ALEXA GOODMAN, 25
HOMETOWN: HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA / UNCEDED MI’KMAQ AND WABANAKI CONFEDERACY TERRITORY
Alexa introduced herself to our Facebook group with “I’m Alexa, and I talk trash for a living. Sounds funny, but it’s true.”
Alexa Goodman challenges us through her non-profit Stop Trashing It, an organization that supports people to reduce their plastics consumption through making low-waste changes in manageable steps. It starts with taking a pledge committing to not use one single-use item for a year.
This campaign began with Alexa challenging her classmates and for over a year now Stop Trashing It has been gathering followers pledging to reduce their single-use plastics consumption. The emphasis on solutions-focused tasks that individuals can take on their own, with the support of a growing community through the organization, has been a big draw for those looking to move their awareness into action.
While many problems today feel daunting to the individual, Alexa is determined to tackle the issue of single-use plastics by educating and motivating people to make changes in their day-to-day habits. Through the organization’s ambassador program, she also supports youth from across the country in building the movement in their communities.
Alexa is tackling plastics pollution both from land and out on the water. With a Masters in Marine Management, her professional career and research focuses on managing ‘ghost gear’, or abandoned, lost, and discarded lobster fishing gear in Atlantic Canada. Every year, large quantities of abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear enter the oceans, continuing to catch and entangle marine life, it is the most harmful type of marine debris.
Now, as a co-chair for the Fishing Gear Coalition of Atlantic Canada, Alexa helps organizations address the problems of ghost gear across Atlantic Canada. She was recently invited to share her knowledge at the Canadian Government’s Gear Innovation Summit to explore collaborative solutions towards preventing, retrieving and recycling ghost gear.
The global problems of plastics waste require cooperative solutions, and Alexa is drawing local to international connections through Stop Trashing It. As a Youth Leader for the Sustainable Oceans Alliance, she is part of the world’s largest network of young Ocean Leaders in over 150 countries empowering youth to become leaders in preserving the health and sustainability of the ocean. Stop Trashing It is also an Ocean Solutions Hub for the Alliance, leveraging the international community’s connections to guide and host local initiatives and projects.
Alexa’s call to action and lead-by-example approach has inspired and motivated her peers and wider community to make significant changes in their lives and consumption habits.
We can expect to see Alexa’s leadership in this area continue to grow. “The fight is not over, we’re going to keep working hard,” she says of the Stop Trashing It movement. “I’m really looking forward to what the next 25 years have to bring.”