by robbing nature of its right to exist, and contribute daily to global warming. The motivation of this project comes from giving a person the autonomy and empowerment to mitigate and retract their impact on the environment, with simple swaps in their daily life, and become more conscious consumers.