We are building more sustainable communities with a small but dedicated team. In this rubric, we give each member of our team the chance to introduce themselves to you. This week, it is Sara’s turn, our Designer.
Although you can find short introductions of our team members on the “About us” page, we thought it was about time for you to get to know us a bit better. Last week, Pablo told you all about his life. This week, Sara will take you along on her journey at Byewaste, sharing her vision on sustainability and our company.
Hi there! Who are you? Tell us something about yourself!
Hello there! My name’s Sara, I’m 26 and I’m working at Byewaste as a designer. Like Tommaso and Riccardo, I’m Italian too. I’m currently living in Turin, where I’m attending a Master Degree course in Systemic Design at the Politecnico of Turin.
I’ve been studying design for 7 years, but my passion for it actually started when I was much younger. When I was 12 years old, I remember I wanted an “Eclipse” lamp (1976) by Vico Magistretti as my birthday present because I saw it in a magazine and it looked really intriguing to me. I had no idea that it was a famous design product, but I guess the funny name and unique shape aroused my curiosity.
Besides that, I love Art and History, which is why I usually spend my weekends visiting museums in the city. I’m also a book and movie lover.
What do you do at Byewaste?
I am responsible for the overall flow and interface of our digital platforms (the app and web-app), which means that I design the interactions and the aspects of our service in order to make the user experience as functional and enjoyable as possible. That is also why I work closely with the development team. We combine behavioural and technical knowledge to build a tool that people can easily use.
How did you end up at Byewaste?
Last summer, I took part in a week-long workshop which was supposed to be in collaboration with a start-up we didn’t know anything about. As the workshop was promoted by the University, me and some other students joined and we were asked to face the challenge that the company would provide us with.
On the first day of the challenge I met Tommaso and I heard about the interesting concept of Byewaste. I immediately had a good impression of him and I felt like Byewaste was a great opportunity for me to do something meaningful.
Eventually Tommaso asked me to join the team and continue developing the ideas that we came up with during the workshop week, and I couldn’t be more excited!
Why did you want to work for the company?
Honestly, I see Byewaste as a challenge for the future. We usually hear about the dire need for innovative solutions for helping the planet, but as soon as those are implemented people seem to be unwilling to change their habits.
With Byewaste, I wanted to prove that changing is possible and can even be easy. The idea of giving people a daily-life tool which can help them with their waste management seems like a highly relevant solution to me. Therefore, my motivation for joining Byewaste is to be able to prove to people that they can actually make an impact with little effort.
What do you like most about your job?
I’m happy that the Byewaste team is composed of people from all over the world. Most team members that I interact with regularly are from other countries than Italy, so I have the opportunity to learn from their background and experiences.
It’s great working together and exchanging our perspectives because it allows the product to improve time after time, and this is the kind of interaction that I like the most.
And what do you like least about it?
Honestly, I’m not a big fan of smart-working. Due to the pandemic, the team was meeting exclusively online by the time I joined. This situation was tough for me, because I was getting to know new people without actually meeting them in person.
This means that I had to learn how to manage the work while being far away from my team members. I was initially a bit afraid that I would get discouraged by that, but thankfully this was not the case. The team was and still is so great that I never stopped feeling motivated.
Why do you think that people should start recycling and reusing more?
Because I think we should stop thinking about waste as “waste” and, by that, I mean we should stop seeing objects as a “reject”.
Instead, we can redirect the use of an object, recover valuable materials from it, reduce the amount of disposal and save both raw materials and energy. When recycling properly, we stop thinking that someone else will take care of that problem. I believe it is a matter of attitude.
Obviously, our role is to encourage people to change their behaviour, but it is important that the need for this change is acknowledged as we don’t live in a world with infinite natural resources.
What is the nicest item that you have ever thrifted?
Since I’m a beginner photographer, I bought a second-hand reflex Canon camera just a few weeks ago. Items like these are quite expensive and I didn’t want to waste money on a brand-new camera that maybe I wasn’t even able to use properly (as I just started pursuing this passion of mine).
I decided to reach out to a local reseller to look for a second-hand digital camera. First, I was able to meet the owner of the Canon I was interested in and then she gave me some suggestions about how to get the most out of using it. Not to mention that the camera was kept in perfect conditions. I couldn’t be more satisfied!
I really feel like I extended the life of the camera that I bought. Furthermore, I will remember the previous owner’s suggestions, which I think adds a unique value to the object itself.
When would you have especially benefited from a service like Byewaste yourself?
Hands down, the time I moved back to Italy from Brazil! I lived in Curitiba for a year and I needed to pack my stuff by the time I was about to leave the country. I had a lot of stuff such as clothes and household items that I bought when I arrived in the country, but that I unfortunately couldn’t take with me.
I’m sure a service like Byewaste could have helped me to avoid that those items would end up in the trash when I decided to leave part of my stuff in the apartment that I used to live in. I still don’t know where these items have ended up in the end. As many of them were still in good condition, I’m sure I could have donated them to local second-hand shops and Byewaste would have saved me the effort and time needed to do so.
How are you contributing to a more sustainable future in your personal life?
I currently live in a big city so I take the public transport often. Besides that, my roommate and I use the washing machine no more than once a week. Years ago, I bought a tin water bottle to avoid buying plastic water bottles on the go, I stopped using plastic bags when grocery shopping and also stopped buying new clothes just because they are trendy.
As you can tell, these are all small habits, but they make a big difference for the environment in the long run.
Which sustainable habit would you like to apply in your daily life?
One of my personal goals is to learn more homemade food recipes. I think producing things from scratch yourself is one of the most fundamental ways to live in a more sustainable way. Just think of the amount of plastic or cardboard packaging which can be saved when we would purchase less consumer goods.
Sometimes all it takes is a few simple ingredients to produce food at home. When I’m at the supermarket, I feel like I often end up buying processed food that could be easily replicated at home. Instead of doing that, I would prefer to buy raw food from local markets. I’m also quite sure that I would find more satisfaction in cooking this way.