Admit it, you’ve probably heard of and seen metal straws being sold in countless instagram accounts and shopee stores. Most probably these shops also sell other ‘zero waste’ things, such as environmentally friendly bags, bamboo toothbrushes, shampoo bars, among other things.
The metal straw was the starting point of this journey of mine to minimize my plastic waste and to start living ‘zero waste’. But here’s a disclaimer: I AM NOT EVEN CLOSE TO LIVING LIKE THIS YET. But since it’s a lifestyle change, it would take a long time to adapt to this and to actually commit. I still have lapses, since sometimes plastic straws are automatically placed in my drink, I forget my tumbler at home, I use plastic bags, and the skincare products I consume come in single use plastic containers and I can’t just stop getting them since I’ve come a long way to curate my current skincare routine. But there are small steps that hopefully we can all start doing to reduce our plastic wastes. 😊 Here are some of the baby steps I’ve taken to reduce the waste I leave behind, and some things you can follow if you’re considering to make this lifestyle change or if you simply want to help lessen our plastic waste.
1. Use a tumbler! Invest on something that you can bring literally anywhere, is spill proof, and can hold your hot drinks if you are a slave to hot coffee. You also won’t have to buy plastic water bottles all the time. Tip: also look for something that is easy to clean up if you’re planning to hold different kinds of beverages in your tumbler.
2. Bring your own cutlery sets. I know some people who refuse to use the metal utensils in restaurants because it’s not washed properly or may get you contaminated with diseases so they opt to use disposable utensils. I understand their sentiment, but you can just go and get a pair of utensils at home and bring it everywhere. You may also buy metal straws if you really can’t stand drinking from the cup. Ready to level up? Bring your own lunch box, or when dining in, ask the servers if you can have your food in washable containers.
3. Consider using toiletry bars. You know, soap bars, shampoo bars, conditioner bars, and feminine bars. So you wouldn’t be throwing away their plastic containers all the time. I have relied on the convenience of using liquid bath things as it is very easy to pack, but I realized how much plastic trash I’m using with the containers and everything. Most bars you can get with paper packaging so it’s good. Also, I’ve looked for lotion bars and there are a few shops that sell those too! Right now I’m using bar soaps, a shampoo bar, and a feminine bar and so far it’s not a lot different from their fluid counterparts. (The shampoo bar, however, you probably need to try a few or research a lot as some are not lather-y enough or drying to the hair. It needs some getting used to.) Or use products sold in glass bottles or containers, so you wouldn’t be using much plastic 😊 there are shops agreeing to sell refills of their products so you wouldn’t have to throw away the old packaging. Looking for the right products for you just takes a little bit of research!
4. Start building your own eco-brick! For your small plastic wastes, you may put it in used water bottles to create an eco-brick, and donate it at a donation place. I’ve heard that Robinsons malls exchange your eco-bricks for something (a metal straw if I’m not mistaken) and this is a good place to send your small, not usable plastics anymore. Tips to start your eco-brick can be found here.
5. Refuse! Refuse straws, disposable utensils, and cups when you can. Drink straight from the cup, bring your own straw and/or utensils, opt for a mug when you’re not taking your drink to go, refuse the plastic packaging when it can fit in your bag, or always bring a reusable bag with you.
That’s what I’ve been doing so far. Just a reminder, I’m not forcing anyone to make this change! These are just some tips to hopefully get you motivated if you’re planning to make the switch. I’m still in the baby steps, and while some might argue that this does not really solve the problem of plastic production, I’d like to believe that there should always be a start and if enough people do it, it might make a difference. Cheers! #
Love, Lady 💛