Eleanor is a 24 year old social entrepreneur. Born in the Northern Territory of Australia, and spending most of her lanky teenage years in rural Victoria, Eleanor thrives in the big city that is Melbourne. By the age of 24, Eleanor has already had a career in academia. Gardening being a thing of hers, Eleanor has a pot-plant veggie patch, and tomatoes are the most recent addition. Responding to her maternal impulses, Eleanor is the proud owner of 1,200 worms which help her personal and professional goals of sustainable living.
Sustain Me is releasing a recycling app that will help you look up those annoying recycling details that are hard to find, while also helping you recycle more and recycling right, every time.
Pre-register for the app now and we’ll email it to you first when it is released.
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Q & A with Eleanor Meyer
What’s the story behind your business?
In Victoria in 2008-2009, 54% of waste going to landfill was recovered as recycling. In that same year, 99% of Australians said that they recycled to some extent during the year. Even putting aside the point that recycling to some extent during the year doesn’t necessarily reflect constant recycling practices, if almost all Australians are aware of and involved in recycling and yet 45% of their waste is still going to landfill, then there is something clearly wrong. To make it easier for Australians, we have created an app that readily shows you how to recycle your waste. With the Sustain Me app, you can always be sure of how to recycle and what happens to your waste once it goes into the bin.
What was your first job?
My first job was working as a check-out chick at Coles.
When you decided to start your own business, what was your big “why”?
Right at the point of stepping onto this path less trodden, I was searching for a way to express myself, a way to meet challenges head on, to be strong, to stand up against defiance. I was looking to be tested, and to win. I didn’t want to settle for a well-paid job that didn’t challenge me. But I was also acutely aware of the looming environmental crisis that is climate change. I refused to accept that my day job couldn’t also address climate change, but I knew it was up to me to find out a way to do that. So, I created this social enterprise that will help people recycle more and so reduce their carbon footprint, and so collectively help Melbourne tackle climate change.
What have you had to give up?
I’ve had to give up a good income, and some social life. Being a Director of even a small social enterprise certainly makes you more responsible. But the opportunities it offers far outweigh what I’ve given up.
Your proudest achievement to date?
I think creating a social enterprise by the age of 24 is a pretty cool achievement. That and leaving home.
What are some of the most exciting projects you’ve worked on?
Before this project, I researched the impacts of climate change on vulnerable communities in the Pacific Region. I looked at what they can do to respond to climate change, to mitigate to climate change, to adapt to climate change.
What would you tell your younger self not to do?
Don’t forget who you are and what drives you. It mightn’t be attractive, or what the cool kids want to see. It mightn’t be easy or nice, or what your friends/ family want to hear about. But it is the song that sings true to you and all you have to do is give it a little faith. Then the rest of them will come on board.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
What you have done is who you are. What you will do is who you will become.
What’s next for you and your business?
I will begin motivation speaking in the new year to help people believe in themselves, and believe in their interests. Contact [email protected] for more information.
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