Shnayder grew up in Nigeria, where a sustainable life is the only option, as she explained because it is a “survival mechanism.” In 2008, as an 8-year-old, she moved to the United States and knew her mindset must not change, no matter where she lives.
“I felt connected to nature and understood the balance we need to maintain in order to keep communities healthy,” Shnayder said. “I never understood the mindset of throwing things away so quickly in the United States.”
As Shnayder began formulating her sustainability plan, she heard Greta Thunberg’s speech to world leaders at the United Nations. This set Shnayder off on a new, exciting journey thanks to “someone who resembles me with really big goals and dreams such as a young changemaker utilizing her voice for change.”
While Shnayder was studying accounting, numbers became her bread and butter. The numbers she heard Thunberg discuss regarding our planet’s future stood out, and it led Shnayder to start using reusable utensils. This started her journey, as she committed to a life of not only personal change but to impact the entire world.
Tuesdays for Trash
Tuesdays for Trash, during the heart of the COVID-19 shutdown, became her way to make a global impact. The community she’s built from the ground-up gets together every Tuesday to pick up trash in different communities, sharing their impact on social media with the hashtag #TuesdaysForTrash. This initiative enables people to learn about the climate emergency inside of their own communities, and it provides a way to create connections while aiming to create a sustainable life.
Thus far, there are 11 chapters across the globe with people participating in Tuesdays for Trash in 35 different countries. In total, they’ve collected over 30,000 pounds of trash.
“If our planet isn’t clean and healthy, neither are we,” Shnayder explained.
Tuesdays for Trash is helping Shnayder realize how far one’s voice can be heard. Collective change can happen, she said, and it starts with one person’s actions.
But throughout this journey, Shnayder’s biggest challenge has been maintaining momentum. She often “feels the weight of the world,” which creates a sense of responsibility as she tries to find new, unique ways to clean up our planet. Magniv, she keeps it cool and recognizes the need for self-care, all while knowing she is doing as much as she can with big plans for the future.
“As temperatures rise, we will see more issues come up,” Shnayder said. “We’re coastal and the Mediterranean lining Israel is one of the most polluted in the entire sea from microplastics.”
With the problem already well-known, Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority is taking steps to protect the Mediterranean.
Now, as Shnayder aims for greater heights and to clean up more trash from an expanding list of nations, she is focusing on taking action in creating and influencing policy. She hopes to see legislation passed to reduce the amount of trash we see globally, and companies that are causing these issues need to be held accountable by governments.
In Israel, Shnayder’s eyes are set on the Knesset. With diplomacy, she feels real change can be made. Within a few years, she wants to run for public office to enact policy changes that will make a difference. Lucky for her, the Startup Nation is leading the world in innovation and with an influx of money into Israeli startups, she believes the small country’s “bandwagon mentality” can set a global precedent. If anyone will lead the world in sustainability, it will be Israel and other countries will follow.
Israel is the place where Shnayder’s ideas are blossoming. For the first time in her life, she feels accepted in a community and she now has the support system to thrive and make an impact. As she journeys on, she knows the possibilities are endless.