Sustainability Spotlight: Cassidy Putney

About This Series

Sustainability Spotlight is a blog series sponsored by Impact Earth that allows readers to discover the best zero waste practices in Rochester. We totally support our nominees that are living their best #zerowaste lives and hope that you do too! If you would like to nominate yourself or another local for our Sustainability Spotlight series, just let us know!

About Cassidy


“My name is Cassidy and I'm 24 years old. I am a Rochester-native but have lived all over the country over the last few years. I have a degree in Environmental Public Policy from Rochester Institute of Technology '16 and did my senior project with the Town of Brighton, designing and conducting a municipal greenhouse gas inventory and helping recommend goals for the Town's Climate Action Plan. I am one of the co-founders of Impact Earth, and have been pursuing zero waste not only professionally but personally for the last 5 years. I'm definitely not perfect, and having pets and a significant other definitely complicates some things. I recently had to relocate to Buffalo, NY, a community that does not have as many resources are Rochester for zero waste, but hopefully my presence here will change that!”

Her Background with Zero Waste Living…

“I have always been interested in nature and sustainability. From a young age I was camping, hiking, swimming, and spending a majority of my time outside playing with my friends. I was lucky enough to grow up in a small village community where, as children, we were allowed to roam around and explore. I've always been fascinated by learning and finding new things, and so when I first started learning about the zero waste lifestyle in high school, I wanted to learn everything. By going to college, originally, for Environmental Sustainability, I continued to learn, and when myself and my other co-founders learned of the waste crisis and how much we could learn and do to prevent waste from going into the landfills in our community, we started Impact Earth to help deal with the waste crisis in our backyard - Rochester and the Finger Lakes communities.”

Cassidy’s Motivations to Live Sustainably…


“I want children in the future to get to enjoy this earth as I have, and as many have before me. I know sometimes, in the environmental activism field, the problems can seem so overwhelming, it's hard to feel connected to a cause or a goal because the problem just seems so big. By focusing on waste management, personal responsibility and action, I feel connected to something that I can effect, even if it's locally.”

Her Favorite Zero Waste Lifestyle Products…

  • leftover pasta jars, great for making more sauce, pickling things, or just a coffee or drink!

  • beeswax wraps and reusable bags, I use them for literally everything - from food storage and holding snacks in my backpack to keeping my greens fresh in the fridge.

  • my reusable coffee mugs and water bottles, I have a couple of these, but I've had them for several years and I love them all (I have klean kanteen, hydroflask, and zojirushi).

  • composting service, I have been using a composting pick up or drop off service for the last 4 years. I currently use Impact Earth's service which is a drop off service. I use the Brighton Farmers Market location about 3 times a month!

  • meal planning! I meticulously meal plan and prep every week to hopefully prevent food waste in the first place. It's not perfect but it works very well, to the point where my household of two only produces a 5 gallon bucket of food waste twice a month.

What Cassidy Likes about Living Zero Waste…

“I feel more responsible about what type of impact I'm leaving on the community and the environment. I also enjoy being a part of a global community that's taking action to solve real problems.”

Her Favorite Green Space in Rochester…

"I love Highland Park. As a kid I lived across the street from it, I can still recall memories of sitting by the windows and smelling the lilacs in the early summer.”

Interested in learning more about the zero waste lifestyle products that Impact Earth offers? Check out our store.

Learn more about how to get involved in the Rochester Zero Waste Movement by getting in touch with us.

Or if you’d like to nominate someone for our sustainability spotlight series, drop us a line.