Our Awesome Owners


Alyssa Erding

Founder & Co-Owner

Alyssa’s interest in waste began at a young age, but was prompted further during a visit to Bali, Indonesia in 2015. Over her last year of college she discovered a passion for intentional living through Zero Waste and sustainable wellness. Over the course of six months she drastically reduced her waste, changed her college major to reflect her values, underwent yoga teacher training, switched to a plant based diet, and started living authentically. Alyssa founded Zilchin in February of 2018 to serve as a resource for anyone & everyone who is interested in Zero Waste and sustainable wellness.

Everything that Alyssa does is aligned with her values, but when she isn’t avidly scrolling through the latest Zero Waste news or cooking up some yummy plant-based treats you can find her traveling, camping, rock climbing, getting a tattoo, or eating chocolate babka (you have to try it).


Clara von Dohlen

Co-OwnerAccessibility and Empowerment

Clara was born in Idaho and raised in the northernmost part of Utah. She graduated Macalester College with a political science major, human rights/humanitarianism concentrator, and in her spare time advocates for sexual violence survivors and crafts all things Zero-Waste. She discovered Zero Waste while looking into the “green beauty” industry several years ago, and has since found Zero Waste to be a healing and soothing lifestyle that she wishes to share and make inclusive for all. Clara is a proud intersectional feminist and cat mom who joined the Zilchin family to help Zero Waste become accessible and welcoming for everyone.


Our Incredible Interns



Alex, Sustainable Behavior Change

Winter and Spring ’19

Alex is a sophomore majoring in Environmental Studies and Classical Languages at Macalester. She is from La Crosse, Wisconsin. Alex has always loved the outdoors but only realized how passionate she is about sustainability in the last year. She wants to show people that it’s never too late to choose a more intentional lifestyle.

Alex enjoys rock climbing, paddle boarding, and roller skating in the summer as well as binge watching a good show.



Dylan, Strategic Operations

Summer ’18

Dylan was a rising junior at Macalester college studying Environmental Studies and Geology. He grew up in Bethesda Maryland and developed a love for nature in places like Rocky Gap State Park, sections of the Appalachian Trail, and along the C&O Canal and Potomac River. Anything outdoors is his first choice for a favorite pastime activity, especially fishing, biking, and gardening. If he must stay indoors he enjoys upcycling, fiber arts, cooking, and playing music.

“Working with Zilchin is extremely fortunate because the values of Alyssa and the company mesh with my own values and university studies remarkably well. I am gifted to work as a full-time intern through Macalester’s MacNest program and cannot wait to continue developing Zilchin and promoting the Zero Waste movement.”


Nutrition and Wellness

Summer ’18

Maddie was a rising first-year at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, planning to double major in Environmental Sciences and International Affairs. Throughout her early life she moved back and forth between Florida and Minneapolis, which allowed her to develop a love for both environments beginning with a focus in reduction of pollution in the ocean. Spending time in nature and practicing mindfulness, as well as intentional living, is a huge aspect of her life, which originally led her to Zilchin. As a certified yoga instructor with a passion for health and wellness, Maddie loves creating plant-based foods, running, and learning more about all aspects of a Zero Waste lifestyle focused on awareness of the impact we have on everything around us.


TuckerSustainable Behavior Change

Summer ’18

Tucker was a rising senior at Macalester college majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Psychology. He spent most of his early years living in New Jersey before moving to Maine towards the end of high school. The Maine outdoors have been a staple of his life, spending his time camping and hiking there every summer of his life before his family made the move. An appreciation and yearning to protect spaces like Maine’s abundant wilderness lead him to Zilchin. He spends his time (not doing something outdoors) cooking something or heckling friends and housemates.


Dio, Graphic Design

Spring ‘17

Dio was a graphic designer with a passion for sustainable design and connecting those two. She is a student at Macalester college studying geography and trying to get involved with as much sustainable design as possible. She helped with website work and graphic brainstorming in the early ages of Zilchin. 


Carrigan, Social Media

Spring, ‘17

Carrigan is a New Jersey-native with a passion for storytelling. He helped to develop Zilchin’s social media and branding with the goal of making Zilchin accessible to audiences. Carrigan hopes to pursue a career in journalism after he finishes his last semester at Macalester College. In his free time, Carrigan likes to collect records, read, weight train and explore new places.



Interested in interning with us? Apply today!