020 My month without plastic

How does it feel like to completely eliminate plastic from your life? Is that even possible in the 21st century?

Well, I tried. For 30 days at the end of 2017, I refused to buy or use any single-use plastic, and looked out for alternatives. In this episode, I speak openly about the struggles, experience and learnings of that month.

ZeroWaste Clara Bütow Plastic Challenge Alternatives Survive without Plastic Impact Revolution

What’s the matter with plastic?

Also, I share some facts about plastic, so you understand the background why anyone would ever be so crazy to eliminate it from their life. Today, there are already 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic on the planet, and the numbers are growing steadily. If we don’t change anything, there will be as much as 34 billion tons in 2050.

500 times more plastic than stars

Plastic harms the environment, damages human health and impacts wildlife in many forms. And it’s so omnipresent that you can find plastic particles on the most untouched places on earth already. The amount of plastic particles in the ocean – 51 trillion – outnumbers the amount of stars in the universe times 500. Can you imagine? Scientists warn of the toxic characteristics of plastics, and yet they are the base of most of the products we use every day.

We all got three choices

When we hear all these stats and facts, there are three things we can do: Ignore the problem, put the blame corporations, governments and organisations or look at our own lifestyle and start with small changes. I’ve decided to go for the latter, and live that decision to the extreme for these 30 days.


Bulk food, festivals and shampoo experiments

The first things I looked for were all food-related: Am I gonna be able to eat anything besides bananas in this month? Oh yes! Needless to say you have the whole variety of fruits and veggies available, if you just skip the unnecessary produce bag and put the sticker directly on the fruit after weighting it. And even though my diet got pretty clean without potato chips and processed foods, I still got to live on the whole awesomeness of pastas, grains, legumes, nuts, dried fruit, flours and even cornflakes and chocolate I found at the bulk store. Seriously, these are total game changers, and I keep going back with my jars aaaall the time. Google it, or check here, if there are any stores available in your city!


Next stop, bathroom: How can I replace shampoo, shower gel, disposable razor blades, toothpaste and co? The magic solution is DIY: I found amazing recipes for making my own toothpaste, deodorant and co, and shared them all on my instagram page, check them out! Then, I experimented around with all sorts of shampoo alternatives like baking soda, apple cider vinegar, medicinal clay, rye flour. Listen and hear how it went… 😉 The easiest change of all? Soap bars instead of liquid dispensers! One more thing I can recommend is switching to safety razors (much cheaper anyways!), wooden toothbrushes and, to all ladies out here, the lunar cup! All of these changes have literally zero effect on your daily life and make you feel better and healthier, too.

What about the household, darling? Home, that was a tough one. I read online about washing nuts to clean your clothes and recipes for own detergents, but somehow wasn’t really happy with the stuff I made (please, if you have any recipes, send them to me). I went and asked around, and finally found a store that sells ecological clothes, dishwasher and cleaning detergents in bulk, you just bring your own containers, add a scent of your choice and that’s it. Super cool, cheap, healthy and good for the planet.


Around the city. My friends always make fun of the amount of things that I plan in one day, and I do indeed have a very active lifestyle. From sports over parties and organising all sorts of events, to this podcast, art exhibitions and uni life, there’s a lot I do and I spend quite a lot of time on the streets. So how to mix that with the plastic challenge? One thing I learned is to be creative and adaptable: For the lack of a reusable coffee cup, I was carrying around an old mason jar to fill up with fresh hot coffee, or just had my cup to stay whenever I was craving it. My water bottle still is an old tomato sauce bottle, and works perfectly for me like that. Food-wise, I sometimes took bags or my own containers when I wanted to get bread or takeaways, and consequently said no to chocolate bars or other guilty pleasures. And of course, I learned quickly to order any drink without straw. I even went to a four day music festival, and with a bit of preparation, smart drink choices and my reusable cup, plate and cutlery didn’t have any problem either – anything is possible if you just want it enough.

Would I do it again?

I am super grateful for the experience, it really opened my eyes towards the incredible amounts of plastic that usually is in our daily life. At some point I went into a normal supermarket and suddenly felt like I was walking on a landfill. Our world has become super disposable, and I’m very happy about all the changes that I’ve learned about! Although I’m not 100% plastic free anymore, I still haven’t bought a single plastic bottle, bag or straw and kept most of the habits I learned during those 30 days. If you want a summary of all the changes, here it is. Feel free to share the picture, just please tag me for the credit.

ZeroWaste Clara Bütow Plastic Challenge Alternatives Survive without Plastic Impact Revolution

Thank you for your support and for leaving me a review on Facebook or iTunes!!

Posted by Clara Bütow

019 Bea Johnson: Living with zero waste

The zerowaste movement has spread rapidly around the globe in recent years and is becoming a real trend with more and more zerowaste shops opening up in every city. The main idea of zerowaste is to reduce your trash to the minimum, get rid of disposables, compost and recycle all you can and send nothing to landfill.

Bea Johnson Zero Waste Podcast Impact Revolution

Bea Johnson is the founder of the Zero waste movement

Bea Johnson is probably THE pioneer of the whole Zero waste movement, before her Blog Zero Waste Home the term wasn’t even used to describe a personal lifestyle. She also is the author of a worldwide bestseller describing the basics of a home without waste, and has given talks at Google, TED, the European Parliament, Ikea and the United Nations.

A story of personal transformations, shared with the world

When Bea started reducing the trash she consumed and simplifying her life, there was almost no resources available on living sustainably. She had to research, talk to the older generations and do hundreds of trial and error experiments until figuring out how to make her own cosmetics, shop packagefree or keep her house tidy without chemicals. At some point, she started sharing all her learnings online and quickly attracted thousands of followers from all around the globe.

Bea tells her story, philosophy and the best tips for an easy start

In this podcast episode, Bea shares why and how she first got into the zero waste lifestyle and explains her philosophy. She further lets us know of her best tricks, the obstacles (and how to overcome them) and easy ways to get started.

“Zero waste makes your life richer”

She has found that basing your life on experiences rather than things and minimising the amount of disposables you use has a very positive impact on your life. Living with less she suddenly discovered that she had much more time, energy and resources available to do the things she really wanted to do. To Bea, living without waste makes her life better, healthier, cheaper, more fun and gives her more freedom. She saves money and time by investing in reusables, eliminates toxics and pesticides from her household and is able to connect with a huge community of likeminded people wherever she goes.

Don’t be scared of the Zero!

Go ahead and start with one step at a time! Every step on the way to living more sustainably matters, so go ahead and do one change at a time. Zero waste doesn’t happen over night, and takes patience and practice to achieve. However, recycling more, substituting disposables and reducing the amount of trash you have it is absolutely worth it, so Bea and I both encourage you to give it a try. There are millions of supportive websites out there now, and you’ll find loads of help in this podcast, too!

Here’s a little video of Bea introducing zero waste.

And now, enjoy the podcast! 

Posted by Clara Bütow

018 Rob Greenfield: Adventures of an environmental activist

If you’re somehow into environmentalism, you probably know Rob Greenfield.

He calls himself “dude making a difference” because he really is. Rob’s activist campaigns and environmental adventures have taught thousands of people around the globe how to live more sustainably, free and happy and care better for both the people and the natural environment around them.

Rob Greenfield Impact Revolution Podcast Trash Me Off the Grid Food Waste Fisaco

No matter whether he transforms into the trash man and wears his trash for a month, he lives off the grid in a tiny house, he saves food, he cycles around the USA to do good or survives with only 111 possessions – all his campaigns have one thing in common: they create awareness, make you rethink what you do and spread a very positive attitude.

Rob’s adventures have inspired me for years to become more sustainable.

Yes, I admit that I’m a huuuuge fan of Rob myself, and you cannot believe how happy it makes me that I’m now able to share an interview with all of you.

On the Impact Revolution Podcast, we talk about his campaigns and adventures around the world and share facts about waste generation, emissions and the impact our daily lives have on the planet. Rob also explains some easy changes you can implement in your life right now and lets us know how every single one of us can find ways to speak up for the causes we care for. If I were you, I would’t miss out on a chance to learn from Rob and get to know his motivation, approach and ideas for next really cool adventures!

To get you started, here’s a short video summary of what Rob has done the past years. You’ll find the podcast episode below!

Wanna know more about Rob Greenfield?

Watch at his Ted Talk on the Food Waste Fiasco, the “Trash me” Campaign or his youtube videos or read through his website and look at the cool project he shares on his Facebook page and on Instagram.



Posted by Clara Bütow

017 The English Podcast Relaunch

It finally happened: Impact Revolution is now available in English!!

From now on, all podcasts episodes, events, and crazy challenges will be done in English so all of you have the chance to listen, participate and follow along. Also, this means that I’ll now be able to get people not only from the German speaking changemaker world to come share their stories: There will be activists, sustainability experts, social entrepreneursbusiness people and artists from all the world to help you improve your impact and create your own Impact Revolution!

Am I excited for this? Hell yes!

And you can be too, because we have a sick-ass relaunch week ahead!! I’m not only gonna talk about my month without plastic, but also invited some of the biggest inspirations and greatest speakers of the global sustainability scene to take part! So look forward for the “trash man” Rob GreenfieldBea Johnson, the mother of the Zero Waste Movement, Mikel Garcia Prieto the CEO of the most sustainable Bank, Plastic Activist and Water Cyclist Dhruv Boruah and Artist and Designer Masaaki Hasegawa.

Here’s the complete schedule of the relaunch week:

Impact Revolution Relaunch Podcast Rob Greenfield Bea Johnson Dhruv Boruah Mikel Garcia Prieto Clara Bütow

If you enjoy what you hear, please do me a massive favour and spread the word, share with your friends and write me a review on iTunes or Facebook. Thanks, that means a lot to me!


Posted by Clara Bütow