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Green Visions
A Northland Morning feature focusing on local environmental issues, heard Wednesdays at 8:20 a.m. Green Visions is brought to you by All Energy Solar, Minnesota Power Energy Conservation Program, and Energy Plus.

Green Visions: April Hepokoski and the Zero Waste Lifestyle

Illustration of the earth overlaid with a zero-waste flow chart
April Hepokoski

April Hepokoski has been living a zero waste lifestyle since 2014 and recognizes that creating the habits that come with this way of living don't always come easily or quickly. "It's very countercultural," says Hepokoski. "We always want more, more, more." There are several approaches to zero waste living and the number of ways to cut down on waste - particularly plastic waste - can be overwhelming. For Hepokoski, it's been about taking things one step at a time and not getting overwhelmed.

Many people can recite the 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. For Hepokoski, it's 5 Rs... or 7 if you want to really break it down. "Refuse" and "Rot" have been added to Hepokoski's zero waste flow chart. Rot speaks to utilizing compost and Refuse is as simple as not consuming or using that which is unnecessary. "Usually when I go to a restaurant I look around and see if they put a plastic straw in everybody's cup automatically," says Hepokoski. "I need to refuse that." Repair and Repurpose (falling under the umbrella of "Reuse") bring the Rs up to a healthy 7.

For more information or to connect with April Hepokoski you can visit the Zero Waste Duluth Facebook page.

Luke Moravec is the host for Northland Morning on The North 103.3. He’s also a local actor, musician and writer. He loves puzzles, riddles and fun mysteries.
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