We create and consult fun, environmentally responsible experiences that consider the full life-cycle of the event.
We believe solutions to the climate crisis and restoring the natural systems of the planet come from improving the systems of the people. Imagine a space that brings together zero waste events and living- a beautiful place to explore and learn, throw a party, and find all your ZW living essentials. Now imagine that space also providing a solution to the disparity of resource distribution through collaboration with food rescue organizations, passionate individuals and skilled chefs to create a no-cost community restaurant for food insecure families. This is our vision, Los Angeles. Join us!
What is zero waste?
Zero Waste living means sending nothing to landfill or incineration, but it is SO MUCH MORE. Zero Waste is a concept. Embracing that concept means rethinking systems and debunking accepted “truths” around convenience.
The definition we use as our guiding principle, and the only peer-reviewed definition, is from the Zero Waste International Alliance:
“Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use."
Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them.
Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.”
To change human behavior of consumption so we can restore the natural balance of the planet.
Who We Are
Sustain LA is a certified woman-owned and small business social enterprise at the intersection of several industries. We combine best practices and highest and best material use for an integrated approach to zero waste events and living.
Past clients include adidas, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., New Belgium Brewing, Feedback Global, Occidental College, the US Green Building Council and many more.
We are proud to collaborate with Homeboy Industries and provide working opportunities to formerly gang-involved men and women.
Our trained and dedicated team will predict your needs and ensure you feel taken care of. Together, we will take care of Mother Earth.
Meet the Founder
Leslie VanKeuren Campbell is the founder of Sustain LA. Her zero waste journey began in the stretch of open forest behind her parents’ home, where carefree hours spent as a child gave her a deep appreciation for the natural world, its importance to human life and a sense of our place on Mother Earth.
Flash forward through Leslie's nearly twenty years of experience in the food and beverage industry, where as a restaurant manager she witnessed first hand the disconnect between sustainable business practices and the disposable reality of the present. Perceived convenience was corrupting us, and a never ending supply of single-use products filling the garbage was the result. She knew it didn't need to be this way. Things needed to change, and she decided to do something about it.
After orchestrating numerous sustainable improvements at a notable Silver Lake restaurant, Leslie founded Sustain LA in 2009 as a means to put into action zero waste solutions for businesses, events and individuals in the greater Los Angeles area. She has been growing and improving Sustain LA ever since.
Leslie has been involved in, studying and practicing sustainability and zero waste for over ten years. On her path to founding Sustain LA, she completed UCLA Extension’s Global Sustainability program (Earned with Distinction), as well as becoming a Certified Sustainable Recycling and Resource Management Professional with the California Resource Recovery Association in 2010. She was a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Green Associate from 2010-2014, and holds an AA in Environmental Studies from Santa Monica College with Honors.
She is a founding coalition member of Don’t Waste LA and an active member of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Working Group and the Board of Public Works’ Zero Food Waste Task Force. Leslie was also invited by Mayor Garcetti’s Office of Sustainability to be a part of the pLAn Waste Working Group. In addition to operating Sustain LA, she is currently pursuing a Food Studies Certificate, UCLA Extension (anticipated Spring 2019), focusing on food insecurity, surplus food rescue and transparency in food labeling- with the goal to reduce food insecurity and food waste and increase ongoing sustainable solutions for businesses and local communities in Los Angeles.
Leslie and her husband have called Los Angeles their home for twenty years. Together with their daughter (a mini but fierce zero waste warrior and their true inspiration for a sustainable future!), and their cat, they enjoy a zero waste lifestyle, public transportation, and of course plenty of time in the great outdoors, where her zero waste dream was born.
Learn more about the Zero Waste journey on the Blog.