5 Minutes with Lauren Gropper

We are constantly inspired by the changemakers and solution providers in the environmental space, and we have SO many questions for them. In our “5 Minutes With…” series, we ask the important questions (plus some fun ones, too) to cool people who want to change the world. This week we’re chatting with Lauren Gropper, founder and CEO of Repurpose, a women-led, plant-based company that’s created 100% compostable tableware and trash bags (follow them on Instagram here). Read on for the full Q&A, and check this space every other week for a new guest.

What have you had enough of?

Misinformation and those who deny climate change.

What makes you feel calm?

Hot tubs. Nature. Preferably a hot tub in nature.

Why do you do your day job?

I always say it’s because “I give a shit” but also because it’s fun, rewarding, and challenging all at once.

How would you describe yourself in a few words?

Kind, curious, sometimes clever, easygoing and determined.

What did you learn in the pandemic?

Health is everything. I should say “good health” is everything!

What do you think the world will look like in 20 years time? Same/Different?

I hope we will be able to continue to enjoy all of the things we take for granted, like clean air and water. And I hope we will be less divided. I do believe we will see big change in a positive direction, but it may not be comfortable getting there.

What’s the one thing we have to get rid of as a society?

Putting profits over people and the common good. Mass incarceration and systemic racism. The gender pay gap. Bad politics.

What’s the one thing we need to incorporate as a society?

Basic respect and understanding for the “other” — and a much deeper respect for our planet and the ways in which our actions negatively impact it. And definitely more community and less disparity.

What’s been your favorite trip to date? Why?

I really can’t name just one. But in general I love a mix of getting out in nature and then combining that with culture, food, museums, shopping. I love the mix of all of it, and for me a foreign country tends to be the most interesting — but it would be too hard to name just one.

What do you like to read/listen to?

I’m a regular listener of the podcast ‘Pivot’ and also really like ‘Armchair Expert.’ On the music side, my husband and I are both always playing ‘The War on Drugs’ and I do love my 90s hip-hop and R&B. I’ve also shifted my reading to Audible…I’m late to this bandwagon but just “read” ‘Untamed’ and loved it.

What is your definition of happiness?

Happiness to me is great health — both my own health and my family’s — and the freedom to do what I want, when I want to.

What does change look like to you?

Change looks like the best of the values of the next generation: Less disparity and more equality, a healthier planet, and a much greater respect for one another.

Lauren Gropper is the founder and CEO of Repurpose, a women-led, plant-based company that's created 100% compostable tableware and trash bags.

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