Kaiti Burkhammer from 3 Tree joined the podcast today to share the story of how they are helping people create sustainable habits that save the planet and help the environment.
A new company started during the GiveBackHack Global event last fall, they shared their strategy for developing a product that will help individuals create environmentally friendly habits. They started by getting feedback from friends and family and then reached out to the local changemaker community to understand what drives people to adopt new sustainable habits.
They shared how they learned that the younger respondents often had concerns about not being able to make any significant impact, where older respondents were more price sensitive. They tested different ways of encouraging these habits and discovered how powerful and important an element of community and sharing your progress with others can be in creating a ripple effect.
Kaiti Burkhammer shared her own initiatives, and how she recently took up composting, through a local company the Compost Exchange that picks up compost so you can reduce what you put in the landfill. Kaiti also shared some of her favorite local companies – Reuse Revolution and Koko the Shop. 3 Tree believes in sharing and uplifting local companies doing good to help spread their awareness and the impact that buying local can make.
Adam: [00:00:00] Welcome to people, helping people, the podcast inspire greater social change and give you ideas on how to take action. I'm your host, Adam Morris. This month. We're exploring stories around how to launch a social enterprise and I'm excited to have Kaiti from 3 Tree on today. They are uniting like-minded individuals to form a more sustainable world.
They were freshly formed during GiveBackHack global at the end of 2020 and have been actively developing their business. So to speak about the process and how they're creating a sustainable environmental impact, kaiti, welcome on the podcast.
Kaiti: [00:00:33] Hi, Adam, thank you for having me.
Adam: [00:00:36] Kickoff. Can you just tell us a little bit about what 3 Tree is?
Kaiti: [00:00:39] Yeah, absolutely. So we are a team of eight individuals who cared deeply about what is happening to our climate. And although we know that major corporations are having the biggest effect on our environment, we still know that individuals can have an impact. So our goal is to teach and inspire and empower individuals to know that they can make a change and give them the tools to do that.
So we give them really, easy habits to pick up that are good for the environment, like cutting time off your shower. And directly showing them how every time they do that, they have a really big impact and how if they actually get other friends or family members or coworkers to join in on that, the impact gets bigger.
Adam: [00:01:16] I love it. Can you walk us through the story of how you got started?
Kaiti: [00:01:20] Absolutely. We all really love this story because although some of us knew each other as a group, we were all strangers. So we are a team of eight. And we came in to Give Back Hack as people just wanting to join a social enterprise. Whereas some people come in already being part of a group and looking for more support. 3 Tree was brand new.
So it was founded by Julia Aminov. She had this idea originally called Pay It Forward. And her idea was for people to do things that are helpful to the environment and then pass it along to three other people to do that and create this ripple effect. So really it was just, all of us were, really inspired by her idea and wanted to do something that involved the environment. And we all signed up for this week long, crazy very summer camp, like experience of starting this business. And I don't think at the beginning, we really thought it would go anywhere. We just really wanted to do something that was impactful that we were passionate about and GiveBackHack ended up giving us like a significant amount of funding at the end of the week. And we were able to really take off from that point.
Adam: [00:02:19] Now, had you been to get back before.
Kaiti: [00:02:21] It was my first time. A few of the team members had done it before had been on other teams. But for me, I was brand new to it. So actually didn't know what to expect at all. I had met Julia in a yoga class. She was my instructor and we had followed each other in social media and had talked about, things happening in Columbus that we were both passionate about. We had talked about sustainability before, so she had DM'd and said she had this idea, and gave me the link to give backpack and said, Hey, if you have the weekend free, we'd love to have you. So I truly had no idea what I was in store for at all, but I'm very glad that I joined.
Adam: [00:02:55] Were you familiar with social entrepreneurship before you came to GiveBackHack? Or is that something you learned there?
Kaiti: [00:03:00] Not as an entrepreneur, I had worked with other teams that had already been developed and I had done like a lot of volunteering. I had been involved in Festival For Good as a volunteer and some other local groups and neighborhood cleanups, things like that. But I really hadn't been a part of something from the beginning yet.
Adam: [00:03:17] What was it like for you going through that initial process of GiveBackHack?
Kaiti: [00:03:21] I already said the phrase summer camp, but we make this joke a lot. When you would go to camp for just a week and somehow felt like by the end of that week, you had known these people, your entire lives. And somehow things just clicked. Somehow that synergy is naturally existed between the eight of us.
And there were a couple more people involved through GiveBackHack that just wanted to do it for the week, but, I was just really inspired by these people who had sometimes multiple full-time jobs outside of GiveBackHack and then were dedicating their free time, late nights, tons of hours and incredible amount of work to just doing this thing that they only wanted to do to help people.
And it was had nothing to do with getting anything back from it. No, one's getting paid for this and being around that energy of people who just truly want to do good. It's just really invigorating and inspiring to be around. So that was honestly one of the best weeks I've ever had. I had such a great time.
Adam: [00:04:12] I love that. What did you walk away with at the end of Give Back Hack? What was your takeaway from that experience?
Kaiti: [00:04:18] One, I learned it, there was a lot more going on in the social enterprise community in Columbus than I had previously known about in all different areas. So that was very cool to get that education. And then I also walked away like having this really, true sense of belonging among the 3 Tree team we met to celebrate after we had a Jenny's night, socially distance, which was very fun.
And then we had a very serious meeting where everyone got the chance to speak to how they wanted to be involved, how much time commitment they were able to put towards this. What they would really be excited to do with the group. Which is very cool because as in the normal working world, you just get told what you're going to do and you have to be happy with it.
So this is very cool for everyone to really get to state what they were comfortable with and what would make them happy. So from the beginning, we were all doing work that we were not only passionate about, but they actually really liked. And we all just somehow really like each other too, and like hanging out, which is incredible.
Adam: [00:05:11] That's always a really good sign.
Kaiti: [00:05:13] It's definitely a major plus, and makes things much easier.
Adam: [00:05:16] So basically, you know, you were starting with kind of a very loose idea at GiveBackHack. And since then , you had to build up an entire business around 3 tree. Could you walk us through a little bit about what your approach has been? Because I think you have a really good take on how to do that.
Kaiti: [00:05:32] Yeah, it's been a lot of trial and error. So I would definitely say the first thing you need to keep in mind when starting a business is you don't know how much you don't know. And you have to not be afraid to make mistakes and put things out that are unfinished because that's how you learn. So it definitely was a a lot of Googling, a lot zoom sessions between us, like figuring out how things were going to work.
I think we initially had this idea that once we had this funding, we were just going to build a website and like things were going to take off within six months, which is absolutely not, how it's going or how it should go. So we really had to make a list of okay, so what do we assume, that people need from 3 tree.
What do we assume people are gonna like about it? And I know you have to figure out if that's true. So the first step of that is bothering people that you know, in your life and really asking friends, family members, coworkers questions about how they feel about the environment and from those kinds of tests, conversations, we were able to develop more formal focus groups. So that was the first step was getting community members whether they were people that knew us or were just involved in Columbus, social enterprise, or wanted to talk about the environment. We had the zoom sessions, we got to ask them, do you care about climate change? And if you do care, are you doing anything?
And if you're not. What's holding you back because that's where we think that we can really come in is providing that empowerment and those tools that people need, because we know this is something that a lot of people care about, but it's so incredibly overwhelming of knowing how to start. So that was definitely the first step.
And then once we got some focus groups and feedback, we were able to develop alpha tests. So originally we thought these were going to be beta tests. Which is a term I think more people are familiar with, but that's actually after you have some tech to test well, and at this point we really had no thing except type form, which like anyone can do.
You probably did it for a school project at some point. So alpha tests are really what comes before and it's how you figure out what tech you're actually going to need to be able to build your product. So we really used kind of bare bones, things like MailChimp and textedly. And just figuring out how do we communicate with our base?
What's the most effective? What actually helps people? What do people like, what do they find annoying? So that was our next phase. And once we had that information, we went into creating kind of a better MVP. So we had several hour long conversations of taking all this information we learned. And now how do we actually put that into features?
Most startups are smaller teams. It's usually like one person, two people, maybe three. Eight is a lot of opinions. So we also had to have a lot of conversations about you can't hold onto something, just because it was your idea. It always has to come down to the best idea wins and the majority wins.
You're absolutely allowed to speak your piece. That's important. We don't want any grudges or people feeling like they're not being heard. But at the end of the day, it really has to come down to democracy within the team. And just being able to continually push forward. And then if that idea fails, being willing to go back and do something else and try it again.
So it's just, yeah, a lot of trial and error and just being willing to be wrong.
Adam: [00:08:43] That's interesting having a large team and learning that team dynamic in the process of also building a company and figuring out how that's gonna work. Okay.
Kaiti: [00:08:52] Yeah. It's a lot of learning curves at once.
Adam: [00:08:56] So it sounds like you took a very structured approach though, of, starting off with conversations with friends and family, then reaching out to the community getting some initial feedback. And from there developing focus groups where you would hold zoom sessions and really dive in deep to what the preference is were and what their understanding was of creating an environmental impact.
Kaiti: [00:09:17] Yes. Exactly.
Adam: [00:09:18] And you're using that to iterate and develop your service. I'm curious from all those interviews, have you learned some stuff about how people perceive their environmental impact that surprised you?
Kaiti: [00:09:29] Yeah. We noticed that there were big differences in age of what holds people back and what they would be willing to do and what they wouldn't be willing to do. For the younger generation, it was really, mostly that hindrance of feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start and also having that knowledge of knowing that individuals aren't the biggest problem with the environment.
So it just then made them feel like, why do I do this? If it doesn't make a difference. And then we realized from the older generation, it was more about money. So if you could find a way that helping the environment save them money such as using reusable items. You're not throwing things away and wasting money or switching to a sustainable energy form that would cut down costs on your electric bill.
Those were the things they were really willing to do. Rather than the very involved activist side of climate change.
Adam: [00:10:20] That's an interesting point about how people in different age groups, had different constraints about making that environmental impact.
Kaiti: [00:10:27] It was very interesting to learn. And then once you get that information, it's not that surprising. It makes a lot of sense, but it's not something that we thought of on the front end on our own.
Adam: [00:10:36] And, to be honest, I've heard this story and felt this way myself at times of Hey, I'm one person, how can me doing something actually make an impact on the world? And I think it was Callee from the Hippie Haven Podcast. They run a zero waste store in South Dakota. And she spoke about how sometimes, when you're doing something, it may be a small impact for you, but you're talking about it and you're sharing it.
And pretty soon your friends are like, Oh, that's cool. And they start trying it. And they share it with other friends and then it ripples outward. And before, you know, it, that, that turns into a much bigger movement. So sometimes being that force for something can ripple out in ways that you don't see or anticipate.
Kaiti: [00:11:15] Absolutely. We completely agree and yeah. What people need to remember is these big corporations that are making these decisions that are affecting our environment so much, they base it off of money, whether or not they have a heart for the people they're selling to, or if they really care about the planet and the damage they're doing, they do care what the market is doing.
And one of the best examples is just recently, McDonald's announced they're doing a plant-based option for burger, like a lot of restaurants have started doing, and I'm paraphrasing here. Don't McDonald's to get mad at me, but one of the higher-ups. They gave this interview basically said the decision was made because they noticed that's where the market was going.
And that veganism and vegetarians were spending a lot of money on plant-based options and they wanted a piece of that pie. So it wasn't that, Oh, we realize that the beef industry has this horrible impact overall like global climate is that we realized that this is a place to make money. So if we all choose to be conscious consumers and only put our funds towards things that are ethical and sustainable, companies have no choice, but to follow us along.
Adam: [00:12:18] I that's a really good point too. And it's about bringing attention to that. So corporations know, hey, this is what people want in the world and how we can serve that.
Kaiti: [00:12:27] With 3 tree while we have these individual habits, you can form the thing we're working on now is these pods where you can form either groups with friends, family, coworkers, because you immediately create that ripple effect that you mentioned, like in here also you have an accountability partner and it's always just more fun to do something with someone else instead of feeling like you're on your own.
So when you see that, Oh, I cut two minutes off my shower this week and that saved 10 gallons of water. But then, Oh, my three friends also did the same thing and they did it multiple times and suddenly, somehow just my friend group saved a hundred gallons of water this week, and that feels so much bigger.
And once you see that number and see that impact, do you just want to keep going and doing more because you realize how powerful you actually are.
Adam: [00:13:11] You just mentioned creating pods and bringing your friends into this. Can you walk me through a little bit what the experience is like at the moment with 3 tree?
Kaiti: [00:13:19] Yeah, it's very new. So actually we just did the GiveBackHack rocket fuel around this month. And this was what we utilized to test this idea of pods. So we have this idea that this might be something in the future that businesses will want to use because while they might be making business practices that impact the environment, there isn't now a tool that allows you to track the impact of your employees and really get them involved too.
So we had this idea of how do we get groups of people to do this? So we tested it on a really small scale. I'm sending it out to people. We knew we created a shared calendar on Google that had tracking features along with habit, forming tips, and just quick fun facts about what kind of impact you could have by your doing your chosen habit.
And everyone just initialed on the day that they completed each one. So not only are you then keeping track of yourself. You're seeing whether or not the people that are in your pod with you have done it and you can check up on each other. And if you're a competitive person that also adds that kind of fun element of trying to do better than your friends.
If anyone like has an Apple watch and doesn't even tracking your fitness. Sometimes it is really fun to beat your friends. We know that's definitely a thing people enjoy. So right now we're really figuring out what the best way to present that is. But we've got really positive feedback that people did enjoy doing this with other people more than they did just on their own.
So that's definitely something we're going to be pushing forward with.
Adam: [00:14:43] It sounds like you're pulling in kind of a community element as well of building a community around these habits. So it's not just, here's something that I do on my own, but it's, I'm part of a larger community as I do this.
Kaiti: [00:14:56] 100%. Community is one of our core values. One of our phrases we like to repeat is it's our planet, our community, ourselves, all those things are connected. So you can't make decisions that are bad for you and your health, just because they're good for the environment. And you also have to keep in mind where you live and what is accessible to you.
So for us, all three of those are connected. And we also know that community not only helps people form new habits, but it makes it more enjoyable to do these things. And we also create bigger impact. So we've thought of a lot of ways we can create this community in this co-tracking feature is definitely one of them.
The first thing we did before we had a product was launched our social media. So we can start really just bringing together people that care about the environment and want to talk about this. So that's one way we're doing it. And we're also planning a lot of future events where people can come and immediately have impact on the environment.
Our first one is actually going to be immediately after earth day, Saturday, April 24th. It'll be our first annual CBUS clean crawl, which is a neighborhood cleanup with a couple extra fun challenges thrown in. So there also be an opportunity to do trivia challenges, scavenger hunts, photo challenges.
And all those things will allow our participants to win prizes that have been donated by local businesses. So this is really our way of trying to get people that already care in Columbus, out doing something that's really fun. And you can immediately see the impact that you have right by the end of the day, you'll know how many trash bags you collected and you'll hopefully see a lot of dumpsters overflowing with the good we did in the community.
So we're really excited about that and hope to do a lot of other fun events like that in the future.
Adam: [00:16:31] I love that. Can you just tell me a little bit more what's planned for this and how people find out about that event.
Kaiti: [00:16:37] Absolutely. So on Monday, April 12th, the event will be going live online. It'll be shared on our social media. You'll be able to sign up through event bright. It begins at 11:00 AM on Saturday, April 24th at Seventh Sun Brewing. We'll be outside on the patio for you to sign in and get your t-shirt.
And this is something we're really excited about is those t-shirts are in collaboration with Wild Tiger Tees. So if you come and support 3 tree and your community, you also get to sport. Another amazing social enterprise. So really excited about that. The shirts are going to be designed by our in-house graphic designer, Lydia Stutzman, who is incredible if you've ever seen any of her work.
So you're sure they're going to very cool and you want to wear it over and over again. And the best part is that these shirts will be sustainable and ethically created. So guilt-free and just come have a lot of fun with your friends.
Adam: [00:17:25] I love that. That's fantastic. I have to say, I love Lydia. Like I've known her for a few years and she is, she's very humble, but she is amazing at what she does.
Kaiti: [00:17:36] I don't know how she does it. We'll ask her like, Hey, could you make a quick graphic for this? I just want to post something on socials tomorrow. And she's Oh yeah, if there's something together and you think it's going to be something like really simple and somehow it's 3:00 AM in your inbox, email has an attachment of the coolest graphic you've ever seen. And she's able to just bust things out so quickly and she's so creative and so original. So we're just very lucky to have her on the team.
Adam: [00:18:00] You have a very cool team with everything that you're doing in developing. Bringing it back to the environmental impact. I'm curious, just to hear some of the things that you've learned about what an individual can do to make an impact on the environment.
Kaiti: [00:18:12] So a few of the habits that we've launched so far right now, we're really focusing on things that are low cost and easily accessible. So that'll be definitely branching out as we create a bigger site and we have more resources. The first one I mentioned is the showering. We think it's the easiest thing.
Everyone showers, everyone probably knows, sometimes you dilly-dally in the shower a little too long. So we have this idea of creating a playlist that helps you keep track of your time. And for every two minutes that you reduce off your shower is 10 gallons of water. So even if you can do that once a week, you're already having an impact.
We also have done research into things like, switching one cup of coffee to loose leaf tea. The production of coffee takes, I think 10 times the amount of water that the production of tea takes. So if you're just cutting in half, the amount of coffee that you're drinking are already having an impact.
Also we know that the meat industry is really harmful to our environment. We know it's not accessible to every person to go completely vegan. So that's not what we ask people. We try to really meet people where they are. So we have options for. switching just from using dairy to oat milk. And we can tell you what the impact of just that choices or eating one vegetarian meal a day or meatless Monday is if you're not quite ready to commit to every day and then leading all that way up, if you want to go all the way vegan.
So we really try to start small and build on things and we always want it to be accessible to someone's life. We never want to completely push someone out of their comfort zone and feel like something isn't achievable. And we know that these things are much more sustainable. Pardon the pun. If you do it small and you don't, you know, Cold Turkey again. Pardon the pun. I guess if you're going vegetarian, but right. It would be really hard to go from like the typical Midwestern diet of a meat and potatoes for every dinner to like I'm going to be vegan and never eat anything from an animal ever again. It just wouldn't work.
You would end up like ordering, a crazy amount of taco bell one night or something because you have a craving. So it's really important for us to create small habits that are easy, simple, and fun, and really just building on those.
Adam: [00:20:23] Now for people who are interested in getting involved at other levels have you explored anything about influencing corporations or policy on environmental action?
Kaiti: [00:20:35] Yes, that's definitely something we want to work towards. Once we have our product ready to go We know that at the very least we want to have a resource that gathers those links to like petitions, or if there are protests occurring, there are a lot of other great organizations already doing that kind of work.
So we definitely would be collaborating with them because like I said, it is always community first. So we're not in competition with these other groups that are trying to save our planet. We're all doing the same job. So one example is Sunrise. They are a youth led organization that tries to battle climate change by really reaching out to politicians and those major corporations.
That's their big thing. They just had a protest downtown a couple of weeks ago. They're really amazing organization. There's also green Columbus. So many other cool organizations doing similar work to us. So that is definitely something we want to do is join up with them and make the biggest impact we possibly can.
Adam: [00:21:32] And are you exploring partnerships with corporations and like, how would this fit into a corporate environment?
Kaiti: [00:21:39] So that is very exciting for us because we actually do have a partnership with IGS an incredible energy company committed to being completely carbon neutral. And they're now working towards even going above and beyond that, and trying to have, not only that zero impact on the environment, but then creating positive impact.
We were lucky enough to link up with them after we won funding during GiveBackH ack global in 2020 they reached out to us after and said that they really wanted to be more involved that because they had this corporation side and the high level of people switching their energy source, they really.
We're looking for a way to target people in their daily lives. And weren't sure how to do that. So we completed the loop between our two ideas and have been working with them pretty closely and they've been an amazing partner and so supportive of us, coming from literally nothing, just being like a week old company at the time.
And they put a lot of faith in us and have given us a lot of support. So really excited to see as we grow, how that partnership can grow as well.
Adam: [00:22:39] I just love this whole approach of developing partnerships and supporting other missions that are in the community, but also building a platform where you can provide people with the resources that they need to make an impact in whatever way, suits them. But giving them a place that people can start and then grow that impact on the planet.
Kaiti: [00:22:59] Yeah. Speaking of partnerships, we've also made a real effort to always bring up other local sustainable businesses, any opportunity. So a couple of times a month on meatless Mondays we'll feature local like vegan, vegetarian restaurants try to send them some business. And then once a month we feature a local business that has sustainable and ethical practices, and we give them a chance to take over Instagram stories and all about how they're able to incorporate sustainable practices into their business and what sustainability means to them, how community is so important to this mission.
And that's been really great so far, and it also tells people that they don't have to go to these major corporations, like Amazon to find these things that they want, that we already have these incredible Columbus based businesses that are doing this awesome work and that you won't be, tossing your money to a billionaire who doesn't need it, but actually supporting a small business who every purchase is a huge deal to them.
And that's been really exciting for me. I nerd out over how much I love Columbus. I just think the city in this community is so amazing. So any opportunity that I can have personally, and that we, 3 tree can have as a team to boost that community, I think we should take it.
Adam: [00:24:09] I love that. And the environmental impact of just turning to local companies is huge, right? Because you're cutting down on just all the waste in the inventory and the transportation of goods. So when you get things that are more local, it just reduces the carbon footprint of getting goods to your door.
Kaiti: [00:24:27] It really makes it way bigger of an impact than you would ever think. If you start tracking every little step, like if that water bottle you got originated in Japan, it had to either come over on a plane or a ship that was just leaking oil into the ocean. And then it was put on a train and then onto a truck and onto another truck to get to your house.
And it was probably in a box that was then inside a bigger box with a lot of that like giant bubble wrap, they do these days. So just for you to get this reusable water bottle that you were trying to make a really good choice and you had every good intention behind suddenly, you've counteracted that.
So if we can then instead go, hey, there are these really cool shops, like Reuse Revolution at The North market and bridge park or Coco that Shop that sell all these reusable goods. Isn't that a better choice. And you actually then get the opportunity to go out and meet new people in your community and support a small business at the same time.
Um, Plugging those two places on purpose. I really love it.
Adam: [00:25:26] Especially, in a year with COVID where a lot of local businesses have struggled because people's shopping habits have changed dramatically. So just realizing that yeah, if we can support our local community, that means we're going to thrive a lot more.
Kaiti: [00:25:42] So many ways, right? We put money right back into Columbus. That means better infrastructure like down the road. That means better roads, better schools. It also means more local shops opening up, which was always really exciting. I don't know about everyone else, but being able to walk to get things I need is such an immediate joy for me, rather than having to drive super far to find what I'm looking for.
And like you said, a lot of businesses have been struggling. So anytime we can make an easy redirect to something local and small just has an immediate major impact, which is what we're all about.
Adam: [00:26:15] It's interesting, but it also just increases the conversations in the community when you're out and connecting with these local shops. They tend to have just more stories of what's happening. And so collectively we're more connected through those stories that those shops share.
Kaiti: [00:26:31] And really be connected to the origin of the product that they're selling too which I always think is really cool. If you've talked to a small business owner and you're, buying a bag or a t-shirt, they can tell you exactly where they sourced that from. They probably know the first name of the person who made it.
They know what materials it was sourced from. Recently we had Sunny Honey Herbs, to do a takeover over Instagram. And I almost think people were trying to trip her up, talking about how she sources herbs and her plants. And she could tell you the exact farm that each item that she used was from what city it was in.
And she knew all about the growing practices. Now, if you're going to go to a major skincare, maybe like bath and body. There's no way that they can track that. Their production is way too huge. They have too many employees. It's impossible to educate that many people about where they're getting the ingredients for their lotions from. If you go to the small business, they're just like a walking encyclopedia of everything you need to know, and you can feel a lot safer about what you're ingesting or putting on your body, or, allowing your kids and your house to hold. Which I think is really important.
Adam: [00:27:38] So bringing it back to 3 tree, how do people find out about 3 tree?
Kaiti: [00:27:42] If you would like to find out about us, we are 3 tree.me on all socials. We're continually posting updates of what we're working on. If we're running any more tests, that's where we share it. Those are usually open to everyone to join. So if you would like to have the opportunity to tell a business from the beginning, what you want from them this is the way to do it.
I don't know how many times I've used a product or a service. And I thought this just doesn't make any sense. If they had just asked, we probably could have told them that no one likes it when things look like this, it's like how many times Instagram changes their algorithm or the way things look and you're like, nobody wanted that.
This is your chance to be that person who gets to tell the business exactly what you want from them. Which I think is really cool. We'll also be sharing any kind of events that we're doing on the socials, and we're always keeping an eye on that. So if anyone has any questions, feel free to shoot us a DM or an email.
We're happy to answer any questions. And if you really want to be involved, you can come out to our neighborhood cleanup on the 24th, we would love to have you.
Adam: [00:28:41] That's fantastic. We will be sharing that and make sure you do that because I think that's a great way just to get out and help Columbus start off with a beautiful spring.
Kaiti: [00:28:51] All right, have a beautiful spring. Finally get to do something fun with your friends. We've all been cooped up in the winter, and this is something you can socially distance, do safe. Be outside, walk around the community, support several local businesses and clean up some trash. So all around good things.
Adam: [00:29:07] I love that. Now, before we wrap up, do you have a favorite sustainable habit that you've adopted since the beginning of 3 tree?
Kaiti: [00:29:14] I actually started composting recently. About a couple months ago, I've been using the Compost Exchange. I'm going to plug another really awesome local organization. I have always lived in apartments, so I've never been able to do my own compost pile. And what they allow you to do is they give you this giant bucket and you can either select an option to have them come pick up your compost weekly or uh, Drop-off locations, which is cheaper. If you're looking to save money and they take your compost and redistribute it to local farms. So it's a completely, a sustainable practice and you will be amazed at how much less trash you throw away every week. And it won't, your trash can won't stink anymore because all of that food will be in your compost bucket.
So that has been a huge change for me and very exciting.
Adam: [00:29:59] Neat. How long have you been doing that?
Kaiti: [00:30:02] Just about two months now. I think so it's been a pretty new one for me. I have personally made a commitment that a once a month I will replace something in my home with something where usable or more sustainable. So sometimes it's something small, like I recently switched from using a regular sponges to my dishes, to a completely compostable in reusable, sponges and brushes. So that was something really easy to do. Another one I did before that was going to the Refillery at Coco and switching out my shampoo for refillable bottles of shampoo. So they can be on any kind of scale, but every little choice you make can really add up at the end of it.
Adam: [00:30:40] .And what was the name of the composting company?
Kaiti: [00:30:42] the compost exchange.
Adam: [00:30:44] The compost exchange, because you can go there and they have options for you to do your own composting your home, and then they'll have a place that can take all that refuge and compost it.
Kaiti: [00:30:55] Yeah, and I think they have a drop off location in almost every neighborhood in Columbus. So wherever you're located, you won't have to drive far. Or if you are able to spend a little more, you can just have them come pick it up at your house every week. Just like putting out your garbage. So no stress.
Adam: [00:31:11] That's super cool. I love it.
Kaiti: [00:31:13] It's very cool.
Adam: [00:31:15] Thank you so much for joining me today and sharing both how 3 tree has started and got off the ground. But I really love this process that you've done of being very intentional about getting information from people and doing small trials. And then growing that knowledge into a sustainable company.
Kaiti: [00:31:32] Thank you so much for having me. This was so much fun. Just, I want to plug again that I have seven other team members with me and they're all incredible. I love my team so much. And again, thank you Adam, for giving us this chance to talk about our company.
Adam: [00:31:46] I can't wait to see you on the 24th and I hope to see all the people listening there as well.
Kaiti: [00:31:51] We'll see you then happy earth month.
Adam: [00:31:53] a happy earth month.