Thanks for visiting Sustain Local!
My name is Amy Doherty. My husband and I live in Houston, Texas. I graduated from the University of Richmond with a major in communications and minors in art and art history. I have a Masters in Education from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. I taught preschool for six years in Houston before becoming a mother, now to three kids four and under. I created Sustain Local in 2019 because I am passionate about finding alternatives to single-use plastic items, reducing waste, and shopping quality brands that support sustainability.
The Story Behind Sustain Local
At three months postpartum from our third child, our family of 5 moved to North Carolina for an incredible opportunity for my husband to complete his medical training as a fellow of adult reconstructive surgery at Duke University in order to specialize in hip and knee replacement. I didn’t know anyone in Durham and therefore had time and space without distractions to reflect both inward and outward. I found peace and enjoyment in the beautiful North Carolina setting. It helped me realize my appreciation for nature and the earth around me in a new way. With that, I developed a deep concern for the state of our environment and as well as our personal health as a result of the overuse of plastic in our daily lives. Only nine percent of plastic produced globally between 1950 to 2015 was actually recycled (Greenpeace). Materials like glass, paper, and aluminum, while not perfect, are products that have better recyclability.
My revelation caused me to take serious note of the impact I was having. I was part of the plastic-waste problem. As a typical consumer, I bought fruit, vegetables, and snacks wrapped in plastic, and all of my toiletries were also housed in single-use plastic containers. I had to change our family’s lifestyle so we would no longer depend on single-use plastics. I began reading, and found inspiring individuals that had already done incredible work in this movement. Ultimately, I decided that unless the plastic had been or was going to be repurposed, it wasn’t going to be coming into our house. I would no longer allow myself to choose the temporary, short-sighted convenience that single-use plastic offered. I learned about, and committed to supporting the efforts of a circular economy. Initially, it was a struggle, albeit worth it! Attempting to figure out how to accomplish a plastic-free lifestyle as a family of 5 is what motivated me to start Sustain Local. I want the plastic-free life to be approachable and easy to implement…at least easier for you than it was for me, at first! I will be writing about all of the transitions we have undergone, and if you get inspired to reduce your own plastic footprint even more than you already do, I hope these products, ideas, and stories make the transition easier and even enjoyable.
Before you go, I want to emphasize that throwing away plastic unnecessarily to replace it with a more sustainable material is not the solution, but rather, I am hoping to reduce purchasing future plastic and slowing its growth in landfills. Also, this website is written from the perspective of someone (me!) who has always been a consumer (and someone accustomed to a certain level of comfort!) so a focus of my site is finding more sustainable replacements for purchase. If you have ideas for something or any other suggestions and would like to share, please comment, local communities breed innovation and grow to change the world! This is a place for community growth. My goals are clear, but how we get there will be a fun collaboration, and I am excited to do my best to bring fresh ideas and products to your attention. I’m not an expert, just another person trying to make better choices.
Thanks for visiting!