Introducing Laura Young (aka Less Waste Laura). Laura, 21, is one true environmental advocate – believing that living more sustainably is essential to the future of our planet and the survival of all living beings within it.

Living, working and studying in Scotland, Laura poured her passion for the outdoors and nature into her studies at the University of Dundee for Geography and Environmental Science. These factors combined gave her a deeper understanding of the planet’s inner workings, and most importantly how human activity impacts on this. Alongside her personal first-hand experience of the natural degradation of natural ecosystems and all she learned through university, it was clear that a personal choice had to be made to tackle this issue head on… making the radical choice to live zero-waste.

Laura decided to live whole-heartedly for the protection and conservation of the environment, avoiding (where possible) actions and products which degrade or pollute the planet. The first steps were easy enough; cutting out single-use plastic (water bottles, plastic toiletries, buying loose fruit and veg etc), reducing her carbon footprint, and switching to lower impact activities in her spare time. However, some aspects are harder than others, and it’s a daily struggle to find balance and motivation when extra effort is required. Laura is determined though.

‘This all started because I realised our earth is a holy resource, gifted to us, which we have been entrusted to care for and thrive in’.

Laura believes that human activity has done the very opposite to protecting the earth: exploiting and degrading so many aspects of it. She says, ‘Something has to change, and change starts with yourself. ‘

The Gandhi phrase, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ is a daily motivation and inspiration. She says that this a reminder that if you want something done right you need to start doing it and encourage as many other people along the way as you can.

This was how Less Waste Laura was born. A social media platform to advocate, encourage and educate about living environmentally. Laura is particularly talented at sharing her journey in a fun, appealing and uplifting way. She shares about reducing your waste and carbon footprint, what’s in different products that could be harmful and what actions are the most detrimental to the environment. Her Instagram account also features lots of amazing charities and organisations working to help reverse the human impact on our land and oceans.

Alongside personal change and online influencing, Laura has made an impact within her church and local community, organising litter picking events and pushing for large events to become more sustainable.

At the recent Catalyst conference in Glasgow, Laura used her influencing skills to give the day an environmental twist. Normally at an event of this size, happening a handful of times a year, plastic bottled water would have been supplied to all guests throughout the day. Switching to VegWare cups (plant-based compostable cups) and good old fashioned fresh tap water, some 200 bottles of water were saved when Laura pushed for the change!

Laura continues daily to find new ways to continually reduce her personal impact upon this planet, inspiring others to join her on this journey. She believes that caring for the environment is a form of worship and that keeping creation safe and flourishing is a way to glorify God.

Laura is just one of many young people across the world joining in with this new, environmental movement; the momentum is growing and this is the perfect time to join in the adventure. Find out more by following Laura on Instagram – and letting us know what part you are playing @WeAreTearfund.