TARA McKENNA launched The Zero Waste Collective on Earth Day 2018 after working as an environmental planner and witnessing overflow trash intermingling with fish and coral in Southeast Asia. This online community offers simple strategies to live a sustainable and ethical life through reducing waste and aims to inspire and empower people from all walks of life. McKenna has partnered with brands such as A&W Canada, Converse, and Corona Canada.

Her new book, Don’t Be Trashy: A Practical Guide to Living with Less Waste and More Joy is available now, wherever books are sold.

Want to keep up on all things Tara? Check out her website: thezerowastecollective.com, or follow her on Instagram.

What does your writing space look like?

I have a really nice office in the basement of our home. While sharing that it's in my basement probably doesn't evoke visions of beauty, it's a nicely renovated and bright space, channeling a Swedish minimalist aesthetic. With a long window bringing in natural light, as well as pot lights and nearly-white walls, the space is simple, kind of like a clutter-free, clean slate. When my space feels fresh, I feel like I can focus on my work. I have a stunning white desk and comfy white chair, which I often use, but you'll also find me on the couch typing away on my laptop. Snacks are important too, so I write in the kitchen all the time!

If you could spend a day with another popular author (living or dead), who would you choose and why?

A couple of my favourite books include You Are a Badass and You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero. Jen's books are entertaining -- hilarious, actually -- and useful, the best combo! I'm certain that a day with Jen Sincero would be an uplifting experience full of laughter and inspiration. Plus I'd ask her for tips on how to become a bestselling author! Maybe she could endorse my next book. Someone please call Jen Sincero for me! Thanks!

How do you celebrate when you finished writing your book?

The funny thing about writing a book is that when it feels like it's finished, it's not. It goes through so many iterations and edits and sometimes the finish line feels like it's miles away. By the time it is finished, it's a huge relief and exciting! I mean, I'm really only talking from experience with one book here. I imagine it'll feel the same with a subsequent book, but who knows. Anyway, I pop a bottle of champagne to celebrate! 

Is there something you do/have while writing that helps your process? (Music, snacks, etc.)

Snacks definitely help me with the writing process. Making tea is also a requirement. I'm not a coffee drinker, but I need the occasional boost of caffeine, so tea is where it's at. It gives me the break I need from my laptop, or I use making a cup of tea as a tool to procrastinate. Ultimately, I just need a quiet, comfortable space and my laptop. When I'm not writing on my laptop, I often jot down notes in my notebook or use the notes app on my phone for ideas, because ideas come up for me all of the time, anytime, anywhere. 

What book are you currently reading?

More like books. I always have a few books on the go, some from the library, some from my bookshelf, some from Audible. I'm working on my next book proposal, so I have about 20 books sitting on my desk right now. I'm a nonfiction / self help / personal development junkie, so it makes sense that I wrote a nonfiction book. The last book I was reading through last night was I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi.