Health & Medical

Meet Erin Rhoads, founder of The Rogue Ginger

Meet Erin Rhoads, founder of The Rogue Ginger thumbnail

written by

Kate Duncan


Meet Plastic Free Activist Erin Rhoads Aka The Rogue Ginger

Spend 10 minutes with our Paradigm Shifters, the people who are shaping the ideas that will take us into the future. Meet Erin Rhoads, an environmental writer, speaker and activist who activates community connection through sustainability initiatives specific to reducing plastic and waste.

Home is …

Home is wherever my family are. Currently, we reside on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung, not far from Naarm (Melbourne) city centre but far enough away we can get lost in the bush along the Maribyrong River.

How I start my day …

With my three-year-old climbing on top of me at six am announcing the sun is up and it’s time to wake. I begin with a glass of water and a peek in the laundry to see if we need to do a load of washing. If I’m not loading a washing machine, then I’m probably folding clothes to be put away. I usually have a veggie lentil soup for breakfast and a piece of bread. I’m unsure why but I love a big bowl of soup in the morning. After breakfast I try to get any dinner prep started and other small chores while my son is distracted with his toys.

On ambition …

I’m not an overly ambitious person. I’ve tried hard to be ambitious, thinking this is what was required of me as a young woman with so many opportunities available to me. I’ve never striven to be a leader or become a boss. I’ve tried to dream big and make five-year plans, but I’ve come to feel most comfortable in seeing what happens and to consider all opportunities.

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What I love most about my job …

I’m an environmental writer, speaker and community activist. I love engaging with people and finding ways to activate community connection through sustainability initiatives specific to reducing waste and plastic. Recently, I helped bring the Party Kit Network to Australia as a way to reduce single-use plastics and connect resources we have with the community around us. I enjoy campaigning for big changes so that sustainability is accessible for everyone and that businesses and government do their part to help in the fight against unnecessary waste.

What drives me to do the work I do …

Showing people the simple solutions to our waste issues is right here in our neighbourhoods. I love hearing stories from people who have found joy in borrowing from a neighbour instead of buying something brand new or discovering a repair café that can help them fix an item. Sharing and connecting what we already have, whether it’s stuff or skills, are part of the foundations for a future where sustainability is not a trend but the new normal.

On work–life balance …

Because my job is my passion, sometimes it can be hard to keep the balance, especially when the issues and solutions surrounding waste and climate change are obvious and can be acted on a local level. I like to remind myself I can only do what I can, with what I’ve got and where I am.

On success …

For a zero-waste society to work successfully and fairly, we need to address social issues at the same time.

On travelling …

I was born on the land of the Quapaw (Little Rock, USA) and I have lived there for different parts of my life. When I think of travelling my instinct is to go there to see my family. As much as I love seeing different parts of the world there is nothing nicer than going to somewhere that feels like home. Of course, I would own my carbon and impact from a long flight.

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If I was to imagine a new world …

The new world I imagine would be one that has learned to slow down and critically consider our decisions before thinking about profit and growth, understanding every action has a reaction that can be good or bad. Actually, I hope the new world is not so focused on growth but sharing and making sure no one is left behind.

What I do to blow off steam …

Go for a long walk and read books.

What’s next for me personally …

You’ll find me working on my little food garden. It’s been a lot of fun learning alongside my three-year-old about growing food and sustaining ourselves and sharing our excess with others.

What’s next for me professionally …

I plan to continue working on projects to help people, businesses and government reduce waste and plastic while sharing my journey. I also plan to finish my children’s book and get that out into the world.

 

Kate Duncan is the Editor of WellBeing and WILD. She loves surfing, creating raw desserts, flowing through nourishing yoga sequences and spending time with her new pooch, Maribou.

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