Meet Tim & Ness - Founders of #untrashy

Posted by Crooked Compass

Crooked Compass is thrilled to announce its latest partnership with #untrashy, a movement to change attitudes and behaviours surrounding single-use plastic by providing stylish and affordable sustainable alternatives. Today, we sat down with #untrshy's Founders, Ness and Tim Heffernan to talk to us about all things sustainability and of course, travel.

Tell us a bit about yourselves and your past adventures

We met at university while studying our Master’s. Ness was studying International Public Health and Tim, Conflict Resolution. Each of us have travelled quite extensively independently and are now enjoying some local and international adventures when work allows us.

Van life - Tim & Ness cruising around Spain
Van life - Tim & Ness cruising around Spain

What is #untrashy all about and what inspired you to create the brand?

#untrashy is about being conscious of our impact on our planet. Whether that be in our day to day lives or whilst travelling. Making simple choices every day can result in huge positive change.

We were inspired to start #untrashy after visiting Europe on our honeymoon. We were amazed by the beauty of the Mediterranean but saddened that we saw more plastic than fish.

As we live by the water here in Australia we pledged to do whatever we can to keep our waterways as beautiful as they are now. That’s why we regularly clean up our local beach, educate others and provide alternatives to single-use plastic.

Tim & Ness have a goal to keep our oceans pristine. Photo by Dylan Alcock on Unsplash
Tim & Ness have a goal to keep our oceans pristine. Photo by Dylan Alcock on Unsplash

Do you have a favourite travel destination or a favourite travel activity and why? 

Tim: I love Turkey, it's such a diverse country from metropolitan Istanbul with it's fast-paced Bazaars and beautiful architecture to the enchanting eastern borders and the beautiful Aegean Sea. It was actually our trip to the Mediterreanean, Adriatic and Aegean that inspired #untrashy. The water is beautiful however the high-population and lack of waste-management infrastructure in many places means the water and its inhabitants can feel the impact. We're striving to keep the turquoise waters as pristine as possible!

Tim swimming in the azure waters off Turkey
Tim swimming in the azure waters off Turkey

Ness: I had a wonderful experience in Cambodia. It is a country rich in culture and history with sites that are incredibly powerful and moving. The people are beautiful, resilient and welcoming and there is a strong sense of culture and community, particularly in some of the smaller villages.

Both: We both loved South America, particularly Mendoza Argentina (not just for the wine - which is delicious) . The language, mountains, wine, music and wine were simply incredible. Despite being ocean lovers we both agreed this is a place we could live. Did we mention the wine?

Tim & Ness enjoying some vino in Mendoza, Argentina
Tim & Ness enjoying some vino in Mendoza, Argentina

With the new partnership between Crooked Compass and #untrashy, out of the destinations we travel to, where would you most like to see travellers or local communities using #untrashy products and which products are the most popular amongst travellers?

We love seeing photos of people using our products as it is evidence that a single-use item has been refused. Mostly we’d like to see our products used in locations where waste-management facilities are limited and where trash is a challenge.

Many travellers opt for our lightweight, plane-safe cutlery swag as it enables them to start their trip on the right foot by refusing the single-use cutlery from the moment they receive their first onboard meal.

#untrashy plane friendly cutlery swag
#untrashy plane friendly cutlery swag

The squishy cups are popular too, as you’re aware of their cleanliness, you can use them for hot and cold drinks and they are handy to pack any fragile little souvenirs you’ve picked up along the way.

#untrshy squishy wine cups - the perfect travelling companion and great to protect those souvenirs too!
#untrshy squishy cups - the perfect travelling companion and great to protect those souvenirs too!

Do you have any awesome travel tips that will help people to stay safe, travel light, or save money while exploring the world? 

Where to start? 

Tim: Walk with confidence even if you have no idea where you are going.

Eat where the locals eat if a restaurant is empty it’s either over priced or not very good.

Pack a Swiss Army Knife (in your checked luggage) it’s so useful for so many things from removing a splinter to opening a wine bottle.

Ness: Take a decoy purse - put some old cards and a small amount of cash in there. In the unlikely event you have to hand it over you are safe knowing your main stash is in your sock or in your bra.

To save money I would recommend to try to local street food.

Asian street food vendors. Tim & Ness have a goal to keep our oceans pristine. Photo by Dylan Alcock on Unsplash
Asian street food vendors. Tim & Ness have a goal to keep our oceans pristine. Photo by Dylan Alcock on Unsplash

We also recommend buying the biggest bottle (usually about 20L) and refilling our smaller stainless steel bottles from that. You can also often refill the 20L from vending machines or natural springs along the way, minimising your plastic use.

If you could do any Crooked Compass small group tour, which one would it be and why? 

We want to explore Yemen and all of the trips to be honest - Togo, Benin and Ghana also looks sick!

Traditional houses of Benin
Traditional houses of Benin

Where can people go to explore the #untrashy product range?

The best place to check out our range is untrashy.com People can also follow us on Facebook or via @untrashy_ on Instagram.

#untrashy product range available to all Crooked Compass travellers to minimise plastic waste whilst travelling
#untrashy product range available to all Crooked Compass travellers to minimise plastic waste whilst travelling