Zero Waste Co-Director
Maria Bonner joined Rural Action in 2021 as the Zero Waste Program Manager. She was first introduced to the world of zero waste programming through volunteering side by side with her fellow AmeriCorps members at the 2014 Columbus Earth Day Celebration with Rural Action’s Appalachian Zero Waste Initiative. She was immediately moved by the passion the Zero Waste team had in the ‘dirty’ work they were doing.
Since that first volunteer event, she has logged hundreds of volunteer hours and paid work as an Operation Manager with what has become Zero Waste Event Productions LLC, a social enterprise of Rural Action. After serving two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA for Ohio Campus Compact, Maria remained in higher education, working in student program management, student retention, and events. She believes it is vital to future generations for individuals and organizations to invest in a sustainable economy to protect the environment.
Maria is originally from Pennsylvania and holds a BA in History from Shippensburg University. She is happy to call Southeast Ohio home and be part of the vibrant Athens community. She enjoys running, roller skating, having adventures with her family, and of course, sorting “trash” to get it to the right revenue stream!