Eco-Influencer Iisa: Craft skills and creativity enable ecological practices

We interviewed eco-influencer Iisa Manninen about the ways she implements circular economy in her everyday life. Iisa lives in Kuopio and works in the field of communications. On her Instagram @iisaraita and blog she shares tips about Zero Waste practices, sustainable consumption and making things yourself. Iisa approaches an ecological lifestyle with positivity, naturalness, healthiness and creativity.



How did you become interested in an ecological lifestyle?


I became interested in the Zero Waste approach about three years ago, when I read about it in a blog. I noticed that it combined many things that I have been interested in before, such as a healthy and natural way of life and for example natural cosmetics. I was intrigued and wanted to learn more. I started to incorporate these practices into my everyday life with positivity and found joy in learning new ways of doing things.


What kind of sustainable and circular practices do you perform in your everyday life?


I seek to live by the Zero Waste principles as much as possible or is reasonable. For example I use a shampoo bar that is natural and isn’t packed in plastic. I only buy what I need and consume mindfully. I also recycle all waste. All my clothing is mainly second hand from online marketplaces and I also make clothes myself. I’ve also repaired my clothing and reworked them to better suit my current style. Cosmetics I use minimally and carry a water bottle and canvas bags with me. Also I eat mostly plant based food.


Daily cosmetics Iisa uses

What role have communities had in maintaining ecological practices?

When I noticed that Zero Waste Finland existed, I contacted them to ask if they have any activity here in Kuopio. They connected me with another interested person from Kuopio and we founded a so-called local branch for the organisation. The Zero Waste community has had a big role, as it has motivated and inspired me to continue and develop my own ecological practices. It also provides peer support, and you feel less strange and alone with your habits, when you have similar people around you.


Zero Waste Finland community has had a big role, as it has motivated and inspired me to continue and develop my own ecological practices.

What has been challenging?

Sustainable consumption is still difficult, because it takes time and effort to find out about the sustainability of products. Sometimes the ecological product is also more expensive. For example, if I want to buy a second hand jacket for autumn, I need to start looking for it very early, as I might not find a suitable one right away. It feels like the culture around us is always encouraging us to buy newer and better things, and sometimes it feels difficult to resist the consumerist culture. At least in my hometown Kuopio, it’s a bit difficult to find products with no packaging.


Creativity can be used for example in repairing clothing
Creativity could also be a skill that can help implement circular economy to everyday life.

What could help make ecological choices and what kind of skills have made it easier to carry out circular practices?


Some type of list, where you could see what you should buy and what not, could be good. It would be convenient that you don’t have to always find out yourself what is the most ecological and responsible product. I would say craft skills have helped me to make more ecological choices. I have learned those from my mother, who also makes and repairs clothes. My father can repair other things. Creativity could also be a skill that can help implement circular economy to everyday life. Creativity can be used for example when figuring out what to cook with leftovers in the fridge.