Sustainability Spotlight: John Klein
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!
Who is John?
My name is John Klein, I am the founder and owner of Sisu Eats, a new restaurant concept focusing on sourcing locally and a healthy menu in a quick-service format, all while trying to achieve a zero-waste blueprint and footprint. I am from Canandaigua and a Syracuse University grad where I studied entrepreneurship and marketing. I have learned the importance of health and nutrition since my childhood with parents both active in medical/healing fields (classic and holistic) and later became certified in health and nutrition, which has numerous influences over our menu design and options. Sisu Eats has been in the works for about 5 years now while I worked other jobs and rolled out other smaller businesses, we opened in September!
What is your background with sustainable/zero waste living?
Not much, that is the beauty of practicing sustainable living – there is no one stopping you but you. Whether that is on a personal scale or making a business that uses ethical and sustainable practices. Everything we all do - makes an impact and you can start now.
What motivates you to live sustainably/zero waste?
Well first of all, I have always felt deeply connected to our home (Earth), and it sickens me to see the way it is treated. We have all seen first-hand and/or through the horrific video evidence, the result of our prior generations poor waste practices. There is a tipping point and we are approaching it. Are we going to continue down this destructive path or roll up our sleeves and solve this crisis?
Good news is, the answers are out there and available, you just need to choose to use them and practice sustainable living. It is easy to let this enormous problem make you feel depressed or down, but you ultimately get to choose if you want this feeling or one of empowerment and stepping up to a challenge. It will take a conjoined motivated effort the likes of which the world has not seen to tip the scales in favor of humanity and the environment, I have faith and we must believe.
What are your favorite zero waste products for your business/lifestyle?
I love our biodegradable and compostable smallware (bowls, utensils, cups, straws etc.) and to literally wrap it all up – biodegradable trash bags. It makes these eco-friendly practices, such as upcycling, so much easier and solves a huge problem spanning across many industries.
What do you like about living sustainably?
I like knowing I am contributing to the solution rather than the problem.
This is a massive potentially existential threat to future generations and will take an all hands on deck effort. Humans were not meant to be parasites but to live in harmony with the world around us, so let's act like it.
What is your favorite green space in Rochester?
I would be doing our team and concept a disservice to not say Sisu Eats as we have green practices across the board. However, I am a huge fan of RIT and the work they are doing in the space as they are the ones moving the ball forward for all with their innovations in sustainability. Anyone who is doing the right things for people, communities and the world we live in I will support!