Karla Zens

San Francisco, California, United States

Sustainability Pro: Love Convenience, Hate Waste

<div id="biography"> <p>I'm a San Francisco-based sustainability pro with a serious coffee addiction. I love magical design and smart products that slash waste.</p> <p>I grew up outside a small town on Vancouver Island in Canada (as in bears-walking-through-the-yard small). My parents were always making things and growing things. They taught be about how interconnected the natural environment is, and that every action can have an impact somewhere else.</p> <p>Fast forward to a few years ago: I was writing a <a href="http://www.karlasbonanza.com/">green living website</a>&nbsp;about the changes I was making in my own life to become healthier and more "planet friendly."</p> <p>My research led me to a photo by artist Chris Jordan that visually represent <em>15 minutes worth of paper cup waste</em>. You can <a href="http://www.chrisjordan.com/gallery/rtn/#paper-cups">check out the photo</a>&nbsp;or&nbsp;view his <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/chris_jordan_pictures_some_shocking_stats.html">TED talk</a>.</p> <p>That image really stayed with me, and although I was working and living "green," I was a hypocrite when it came to my coffee habit. I really wanted to carry a reusable coffee cup, but I couldn't find one that fit my life. Travel mugs were leaky, heavy and a burden to carry around all day.&nbsp;If I had plans after work, I'd opt to use a disposable cup rather than lug a bulky cup around until 10 pm. Existing collapsible mugs were small, flimsy and not up to the task of hot liquid.</p> <p>I created Zip Cup because it's a product that I wanted in my own life. In designing Zip Cup, I was also really inspired by the book <a href="http://www.mcdonough.com/cradle_to_cradle.htm">Cradle to Cradle</a>&nbsp;by William MdDonough and Michael Braungart and I'm working to&nbsp;ensure that Zip Cup is as safe for people and the environment as possible.</p> <p>Professionally, I've led corporate branding, strategy and biz dev in the pioneering world of green building, where I'm a LEED Accredited Professional.&nbsp;I surround myself with extraordinary people, including top notch industrial designers and business advisors.</p> <p>Zip Cup is the biggest thing I've ever done, and I'm incredibly inspired by the support I've received. I'm trying to give back throughout my Indiegogo campaign by raising funds for a women's coffee cooperative in Rwanda, and by buying a stranger a cup of coffee a few times a week...small acts of coffee karma!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div>

About Me
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