There’s nothing quite like walking down the brownstone steps of your three-story brick townhouse marked with a “built in 1888”, on a warm spring morning in downtown Savannah and stepping right onto five mass-produced plastic cups…
Just kidding, I know nothing about the brownstone part. I am, however, intimately aware of the plastic cups strewn about (thank you, open container law). It gets me thinking about what we can be doing to take care of our world, or simply our neighborhood, a little better than we currently are.
Our lack of sustainability is not completely our fault! There’s some really wonderful, nostalgic things from the “glory days” that are also likely to outlive us in a landfill somewhere. I know I’m not the only one wondering which northern New Jersey landfill my jelly sandals and hairspray bottles are sitting in.
Katie Rodgers-Hubbard is thinking about this too and earlier this year, launched Lite Foot Company (LFC) after five years of navigating her own sustainability journey. I was able to chat with Katie this week in advance of her first pop-up in the courtyard at Hygge on Saturday, April 17 from 1 - 4 p.m.
LFC is your one-stop shop in Savannah (and will be going mobile this summer) for everything you need to survive that typically comes in a plastic bottle. Katie’s offerings include a refilling station with about twenty different liquid options (household cleaners, bath products), a variety of other sustainable swaps and even a subscription box to make it easier for those that have no clue where to start.
Katie, her husband, and their dog Neville (Harry Potter fans, rejoice!), relocated to Savannah during the pandemic. She’s seen it all—from living in Oklahoma, where, “there was one recycling bin for the town of 100,000 people, and I’m not sure it was ever actually recycled” to living in Germany, where recycling bins are aplenty and there’s actual sustainability policies in place.
As someone also on this adventure to prepare our Earth for future generations, I often feel overwhelmed about all we have left to accomplish. When I asked Katie how she feels, she said, “I’m overwhelmed daily. I am transparent that I’m still on this journey. I get takeout. I want to support local businesses, and I have to be careful about getting sick (COVID-19) because that directly impacts my daily operations. That does mean we take home styrofoam containers sometimes.”
Katie’s Tips for Getting Started
Recycling isn’t the be all, end all. You can (and should) refuse, reduce and reuse. Clean out all those pickle and jelly jars (and soak the labels in white vinegar overnight) for a second life and better yet, bring them with you on Saturday to refill with your basic needs.
Clean out and save any cereal, candy, dry food bags from grocery items to repurpose for bulk shopping (hello, Brighter Day Natural Foods Market). You’ll never need to buy another plastic bag again!
If you order takeout by calling ahead or via an app, put “no bags, no silverware” in your bio or in the comments. Make it clear early on that you don’t want these items and it’ll become a habit.
Do your research. When selecting vendors, Katie looks for companies that are producing, packaging and disposing of items in a way that’s environmentally friendly. She also seeks out as many woman-owned companies as possible (another reason why we love supporting her).
If you don’t think your individual choices are making a difference, you have more power than you realize. According to United Nations, approximately 70% of total global emissions are from personal purchasing decisions.
And as for Katie's ideal hygge day, it would include being with her people, hiking, biking, traveling and spending time outdoors. “If I were alone 0% of the time, that would be ideal”, Katie laughs. She’s a true extrovert and when the world gets back to normal, she’s excited to join the rugby team in town and actually sit down to eat at restaurants.
Katie and I shared our most recent conversion struggle—she’s looking for a good solution for her makeup that actually works, and I’m on the verge of biting the bullet and switching to a safety razor. Katie tells me the key is taking it slow and using a footrest. If you have any tips for us, share in the comments below.
May 6, 2021 Update: I'm officially a safety razor convert and I'm obsessed! It requires moving slower, but honestly, couldn't we all use a bit more of that anyway? This is the best shave in thirty years, not exaggerating. The razor I'm using is the Leaf Razor, and another reputable brand, Albatross is sold at Hygge. You can support Lite Foot Company with their delightful eucalyptus grove shaving soap to accompany your new razor.
Lauren and Ashley of @not.so.wasted
Katie's personal photo archive