We live in a world where committing to making a change is a rarity to keep as time passes and it grows more difficult not to fall back into our old ways. The zero waste movement is on the rise as more people are joining in and realizing that change is upon us to save our environment and cut down on our carbon footprint.
In the Philippines, going zero waste is widely acclaimed because until now only a minority of the population have made the decision to change their lifestyle to be more eco-friendly and be more cautious towards waste reduction. Many find it difficult to adapt to the zero waste lifestyle because there are no laws in the country that incentivizes the practice.
However, the zero waste movement is gaining steady momentum in encouraging more people to start with small changes to help the environment and gain better insights into sustainable living.
A known influencer that made a big impact on me is Lauren Singer, a New York-based entrepreneur and environmental activists that transitioned to the zero waste lifestyle in 2012. Lauren started her own company called The Simply Co. that sells environmentally friendly laundry detergent.
Photo credits: Mimosa Goods
She documents her zero waste life and journey on her blog Trash is for Tossers. I saw a video by BuzzFeed titled “This Girl Can Fit All Her Trash From The Past 5 Years Into A Single Mason Jar” My immediate thought was “Is this for real? I can’t even go 3 days without having to clean out my trash can- I didn’t need to think twice about checking this out.
Needless to say, I was blown away both in amazement and in guilt. I was impressed that someone actually managed to reduce their waste consumption by that much and adapted a completely green and sustainable lifestyle. Guilt due to Lauren’s first statement in the video “I realized that I cared about the environment, but I wasn’t living that way.”
Talk about reality slapping you in the face, I felt ashamed because one glance at my trash can would give you a glimpse of how much waste I was generating that could have been avoided had I made the choice to be more conscious about certain decisions.
Until now the major changes that I’ve adapted are switching to using the following:
- Reusable water bottles
- Plastic-free containers
- No plastic straws
- Using reusable bags
These four things may seem small but they weren’t that easy for me to adapt to. As someone who values convenience and hates carrying a lot of things around that can’t be stuffed into my bag- the struggle to keep these habits were real.
But when you look at the grand scheme of things these are the little things that can help you save more money long-term and help contribute to the environment.
And here begins my zero-waste journey.