Have you noticed that small changes can make a difference in your life?
At Sustainable America, we’re committed to presenting ideas and insights for making intentional, eco-friendly adjustments in your daily life. Even with all the resources we’ve made and educational initiatives we’ve put forth, there is always more to learn, and more we can all do on our sustainability journeys. That’s why we’re looking to others — creators, bloggers and all around sustainability “inspirers” in our newest blog series: Meet an Eco-Creator.
To kick off the series, we’re excited to feature the queen of intentionality: Jhánneu Roberts. Jhánneu is a Los Angeles and Austin-based sustainability content creator, speaker and expert, who has built a passionate audience (over 54k combined on social) showing how low-waste living can be inclusive and accessible to all.
Originally from the South Side of Chicago, Jhánneu always wanted to make a difference in communities like the one she grew up in, but didn’t know how. She has combined this desire to do good with her degree in theater and passion for protecting the planet into successful Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube channels, as well as a blog hosting a wealth of sustainability roundups, reviews, tips, and tricks.
We connected with Jhánneu recently to learn a bit more about her path to becoming a sustainability creator and the things she’s learned along the way.
What inspired you to start sharing intentional, low-waste content?
A few years ago I started learning about where our trash goes. I learned that the majority of it does not get recycled – basically we’ve been told all these lies.
Then I realized there were things that I could do on my end and slowly started reducing my own waste. We all try to do our best in general but I knew I could do better. I wanted to be intentional about what I brought into my home.
As I learned more and more, I wanted to share my knowledge and how it would impact others. At the same time, there were only two or three creators talking about low-waste living on social media and it wasn’t that diverse. I knew there were people who might relate to me and learn from my experiences.
How do you see your role as a content creator and influencer as being for the good of the planet?
I don’t like to tell people what to do but I can show them intentional, low-waste ways of living and hope they can find value in it. I like to share content that relates to people. Talking about the planet can be very preachy – I can break it down for the individual. Most people are trying their best for their health and the planet and these things are intertwined.
@jhanneu Directions 🌱1. Soak the cashews in water at least 4 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator. Drain the cashews and rinse until the water runs clear. Add the cashews and two cups water to a blender. Start on a low setting and increase the speed until the cashews are totally pulverized. This could take 2 minutes in a high-powered blender or longer in a regular blender.2. Blend in 2 cups more water*, your sweetener of choice, vanilla extract, sea salt and cinnamon (optional). If your blender can’t totally break down the cashews, strain the milk through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth. Store the milk in a covered container in the refrigerator. It should keep for 3 to 4 days.Use 1 cup of cashews to 4 parts water. A pinch of sea salt, vanilla extract, and maple syrup to taste!..#diy #diymilk #vegan #plantbased #lowwaste #zerowaste #sustainableliving #kitchentips ♬ Vegas (From the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack ELVIS) - Doja Cat
What is something that you learned from your followers on low-waste living?
I love to share tips on ways to reuse items and my followers share their tips as well. Recently I did a video on using reusable makeup wipes to cut down on waste, and a follower upcycled reusable nursing pads to makeup wipes! I’m not a mother yet, but it’s something I would definitely do in the future.
What was the hardest behavioral change you made to become less wasteful?
Sometimes being sustainable can require a bit more time. I like to compost but I live in an apartment so I'll put it in the freezer and take it to a friend's house later. I also tell people not to be too hard on themselves. For example, maybe shopping at the farmers market is too expensive. Low-waste living doesn't necessarily require more money but it might require more planning.
How does inclusivity relate to sustainable living?
I'm from the South Side of Chicago. Sustainability was not on the forefront of my mind growing up. But Black and Brown communities have been doing sustainable things for years – reusing the same tupperwares, repurposing plastic bags for the trash can, etc.
Me being a Black woman means a lot. I share ideas about being resourceful and using less. This doesn't have to be expensive or look a certain way. Companies, looking to break into the sustainability market, need to cater to all skin tones and hair textures. For example, I’ve received a lot of shampoo bars from companies not considering the texture of my hair. I’ve also struggled with the available colors of sustainable makeup foundations. This is slowly starting to change to be more inclusive.
What is on the horizon for you?
I’m trying to figure out the next steps for my brand. I’m focusing on my YouTube channel, TikTok account, and blog.
I also like helping other creators in the sustainability space to make money. It seems to be seen as this bad thing to make money and do good. I have a course and content in the works on how to do both.
I’d also love to have a sustainable travel show where I travel around to learn what other cultures do to be sustainable.
Want to be inspired?
Interested in learning more about Jhánneu and ways of living an intentional low-waste lifestyle? Check out her TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and blog to be on the road to a more sustainable and intentional life.