Wisdom Supply Co.

135. Seeking Solutions to Waste in the School Supply Industry with Wisdom Supply Co.

The school supply industry is filling our oceans and landfills with megatons of TRASH and consumers CAN choose to refuse, thanks to the paradigm shifting innovations of people like these two creative and passionate entrepreneurs. This was another great conversation where our guests really tell it like it is.

Heather Itzla and Nikki Kozlowski came together over their grave concern about plastic pollution. After many years of clean-ups, data collection and public education, they came to understand the scale of the problem. The amount of plastic produced annually outweighs all of humanity, and is now firmly documented in our air, soil, and water. Before they teamed up, Nikki was working to educate consumers on the massive amounts of waste coming from the restaurant industry. Heather, being a parent, and frustrated with the annual back-to-school prescription of cheap, disposable plastic supplies, had crowdfunded and stocked each classroom with plastic-free school supplies. The next step was to come together as co-founders of Wisdom Supply Co (B-Corp certified) to design Plastic-Free, Vinyl-Free + Spiral-Free School + Office supplies..." because the mass production of products creating permanent waste is outdated, shortsighted, and reckless." The more Wisdom Supply Co. grows, the more waste is prevented, and the more young minds are opened to an empowering new way of thinking about how everyday products are designed, and the absurdity of wasting / polluting the resources all life on earth depends on.

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podchaser, Podtail, Youtube, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Topics Discussed:

  • Transcendental Meditation
  • Biodynamic Calendar
  • The Artist's Way
  •  What is a waste reduction company?
  •  How Nikki and Heather witnessed and interrupted the disposability cycle 
  • Naming the problem--encouraging our children to buy garbage for the landfill, teaching a disregard for the giant mess we have created
  •  The Zero Waste Classroom Stocking Pilot Program, a strategy for waste elimination/ 3 Steps
  • Set up a last plastic marker box
  • Assemble the inventory in the classrooms and at home that already exists and create a student store.
  • Having done steps 1 and 2, teachers and students together take stock of what they have and discuss what they really need, and what should be purchased moving forward
  • How do Nikki and Heather get schools involved? 
  • Students want to be part of the problem solving
  • The mass production of spiral bound notebooks/ waste as a design flaw and the Wisdom Supply Solution of 100% recyclable notebooks and planners with fewer pages
  • The 28 Ton Project--schools can sign up to participate 
  • Equity in the classroom regarding school supplies
  • Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard
  • The "goody bag" mentality
  • The albatross logo
  • The power of young people in making the change
  • Ida B Wells quote "The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them." 

Connect with Heather and Wisdom Supply Co.:

This Episode is Sponsored by Ettitude

Use code THEGOODDIRT for $25 off your first order!

About Lady Farmer:

Original music by John Kingsley. Our technical partner for this series is CitizenRacecar, Post-Production by Alex Brouwer and José Miguel Baez, Coordinated by Gabriela Montequin and Mary Ball. The Good Dirt is a part of the Connectd Podcasts Network.

Statements in this podcast have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not to be considered as medical or nutritional advice. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and should not be considered above the advice of your physician. Consult a medical professional when making dietary or lifestyle decisions that could affect your health and well-being.