Town Haul Rewind: Sarah Paiji Yoo

After becoming a mother, Blueland Founder and CEO Sarah Paiji Yoo began her journey to reduce her personal plastic consumption. After researching all of the harmful plastics and chemicals in our oceans, our homes, and even in our stomachs, Sarah sought to change the way we clean. Our host, Amy Koonin Taylor, is joined via Skype by Paiji-Yoo to talk about her revolutionary eco-friendly cleaning products and the Blueland mission for a clean home and a clean planet!

On the inspiration for the creation of Blueland:

SARAH PAIJI YOO: “I was a new mom and it just hit me that in the food and the formula that I was making my baby that there was microplastics in there because all of this plastic that we’re consuming as a society is now breaking down into these tiny pieces of plastic that are too small to filter out. And now it’s showing back up in the water that we drink and the food that we eat. For example, just last month, there was a new study that came out saying that on average, we eat about a credit card worth of plastic every week. So with Blueland, we’re trying to re-imagine traditional household cleaning products and personal care products to eliminate the need for this plastic packaging. Our first set of products that we’ve launched are a set of cleaning sprays. So, a multi-surface cleaner, a bathroom cleaner, and a glass and mirror cleaner. I mean, if you think about these cleaners, they’re over 95 percent water. And so what we’ve done is we’ve shrunk down those cleaners to a tablet the size of a nickel. These tablets are 300 times lighter, 200 times smaller than a full bottle of Windex, for example, and how it works is you just have to buy one of our bottles once and our bottles are beautiful and designed to be reused over and over again.”

On the Cradle to Cradle certification:

SARAH PAIJI YOO: “It was important for us from the very beginning to make sure that we were building this company the right way and especially by the environment. We partnered with Cradle to Cradle, which is the world’s most comprehensive assessment and certification program, and worked closely with them to source and manufacture everything from our bottles to even things like our wrappers. So, the wrappers that go around our tablets are truly a labor of love. We’re really trying to eliminate the supply chain and be thoughtful about the sort of entire supply chain from sort of inception and being in production, all the way through to thinking about end of life and disposal, and the reason why it was important for us to partner with an organization like Cradle to Cradle is that we didn’t want to be so focused on one area where we were trying to be great.”

On how social media helps spread an eco-friendly message:

SARAH PAIJI YOO: “Social is great. I truly believe it’s the best thing that’s happened to marketing in recent times in the sense that it’s where people are naturally spending time and also just looking for information. And it’s just a great way to engage with consumers in an easy, laid back, entertaining way. For us, it’s been just a great platform for us to raise awareness about little ways that people can reduce their own plastic consumption, but again, keep it light and fun and entertaining. But on top of that, I think we have such an opportunity to educate and further empower people on, again, so many of these very easy steps that they can take and really celebrate progress instead of pushing perfection.”

On their plastic-free Fridays on Instagram:

SARAH PAIJI YOO: “What we do for plastic-free Fridays is we follow an individual, we have an individual take over our Instagram account and our Stories every Friday, and he or she takes us throughout their day and highlights both, the steps that he or she takes to try to reduce their plastic consumption, but also highlight missteps that happen that are unintentional along the way. And I think in that process, we do highlight some of the many great tips that we’re able to share with consumers.”

On a piece of career advice that has stuck with her:

SARAH PAIJI YOO: “Jump and the net will appear.”

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Amy Koonin Taylor is Marketing Content and Media Manager at Rubicon. To stay ahead of Rubicon’s announcements of new partnerships and collaborations around the world, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or contact us today.