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Closed-Loop Communities

Zora Schoner
By Zora Schoner

May 18, 2023

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Ashleigh Dawson, the founder of Recyle2Riches, a non profit organization that is changing the culture of consumption through communication, collaboration and community education. Read on to learn more about her organization's valuable work.

N2N: How do you think small businesses are important to LA’s economic ecosystem and future?

R2R: Small businesses make up a communities ecosystem. They keep the economy flowing. We need them to survive.

N2N: What are your hopes for the future of LA?

R2R: I hope that LA will transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030. I hope to see more local farmers, compost drop-off sites, and greywater filtering on all homes and apartments. I would like to see rainwater catchment systems everywhere in LA.

N2N: Are there any ideas you have that you believe could help LA become more sustainable and community-oriented?

R2R: The solutions for a just and green LA are already out there. We have a long-term goal to create off-the-grid, closed-loop communities that can gradually change the culture of consumption and improve the microclimate around them. The following six points of sustainable design help to steer us in the direction of building our first closed-loop community:

  1. Energy: Thermal and/or solar heating and cooling, solar and wind electricity
  2. Garbage Management: Reuse and recycling built into construction and daily living
  3. Sewage Treatment: Self-contained sewage treatment and water recycling
  4. Shelter: Building with natural and recycled materials
  5. Clean Water: Water harvesting and long term storage
  6. Food: In-home organic food production capability
The Recycle2Riches Logo

N2N: Do you have any stories about positive interactions you've had with your clients or local community?

R2R: I have so many amazing stories. Watching Compostable LA grow and expand around LA has been such an inspiration. We also just had our annual Earth Day Summit. Students joined from local colleges and said they had never experienced an event like this one... The event has all the solutions you need to build a circular economy. The students and the brand owners that I connect with inspire me to keep doing this work.

N2N: What is it like working in the non profit world? What are some of your favorite parts of entrepreneurship?

R2R: Working in my current role, I need to make sure everything is in order so we accomplish our long-term goals, raise funds, gain sponsors, plan fundraiser events, and build our partnerships with the sustainable solutions that are out there. There is a lot involved and I would not recommend this kind of life for someone that needs a steady paycheck. As an entrepreneur, I enjoy tackling the challenges that come up on a daily basis. Troubleshooting is my favorite part of the job.

Categories:   Small Business Matters

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