Meet Jared Criscuolo, CEO of Upcycle

Going Green had the opportunity to sit down with someone working hard to make a difference: Jared Criscuolo.

Jared, thank you for being here. Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your occupation?
I am the CEO and founder of a fertilizer company. Upcycle and Company is the name of the business.

Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
I have started 3 companies ranging from water exploration and activism (think Googles Streetview for Rivers) to blending sterilized food scraps, grains from brewing beer and human waste into fertilizer. I’m committed to creating products that turn waste into beautifully branded, high quality new products.

What is a fun fact about you?
I lived out of a veggie oil burning pickup truck for 3 months, driving around the country and paddling rivers to launch a river exploration and water activism app.

What was your motivation to get into this industry?
I got sick in surfing polluted water (which turned me on to activism) and decided to do something about it. This turned me on to the wastewater and water sector.
Why do you think climate change/sustainability is such an important topic today? *
People are finally seeing the direct “in their own backyard” impact of climate change. 10 years ago climate change used to be a more abstract concept studied by policy makers and scientists. Now we see intense and unpredictable weather patterns, and increasing intensity of storm damage. The impact is magnified by social media and the ability of anyone to generate news stories.

What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
Far shorter supply chains, drawing more aggressively on organic waste.

What can the average person do to make a difference?
Compost, recycle all plastics, dont shop at Trader Joes (they wrap EVERYTHING in plastic), cook your own meals vs buying prepared foods, use reusable bags and silverware, put a timer in your shower, turn your lawn into a mini farm, and eat less meat or take up hunting.

What positive changes are you seeing?
In San Diego we’ve seen a proliferation of vegan restaurants, and farmers markets are a thriving social and shopping scene. This move away from long haul transportation is a critical. I see influencers like Rob Greenfield growing massive social media followings, while moderating their message to inspire people to make small changes in their lives. There’s a greater sense of authenticity in how people act and conduct their lives which inspires me.

Jared, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us. We wish you the best of luck.

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