photo: Ladislav Cvetkov

Hi there! My name is Mira Petrova and I’m a young illustrator and graphic designer who lives in Sofia, Bulgaria. For many years now, I’ve been occupied with thoughts and feelings about global warming and the way we, humankind, harm our planet. I dream of living a zero-waste life, but very often I fail miserably, and it makes me sad and discouraged. The simple truth is—zero waste living can be hard! But I realized the following: the more I become “aware” of what I buy and what alternatives I have, the more conscious I become; my decision-making process changes and with that, the amount of waste I produce. That’s how the term “waste awareness” appeared in my life. Zero waste just sounded way too ambitious and overwhelming.

So with that new approach to the subject, on the 5th of June 2019 I started creating this comic strip (with the inspirational help of my super supportive boyfriend). We decided to call it Waste Aware Animals, and later in the year renamed it simply Aware Animals. We wanted to give people a fun and positive way to learn and share about the zero waste philosophy, free of shame and guilt. And spread the message that we can all be part of the change or inspire it in others, sometimes even with the smallest actions.

The fox characters, Mr and Miss Fox, are, of course, based on two of us. As for why the characters are all animals (even though they live in the big city and face all the everyday life problems that we do), well, who could possibly be a better inspiration for sustainable living than the animals? And also—who could be cuter?

All the stories in the comics are inspired either by my personal experiences and situations that I have witnessed or overheard. Since we started publishing it, people also write in to share zero waste-related situations, ideas, and successes and I couldn’t be happier and more grateful. It makes me feel like we’re all part of one big community and together, we can make a difference.