‘Faces of Change’ — This ‘earth advocate’ is helping Black Americans keep their communities clean

‘We prioritize ecological and social well-being over profit,’ Fort Negrita co-founder Anamarie Shreeves told The Weather Channel

What started as a personal mission for self-described “earth advocate” Anamarie Shreeves has evolved into an environmentalist collective and a zero-waste business helping Black Americans live a trash-free lifestyle.

Shreeves is the Atlanta-based cofounder of Fort Negrita, a membership cooperative and online store that sells reusable products — including napkins, canteens, canvas bags and feminine hygiene items — designed to serve as substitutes for common disposable household goods that millions of Americans throw away every day.

Anamarie Shreeves is the co-founder of Fort Negrita, a member cooperative and online store that sells reusable goods and promotes a zero-waste lifestyle. (Credit: Fortnegrita on Instagram)

Many of those goods wind up polluting city streets and piling up in landfills that studies show are more likely to impact Black and Brown neighborhoods.

“We work to build consciousness among climate-burdened communities, which are predominantly communities of the African diaspora, as well as communities of color,” Shreeves told The Weather Channel during a recent Faces of Change segment.

Fort Negrita also promotes a “zero-waste” lifestyle, helping its members find sustainable alternatives to common goods and practices that pollute the earth. The site highlights local sustainability projects and offers Black Americans and other people of color a community filled with individuals who share their values.

Anamarie Shreves and members Fort Negrita’s steering committee participate in an Earth Day event on April 22, 2021. (Credit: Fortnegrita on Instagram)

“We’re always reminding people that they already are innately zero waste,” Shreeves said. “We prioritize ecological and social well-being over profit.”

Shreeves’ zero-waste journey began in 2014, when she started dramatically reducing the amount of trash she produces on a daily basis.

She avoided buying new clothes and products that use plastic or metal packaging. She refrained from using cars and gasoline, which creates CO2 emissions that pollute the air.

In time, she was able to fit the little waste she did create into a 32-ounce mason jar on her kitchen sink.

Shreeves’ goal for Fort Negrita is to encourage others to adopt more sustainable habits that in the long run are better for the world and everyone living on it.

“I hope that Fort Negrita inspires a level of self-sufficiency within people,” she said. “A better you is a better planet.”

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