February 5, 2020

The Sustainability Concierge: Meet Friday Apaliski, The Go Green Concierge

By Emily Merrell

On a scale of 1-10, how sustainable are you? If you paused to reflect on what that word means, you need to meet Friday Apaliski. Friday is a Sustainability Concierge. She combs your home to help you  make a more sustainable life plan. Learn more below on how you can take specific strides to be more green!

SDS: The word sustainability has come up more and more in the media. Can you tell us what “sustainability” is and what it means to you? What’s your role as a sustainability coach? 

Friday Apaliski, Sustainability Concierge. Courtesy of Friday Apaliski.

FRIDAY APALISKI: Sustainability is a word that has been used historically by the environmental movement to describe our need to be in harmony with nature and the environment. To sustain. To keep things the way they are. However, I think we can all agree that we are now so far out of balance with nature that we should be aiming more toward regeneration and repair. 

I use the word “sustainability” because I intend it to be a practice for you personally. What can you do that puts you in harmony with the environment? How can you work towards being better? Nobody is perfect. We are going to leave a footprint, that’s part of being human. But if we are ALL a little better, this whole thing is better. 

What this means for me as a coach is that I focus a lot on solutions. My clients already know there is a problem and that they want to be part of the solution. They just don’t know how exactly to do it – specifically, how to do it with their family in a way that will stick. 

SDS: What led you into the world of sustainability and how can people join the club? 

FA: Everyone is welcome in this club. Frankly, we need you all to join!

I’ve always cared about the environment. I think it’s because I grew up among the redwoods. But honestly, I believe that all kids, and all people, inherently care about nature. We start this way. I took my passion for the environment and combined it with my advertising and marketing career, first working for the San Francisco Department of the Environment. I was their communications specialist. During the six years I was there, I learned a TON. 

I received a zillion text messages from friends and family wanting to know what exactly they could do. These texts read like, “What shampoo do you use? What mattress do you buy? Does this go in the compost? Can this go in the recycling bin? How do you cook an egg without a non-stick pan?” I realized that everyone wants to be a part of this club, they just don’t know how to do it. So I set out to fix that. 

SDS: What are three ways in our everyday life we can be more sustainable? 

FA: This can be a tough question because being sustainable looks really different depending on what your zip code is. But here are some general tips that should work for everyone. 

  1. Refuse single use items. An easy way to do that is to keep a little kit of items in your purse. A reusable cup. A cloth napkin. A fork. A straw. And some chopsticks. If you carry these things, you’ll be able to refuse almost all the single-use items you come across on a daily basis. Bonus tip: make sure each of these items is something you really enjoy. If you find something to be beautiful and delightful, you won’t lose it and you’ll look forward to using it. 
  2. Add some R’s to the recycling mantra. Reduce, reuse, repair, repurpose, regift. Ultimately, try to buy less. When you need to buy something, skip Amazon and look for it locally (maybe even second hand.)
  3. Take less trips in your car. This does more than just reduce emissions. When you walk or bike or bus around your community you see what is around. You become familiar with your local shops and you are more likely to buy from them rather than have something delivered to your door. 


SDS: Let’s talk sustainability in the household. What are your favorite resources to become more green?

SDS: Let’s talk sustainability in the household. What are your favorite resources to become more green?

FA: Meliora for non-toxic and plastic free cleaning supplies. This company and its founders are my all-time favorite. Ends & Stems for weekly meal plans that focus on reducing food waste. 

Wild Minimalist and Life Without Plastic for all the gear you may need to refuse single use items and avoid plastic packaging. MadeSafe is my go-to for all things non-toxic. They are a great resource for both education AND certification of products. 

SDS:  Lastly, what are some ways we can be sustainable when shopping? What are key things we should be looking out for? 

FA: Look at where you are buying something (local vs. not). Look at who you are buying it from (do they have any sustainability certifications?) Look for the ingredients inside whatever you are buying. Look at the packaging it comes in. Consider what is going to happen to this thing when you are done with it. Will it end up in the landfill? Or is it designed for reuse, repurpose and recycle?

To learn more, you can follow me on Instagram @Sustainability_Concierge or you can visit my website at www.sustainabilityconcierge.com

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