Kathryn Kellogg blogs in the zero waste niche.
She says, “All of my trash for the past two years fits in a 16 oz mason jar. I spend my time educating the public on the dangers of trash, plastic pollution, and fighting to end food waste. I’m a public speaker and blog about small, actionable tips we can all implement to make the world a little greener.”
Let’s explore her blogging journey.
Tell us about your blogging journey
I started blogging April of 2015. There weren’t many zero waste bloggers on the scene, and I come from an entirely different background.
I wanted more representation for people without access to recycling, eco-friendly products, or package free food. Being from the South, a lot of my friends and family members don’t have access to those things.
They would never even attempt to live a zero waste lifestyle merely because they felt they couldn’t do it “right.”
I started blogging because I wanted everyone to get involved.
There is no “right” way to be zero waste.
There’s only doing the best you can and being a conscious consumer. The motto of my blog is “It’s not about perfection; it’s about making better choices.” I honestly believe that any step in the right direction is a move in the right direction.
I wanted to create a community that felt that way!
What exactly is Zero Waste?
The goal of zero waste is to send nothing to a landfill, but it goes deeper than that. It’s a call to redesign the system.
Right now we live in a linear economy where we extract resources, turn them into products that don’t have a long lifespan, and then we dump them in a giant hole in the ground. That would be okay if we had unlimited resources, but we don’t.
Earth overshoot day is a perfect example. Each year there’s a day that marks how many resources the earth can produce sustainably in one years time. It just came August 2, 2017. Just barely halfway through the year.
We’re using two earth’s worth of resources to make products that are thrown “away” where they will never decompose. Trash is misallocated resources.
In nature there is no trash it’s a closed loop system where the “waste” is not only useful but vital.
Zero waste wants to move to an economy that mimics nature more closely. Instead of creating trash/disposables we focus on items that can be used over and over and over again.
Which I promise, is a lot easier than it sounds. Like bringing a reusable coffee cup to the store instead of taking a disposable one. It’s all about little tiny changes that add up to make a significant impact.
What’s life like for a zero-waste blogger?
I can only imagine it’s similar to the life of any blogger. I currently work a full-time job, which puts some strain on my time. I on average write two posts a week, have a newsletter, and operate on every major social media platform.
What emotional, mental and physical needs does blogging fulfill?
I’m a creative person.
I was a professional actor for a couple of years out of school.
I still perform professionally, just not full time.
While I was growing up, I would make silly movies with friends and ALWAYS had a camera on me.
Blogging has allowed me to combine a lot of my favorite things. As a bonus, it’s a topic I feel passionately about that was my hobby away from theater. Now theater is my hobby away from zero waste.
I enjoy writing, and I want others to know how easy it is to help the planet out a little.
If you had to start all over again, what would you do differently?
I wish I could go back in time with my improved writing skills!
I also named the posts quirky fun names which do nothing for SEO. I wouldn’t have done that. But, everything I did has gotten me to this point, so I really can’t complain.
It was a journey, and I’m glad I took it.
What are your monthly blogging expenses?
I’m a pretty hardcore DIY kinda gal. So, I don’t outsource much.
I spend about $400 a month on hosting, email server, and automation software.
What are your biggest challenges with blogging?
I wish I had more time!
To get more time, I need to be able to leave my day job. There are so many MASSIVE projects I want to start, but I’ve been working almost 90 hours a week, and it can be hard sometimes.
How do you monetize your blog?
I monetize my blog through ads, sponsored posts and affiliate links. Ad sales make up the majority of my income.
How long did it take for you to make your first $1000 a month?
I didn’t start even trying to monetize my blog until almost a year after it launched.
When I started blogging it was a just a fun hobby.
When the costs of running it started becoming 10% of my take-home pay from work, I had to find a way to let it support itself.
I took me about five months before I hit $1,000 a month.
As a zero-waste blogger, do you avoid using any specific tools that other bloggers would normally use?
I turn down A LOT of sponsored content because it doesn’t fit with my lifestyle. I’m incredibly picky about who I work with.
What is the one strategy that generated most of your blog traffic?
I have been super fortunate that I’ve been approached by some amazing journalists that have been interested in my story.
The article from The Guardian put me on the map after it went viral.
How do you network with other bloggers?
Instagram is one of my favorite places to interact with like minded people.
I have made so many friends!!
I’m also a member of the Zero Waste Bloggers Network and met my best friend!
She’s another zero waste blogger that happened to live eight blocks from me. How cool is that? (She’s not currently blogging though.)
I just joined Ethical Writers and Creatives five days ago, but I’m already loving the community and can’t wait to get to know those peeps even more.
Meeting new people is one of my favorite things about blogging.
There are so many awesome people in the world who are trying to make the world a better place.
What advice would you give someone just starting off as a zero-waste blogger?
It’s my advice for blogging in general.
Don’t get too caught up in trying to do everything at once. Just focus on doing one thing well.
Once you get the hang of it, then try something new.
For me, I started with Instagram. Once I felt like I got the hang of it and found what was working for me, I moved onto Facebook. Always focus on improving, and most importantly, make sure what you’re doing makes you happy.