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Low waste tips with Sara Kiyo Popowa from Shiso Delicious

Low waste tips with Sara Kiyo Popowa from Shiso Delicious

Amy Lanza

Sara Kiyo Popowa is founder of Shiso Delicious and co-founder of The Food Studio in Hackney, London.

She is an artist, photographer and passionate advocate for creative, conscious and low waste living and eating as @shisodelicious on Instagram. She is someone we consider a true friend of Creative Impact, and we even had on our podcast. As our cover girl for the July 2020 issue of the Creative Impact magazine, we asked her for a few practical tips to share with our audience.

She’s written a couple of books, Bento Power and An opinionated guide to Vegan London.

Out of the numerous spots she enjoyed, a few stood out for their policy and actions around minimising waste and plastic:The Fields Beneath come from a real heart place and I could tell their ways of dealing with their waste was really integrated into how they run their business.” recalls Sara “Cub is a high-end version of dealing with waste, where the waste itself and its reduction has become the actual concept and menu.”

To culminate her journey to inspiring others through a more sustainable food experience, she partnered with Lauren Lovatt from Plant Academy to launch the Food Studio.

“Lauren and I are super excited to co-create The Food Studio – a creative home for our individual missions as well as a place to combine our powers.” Over the next months, they will be transforming a large, bright studio in Hackney, London to a photo and video studio kitchen and a space to host our classes and events – online and in real life.” They will be sharing our journey over on their Instagram feed, so make sure you check it out. 

Below you can find some of the top tips from Sara to inspire you in your sustainable journey.

Top tips for a more sustainable life

Reduce the number of toiletries you use and use a few multi-use products instead. I have ONE type of soap (Dr Bronner) which I use for everything – diluted in pump bottles for hand wash, and as ‘shower gel’.

I use one oil (I love Argan) with a few drops of essential oil (Vetiver) which I use for both body and hair. Those kinds of products are pretty easy to buy in larger volumes too.

Same for food, get familiar with the type of ingredients that are available in larger packs and that have multi uses. Get LESS of highly specialised products (like a ready-made sauce) and MORE of stuff that’s easy to turn into many different foods yourself (seeds, dry pulses, oils, Japanese natural condiments, dried fruits). You’ll save loads of money too – this is exactly how businesses make money out of ‘nothing’ – mixing a few things up and sticking it in a (plastic) packet then charge multiple times what it actually costs to produce it.

Last, I buy a lot of secondhand, slightly larger purchases that are good quality, everything from camera lenses to trainers to speakers.

See Also

On thought-provoking inspiration

I’m motivated by own personal response and feeling about what is happening in the world environmentally – the injustice, the senselessness, the pain. I do consume content of course, but I think having too much of it can have a paralysing effect.

Getting just enough in to get my juices and empathy flowing and then observe what I MYSELF are doing in my everyday life, what I am changing, how I am actually living. I feel motivated and inspired by finding ways to share this, to inspire and empower others

Personally, artistic work has an impact on me. Work which upsets me opens my eyes and makes me cry. This type of work stays with me and fuels my choices and values.

  • The True Cost – a documentary about fast fashion
  • Richard Mosse, a conceptual documentary photographer, his installation Incoming about the refugee crisis really hit me
  • Ai Wei Wei: Human Flow (film), and all of his artistic response to injustice


Sara is our cover girl for the July 2020 issue of the Creative Impact – check out her full feature and waste-free recipes on July’s issue.

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