Humans of SWFL

FGCU Student Explains the Importance of #FuturisticFebruary

Carly Bergman is making steps to live a zero-waste lifestyle. She has even allowed the mentality seep into her food and clothing choices.

The FGCU student is a long-standing vegan, however, she did not realize how much waste she was creating until she made a trip to Nicaragua her sophomore year.

“Some of our plastic waste ends up on the coast of Nicaragua,” Carly told us. “And since they don’t have proper methods to discard of their waste, they burn it. I decided to take a small bag and place all of my waste in to so I could bring it back to the U.S. and dispose of it properly.”

She didn’t realize how much of an impact a month of collecting her waste would have on her.

Carly Bergman, creator of #FuturisticFriday Photo by Adeyinka Obisanya

“For example, I went grocery shopping, and I wanted to eat my favorite vegan protein bars, and I refused to buy it because I was conscious of the plastic wrapper.”

Enlightened from her trip abroad, she decided to create a campaign called #futuristicfebruary. She encouraged others including groups at Florida Gulf Coast University to follow after her and collect their trash for a month.

The first year (2017), she had about 50 followers, and this year she has about 300 people actively following along using the hashtag.

“I told them – don’t hold back. Keep living your life how you would normally do it, to see how much waste you’d collect after a month.”

Although the month is half over, Carly says you can participate all year long. Collect your waste, take a picture and post it on Instagram under the hashtag #futuristicfebruary.

“I just realized that I could live a more sustainable life if I implement a few hacks,” she said.

Carly’s reusable coconut bowl. By reusing it she cuts down on wasting plastic and paper cups. Photo by Adeyinka Obisanya

She uses reusable coconut bowls, a glass straws, and a bamboo toothbrush. She also prepares more of her meals, instead or buying prepackaged goods. And to take it a step further, she thrifts her clothes.

“Get together with your friends, create a clothing swap. Sustainability doesn’t need to be boring.”

If you’re taking part in #futuristicfebruary let us know how much waste you collect in a month.

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