Marina McCoy, Founder and CEO, Waste Free Earth

“In the second week of March I got awarded young entrepreneur of the year on Monday, then on that Friday I lost all my clients.”

Who? Marina McCoy, Founder/CEO of Waste free Earth

The Pivot: When Covid-19 hit the united states Marina was forced to think fast to save her event-based sustainability company.  “Instead of educating festival attendees about waste, we pivoted to helping the next generation learn about sustainability.” she said. Before the pivot, Waste Free Earth was solely focused on providing zero waste strategies and sustainability-focused content for events. Now, Waste Free Earth has opened its doors to all types of business and doubled down on content creation.

Who are the new customers? Since the pivot Waste Free Earth has brought on several companies that were sponsors of the events she was doing work for before the pandemic.

What services are you providing?  “I have a client that I’m helping enhance their sustainability journey and implement zero waste strategies throughout their supply chain. I also just did a campaign with essential workers with Mana threads, focusing on taking care of people around you in your community. I’ve also been getting hired to do waste management plans for construction companies.”

How has the VCET community supported you during this pivot? “VCET has been so amazing, I write them love letters all the time. When I saw that my clients were dropping I immediately reached out to Dave and Sam and got on the phone with them, they reassured my confidence.”

Marina contributes her ability to pivot so fast to her involvement in the VCET community and exposure to people working outside of the events industry.

Waste-free for 6 years? “I have been practicing a zero-waste lifestyle for 6 years and in the past couple of years I’ve been able to fit all of my waste into a mason jar. It’s about looking at waste differently. We live in such a fast consumer-based society where it’s quick and easy to just easily discard stuff and not think about it. I’m able to save thousands of pounds of waste from entering the landfill. I don’t use any single-use plastic items and have completely switched my diet but it was a slow phase-out. There a lot of things that you “give up” but it’s enhanced my life in other factors and its really easy; you just get to look at things differently”

Biggest win in the last year: “I’m really proud of how we’ve been able to pivot and I’m really stoked on being nominated young entrepreneur of the year, even though I lost all my clients the week after.”

What have you been doing to stay sane during quarantine? “People think I’m an extrovert, I definitely have extrovert personalities but I’m really split down the middle; I love my alone time. I really enjoy 90’s music so I dance around a lot to 90s music and cook food. I definitely miss live music so I’ve been watching a lot of old live shows. I also study human sexuality on the side and connecting back to my sensual self and my sexuality really helps keep everything together.”