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Don’t Be Trashy: A Practical Guide to Living with Less Waste and More Joy

Meet Tara McKenna – blogger, Plaine Promoter* and now author! We are thrilled to celebrate the release of her new book Don’t Be Trashy. This is THE ultimate guide to going zero waste(ish). Don’t Be Trashy offers an approach to reducing waste that emphasizes progress over perfection (our favorite motto!). Tara guides you month by month and shows you how to dramatically reduce the waste you produce over the course of a year—one sanity-saving step at a time.

Keep reading for more from Tara and be sure to head over to Instagram for your chance to win a copy of the book and some of Tara’s favorite Plaine Products! (Update: Giveaway closed)

Tell us about yourself and your message. Why is it so important to you to share that message with others?

 I run the blog and lifestyle website The Zero Waste Collective, and I’m the author of the book Don’t Be Trashy: A Practical Guide to Living with Less Waste and More Joy. Don’t Be Trashy offers easy ways to reduce your waste that fit within your lifestyle context! It’s a step-by-step guide to streamline and simplify your life while reducing your impact on the planet. My book helps readers to live their best lives, with less waste and more joy!

An important message I love to share is that sustainability doesn’t have to be perfect, and low-waste living isn’t an all or nothing lifestyle. It’s better to do something than to do nothing. It’s important to me to share this message because often environmental living can seem overwhelming to people who are new to it, and people may give up on it if they feel like they have to do ALL OF THE THINGS. I’m here to tell everyone it doesn’t have to be that way! And this is a strong message from my book: take what works for you, and leave the rest. You do you!

What is your favorite chapter of your new book and why?

My favorite chapter is the one on decluttering and minimalism; it’s early on in the book as a foundation for subsequent chapters on other topics like low-waste grocery shopping, sustainable fashion and capsule wardrobes, and nontoxic beauty, among others. I’m all about streamlining and simplifying our lives to make them easier, more enjoyable and less wasteful! I believe there’s such a strong and important connection between living with less and sustainability, because the less we consume and the more conscious we are as consumers, the less waste we’ll create!

What’s your one best, easiest tip for minimizing single-use plastics?

Start with one simple swap. For example, ditching tampons for a menstrual cup can save so much plastic waste! Or commit to only using reusable shopping bags. Or both! These simple changes can create a huge reduction in our use of single-use plastics, it just takes one change. Then, you may be inspired to make other changes too!

What do you think is usually the biggest blocker for people in regards to living a more sustainable lifestyle?

A lot of people don’t believe that individual actions matter. I do believe that individual actions do matter. Because – assuming – most of us don’t live in isolation, what we do as one person tends to rub off on other people. There’s an incredible ripple effect of what one person can do to make a difference within a family, group of friends, classroom, office, community, country, and the world!

Whether the difference is small (inspiring your sibling or friend to get their coffee in reusable mugs) or big (creating a global movement like Greta Thunberg has done around climate change activism), one person can make a huge difference. What individuals do can creep up into the collective, create cultural change and paradigm shifts, leading to policy and legislative changes.

If that starts with choosing to reuse and refill everyday products like toiletries, then that’s fantastic! So I say go for it! Do it! Get into sustainable living, and if it makes people feel better, don’t label it – it just is what it is! 🙂


Do you have a favorite Plaine Product and if so, what is it?

Face wash and face moisturizer. Perfect duo!




Be sure to order Tara’s new book today! Don’t Be Trashy will guide you to your best life—one with less waste and more joy!



Plaine Promoters are individuals who use Plaine Products, love them and want to get others to join in eliminating single-use plastics while enjoying outstanding products. Plaine Promoters spread the word about our products and get 10% from every sale they generate.


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