By Taylor Ward
T: You said you’re a chef. Where do you work and how does your career choice fit in with your vegan and zero-waste lifestyle?
M: I am often asked this question, so what you see on Instagram is all me — this is my work! I have clients I cook for throughout the week, offering meal preparation, and also offering recipe developments for those who want to cook their own meals. Most people, when I engage with them and tell them my approach, are all for it and are on board. People want to make a change in their daily activities, but don’t know where to start. So, when I’m introduced to them, this is where I share my values and inspire others.
T: What exactly is zero-waste in your own words?
M: I’ll tell you what I aspire to do one day: grow my own food, pump my own water, create my own clothing line, travel, etc., solely by this zero-waste approach. If I want an avocado and I live in New York City — this is not zero-waste. The amount of carbon emissions that this avocado is creating by the couple thousand-mile journey to my kitchen is ridiculous, so eventually I will live fully zero-waste. This is my goal.
T: What advice would you give to someone looking to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle?
M: Congratulations! You are open to this idea and way of living, and you’re impacting your life, [the lives of ] those around you and the lives of others who haven’t set foot on this planet yet, so keep it up. Take each day moment by moment. I constantly have to ask myself, before I leave my home, if I have my zero-waste kit with me. Enjoy the change, embrace the change.
T: Is it difficult to be vegan and zero-waste in a city like New York?
M: I really don’t think so, but others may think this is difficult. You know what, I’m going to remove the word “difficult” and now say “challenging.” This makes it fun, and since I have a competitive nature, I am always looking for ways to improve myself, my community and those I surround myself with. Everyone has the capacity to change.
T: The Bundle is an online college magazine. What would you say to inspire college students to go vegan and zero-waste?
M: You are on the forefront of a major shift. We are changing as a society. I put my trust in college students and the younger generations to adopt these lifestyle changes. Let’s just say, I’ve become more compassionate in my everyday life and I’ve impacted my family, friends and the other people I come in contact with on a daily basis. People want to know, people want to learn what you are doing. Doesn’t it feel good when you’ve impacted someone, and they create a change in their lives because they met YOU?
*This interview has been edited for clarity & all photos were from @eatingwithmax Instagram