Fides Gimenez

EXCESS Christmas presents for family and friends have inspired Fides Gimenez to advocate a zero-waste lifestyle.

Last Christmas, she decided to sell the surplus of metal straws she had and saw the demand for the product.

This led Gimenez, an applied mathematics graduate, to establish Go Zero, an online business which sells metal straws as a way to spread awareness on one of the most pressing environmental issues like plastic pollution.

“Adopting a zero-waste lifestyle takes a lot of work and perseverance and our products serve as tools in helping zero-wasters work towards this goal,” she told the Varsitarian.

Before establishing her business in 2017, Gimenez taught mathematics and basic accounting in a private high school.

She decided to quit her day job to invest on Go Zero’s potential.

“I just wanted to sell the remaining straws that I had left from Christmas, [but later I] decided to quit my job and handle Go Zero full time since I felt that I was missing out on opportunities for the company,” she said.

Go Zero started with selling metal straws – bent, straight and milk tea straws – which are sourced from China. Every purchase comes with a Tikog pouch, an eco-friendly sack made from Tikog grass harvested by Leyte farmers and handmade by local weavers.

Gimenez said they did not target a specific market and fairly priced their products to reach people from all ages and backgrounds. She added that the millennials are the most responsive and supportive of their advocacy of promoting a zero-waste lifestyle.

Travelling to different places led Gimenez to start a zero-waste advocacy. She realized that the initiative should start from her before she could influence other people to do the same.

“Seeing beautiful places [get] ruined by pollution made me feel disappointed and I [felt the need] to do something about it,” she said.

Gimenez admitted that establishing Go Zero was difficult since she had to consider whether it was worth it to give up a day job and whether it was sustainable for the company to have such a low-product margin for the products. But she affirmed that the risk she took for the company made a difference.

“If you find that it’s difficult, then good. It should be difficult and the hard work that will lead you to success is what will set you apart from others,” she said.

Gimenez later wants to launch more environment-friendly products in Go Zero and inspire people to be more mindful of their consumer choices.


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