ECO Solutions with Sara Troy and her guest Lisa D. Foster, on air from May 3rd
Lisa D. Foster: is an entrepreneur, environmentalist, and author of ‘Bag Lady,’ who took the germ of a green living idea and grew it into a national business phenomenon. When she realized that Americans were throwing away a billion bags a day, Lisa D. Foster discovered reusable bags. Over the next twelve years, she changed the way Americans shopped. She remained true to her original purpose to reduce plastic waste and beat the odds to create a thriving company with an environmental mission.
Recounting my experience as a purpose-driven entrepreneur, my story provides a blueprint for using entrepreneurship to make the world better.
I’m very excited to announce that my book, Bag Lady: How I Started a Business for a Greener World and Changed the Way America Shops, released on Earth Day, April 22, 2022.
Those of you who have known me for a while may remember me in my previous career as a leading supplier of reusable bags in the US. If you have known me a really long time, you might even remember me as the high school English teacher I once was.
About a year ago, during the lockdown in the middle of the winter of Covid, I sat down to write about becoming obsessed with reducing plastic waste and transforming myself into the Bag Lady, an entrepreneur on a mission to get Americans to adopt reusable bags. Last fall, I found Tim Ward, publisher of Changemakers Books for John Hunt Publishing, who recognized the value of my story for other people that want to make a difference in their communities.
We are on 5 sites and 16 audios and 2 video platforms as seen here.
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When I first learned about reusable shopping bags in 2005, the US was throwing away a billion plastic bags a day. The impacts of all those bags on our environment and our taxes kept me up at night. It hit my moral center. Getting other people to switch to reusable bags became for me, a moral imperative. I believed that if American shoppers knew what I knew, they would switch to reusable bags too. So, I did what any good English teacher would do. I took the facts about bags and turned them into a story. Then I took the story and turned it into the basis for starting a business for a greener world.
When I started, I had no idea how to build a business. I was an English teacher making cold calls overlooking the faculty parking lot. Very quickly, I found myself building an international supply chain and managing major accounts. I had to overcome the naysayers, an insanely steep learning curve, and my own mistakes. Ultimately, I beat the odds and created a thriving company with an environmental mission.
Now, I’m sharing the lessons I learned to inspire others to do the same.
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