The Take-Aways:

  • Montanya Distillers and Zoetica are two sustainable-committed businesses that are truly making a difference in the green business world.
  • Karen wanted to create a solution to the global plastic problem, so she launched Zoetica to help people overcome barriers to using “convenience trash” in their daily lives.
  • The Warrior, a system made by Zoetica, has everything you need to live a plastic-free on-the-go life.
  • We need to take this plastic issue seriousl, because it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Our children, and our children’s children, will be left to deal with the plastic we’ve been generating over the past 50 years. Be conscious of your footprint.

Karen Hoskin, founder of Montanya Distillers and Zoetica, is proving what it means to be sustainability-committed in the green business world. This woman has taken running eco-friendly companies to a whole new level, and is a true role-model for all of us in the green business world.

Karen has owned Montanya Distillers for ten years now, which focuses solely on mountain-distilled rum located in Crested Butte, Colorado. Being one of the first women in the craft distilling field, she’s paving the way for women in the industry, as well as setting an example of how to successfully run a sustainable distillery. Montanya’s rum is gaining recognition on an international level for their high-quality spirits. What sets them apart from other rum brands is their mountain-distilled processes, rather than island-distilled, which focuses on higher elevation, first-pressed sugarcane juice, the absence of molasses, and of course, their deeply rooted commitment to sustainability.

While running Montanya Distillers, Karen noticed habits in her personal life that weren’t aligned with her business’s sustainability mission. She realized she was creating “convenience trash” while traveling for her business – plastic utensils, containers, coffee cups, things that make it easy to move from place to place.

“I wasn’t walking the walk,” she stated, “I’m not doing this the way I believe I should be.”

After this realization, she created a new business plan and eight months later launched Zoetica in September of 2017. Zoetica is a system of reusable bags, containers, utensils, cotton napkins, among other reusable products, to address the “convenience trash” epidemic we’re facing in the world today. The goal was to create an easy way to refuse throw away items all day long, no matter where you are, or what you’re presented with.

Karen’s favorite item from Zoetica is The Warrior system. This system comes in a purse-like bag that has two cup holders, and inside is a separate system (called The Nomad) which includes a reusable beverage cup, a water bottle, a market tote, a produce bag, a cotton napkin, two leak-proof stainless steel containers, a reusable straw, a fork and a spoon. Karen’s goal has been to help inform consumers of the power they have in changing the plastic problem our world is facing. Her focus has been to spread the word as far and wide was she can, with a unique focus on also educating vendors of their footprint.

Karen’s parting advice to all of us was powerful; we need to be serious about the unnecessary, toxic plastic our country is producing. She, like so many of us, is extremely concerned about the amount of plastic piling up in our oceans, in landfills, in our backyards.

“We need to take this seriously, and if we refuse to take it seriously, our kids will be living on a completely different planet, or living in spaceships orbiting because they won’t be able to grow anything.”

Karen is on the forefront of running sustainability-committed businesses and battling the plastic epidemic. Take a listen to the podcast episode to find out more about her background, the steps she’s taken, and goals she’s working toward, to help make a difference for our planet.

Click here to learn more about Montanya Distillers. And click here to explore the Zoetica site.

Karen Hoskin is a 20-year entrepreneur based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. She started her first company in 1998 and recently founded her fourth company, Zoetica. Each company has had a sustainability ethos. She built a LEED-certified preschool between 2001 and 2005. Then in 2008, she built one of the USA’s first green craft distilleries, Montanya Distillers. In 2017, she turned her personal commitment to zero waste into a company by launching Zoetica, which designs and makes zero waste systems. These systems are ideal for consumers, like herself, who want to refuse convenience trash. Karen’s focus on sustainability affects every aspect of her personal and professional life. It determines everything from how she travels to what packaging she accepts. It even affects what clothing she wears and how her homes and offices are constructed and powered.


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