Hosting an Activist

By: Leigh Williams

Sometimes my zero waste journey leads me to something quite unexpected!

That’s what happened when I found myself inviting one of the most fascinating people I have ever met, Baptiste Dubanchet, into our home. I was introduced to Baptiste through Anne Gaudin, Executive Director of our local chapter of Alliance Francaise and, the very first member of my Toward Zero Waste Meetup group.

Before Baptiste, my tendency to let food find its final resting place in my fridge didn’t concern me so much because I bought local and organic, and I figured when I wasted food, at least I’d supported my farmer, and hey, I was going to compost it!

And there is that.

But, since Baptiste, I no longer see my full compost bin with as much pride or as just kitchen scraps….. but as water, energy, and even time and love invested. And as food.

So while hosting a food waste activist did not lead me to dumpster dive, couch surf or increase my long-distance biking goals, it has gotten me thinking. It has made me meal plan a bit better and think twice about using more of the vegetables scraps I would have so quickly thrown in the compost bin. More importantly, it has started a conversation in our area. One about “best by” dates and whether grocery stores are tossing food that is still edible….food that could feed hungry people! It’s a conversation being had in local schools, on a college campus and at gatherings in our community. It even garnered the attention of some of my town’s council members and led to an article in our local online news, CaryCitizen.

Baptiste has left the triangle area headed North before winter sets in, but I know he will continue to raise awareness and share his ideas of how to solve the problem of food waste and hunger everywhere he goes. I know that I will never look at food, or food waste the same way again.

Follow Baptiste on his journey via Facebook or visit his website to get more information. He also has a petition online and would welcome your support!

Bon Voyage Baptiste!


About the Author:

I’m a wife and mom of two school-aged girls, living in Cary, NC. I started moving “toward zero waste” in September of 2015 after reading Bea Johnson’s book Zero Waste Home. Bea’s single jar of trash a year for a family of four didn’t seem possible for my family of four, but I knew we could do better and was inspired to try.

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