As noble as it is to make the switch to a completely zero-waste lifestyle, we have to admit—it’s far from easy. News about the Earth becoming uninhabitable in just a few decades is enough to make us want to do something… but how? We live in a world where the output of waste (and its consequences on our planet) is inevitable and deeply entrenched in our modern lifestyles. Everything we do, including necessary functions like eating and maintaining hygiene, produces trash. It can be easy to lose hope if we feel like the small changes won’t be enough to make an impact.
However, in the words of editor, environmentalist, and zero-waste blogger Anne Marie Bonneau, “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” In other words, do what you can. A little action is better than none. Imagine how many plastic straws could be eliminated from oceans and landfills if you just made the switch to steel ones, or the sheer amount of tampons and pads you could save by using a menstrual cup.
This year, we’re encouraging mindful consumption and sustainability—but also, a “do what you can” mindset instead of gunning for an all-or-nothing approach. Here are a few seemingly small switches you could start making. Not only do these little changes help the environment, they’re also convenient to use—as shared by the real testimonials from both customers and members of the BeautyMNL team. Scroll below!

1. Instead of taking your coffee in a disposable to-go cup, try a reusable one.
TRY: Kool Foldable Cup (355ml), P299

This particular reusable cup is a little different from the rest—its accordion-like body can be compressed into a compact flat circle, so it’s extra portable—convenient enough to carry around wherever you go! With a heat sleeve and food-grade silicone body, it’s safe for hot drinks (it can handle liquid temperatures up to 60 degrees Celsius)! The foldable cup is made of safe, recyclable materials, and is completely free of BPA, phthalates, leads, and glues. Plus, it’s dishwasher- and microwave-safe, and super easy to clean.

Stephanie, 21, says, “As an eco-warrior, I really love this! I was excited and curious about this product—I’ve been trying to practice a zero waste lifestyle and use less plastic. The problem with other silicone cups is that others have a strong metallic odor, but this has none at all! It was also flexible, and I was confident that it would not melt even with boiling temperatures. It really fits in my bag without taking up so much space. This lessens my use of single-use plastic cups.”

Shop it here.

2. Use steel straws instead of plastic or paper ones.
TRY: Sip PH Buddy Plain, now on sale at P180 (limited time only)

A few years ago, Sip PH came on to the scene right as awareness about eco-friendly practices and sustainable living was starting to spread. The craze rightfully began around their classic metal straws. The Buddy Plain is the best-selling straw set that started it all. It includes two types of straws, a classic one and a “milk tea” one (the perfect size for bubble pearls!), as well as a cleaning brush and canvas pouch. The straws are made of high quality, rust-proof steel, and they can be used forever (literally).

Their portability makes waste reduction easy. Angelyn, 23, says, “It’s been a habit for me not to purchase drinks whenever this isn’t with me, and I think this is how I do little changes towards sustainability.” Another happy customer is Kathleen, 29, who says, “It feels good to know that I am helping save Mother Earth in my own little way. I don’t ask for straws anymore whenever I take-out meals from fast-food restaurants. It’s nice that this set has cleaning tools included also, so (cleaning them is) very easy!”

Shop it here.

3. Bring your baon in a reusable container.
TRY: Sip PH Sushi, now on sale at P1,125 (limited time only)

Taking a packed lunch to work or school every day is a surefire way to save money and reduce your waste, while you’re at it. Talk about two birds with one stone! Be wary of the typical takeout plastic containers you get from restaurants, though—they can be reused, but they’re not the most durable, and they are often made of chemical-laden materials that are toxic for both your health and the environment.

If you’re going to pack your baon, try Sip PH’s Sushi—the reusable food container is compact and lightweight, but can keep up to 1,000ml of food! It’s made of BPA-free, high quality, recyclable, food-safe polypropylene plastic, which does not retain odors (Bye-bye, old food smell!). The cute wooden lid isn’t just for style—it’s made of compostable bamboo! The Sushi is dishwasher-, microwave-, and refrigerator-safe, too.

Shop it here.

4. Swap out your pads and tampons for a menstrual cup.
TRY: Easyflo Menstrual Cup, now on sale at P809 (limited time only)

As essential as periods are for our vital health, they can be a messy, stinky hassle. On top of that, we can end up consuming thousands of pads and tampons over a lifetime. EasyFlo’s Menstrual Cup is the solution to all of the aforementioned period-related woes. The reusable silicone cup lasts for 2-3 years, and ensures that you won’t need to use single-use pads or tampons if you have it. Its sleek design, made of 100% premium, medical-grade silicone, offers twelve hours of continuous protection, so you can change it just twice a day. Plus, if you insert it correctly, you won’t even feel that it’s there.

Maffi, 22, is pretty happy about the switch she made: “I have always been told of the many benefits of switching to menstrual cups. Aside from wanting to lessen the trash I contribute to the environment, I also wanted to be worry-free [about] leakage and unwanted odor brought about by wearing napkins … I used it while I slept so I wouldn’t have to worry about leakages when I would get up for work the next day. I woke up this morning totally leakage-free and odorless! Best decision I’ve made so far.”

Shop it here.

5. Make sure your menstrual cup is clean by using a steam sterilizer.
TRY: Anytime Menstrual Cup Steam Sterilizer, P1299

So, let’s say you decide to make a change and switch to menstrual cups, thus eliminating thousands of period product waste. Yay to sustainability! But what about cleaning up? Many people may be on the fence about making the jump because of hygiene and cleanliness concerns. The Anytime Menstrual Cup Steam Sterilizer is a great, easy-to-use appliance that eliminates that worry. It cleans your menstrual cup in three minutes, killing harmful bacteria and germs without the use of chemicals. It’s compact and lightweight, too, so you can bring it along on your travels.

Frankie, 24, is super happy with it so far: “I’ve been a menstrual cup user for almost two years now and with every cycle, the biggest hassle is always the cleaning and sterilizing of the cup after each use. With the Anytime Menstrual Cup Sterilizer, I can sterilize my cup while I’m in the shower, and it’ll be ready to use again as soon as I’m done! It’s also very simple and easy to use with its own measurement cup to measure how much water you need for the sterilizer, and only one button to press when you’re ready for the sterilizer to start working. Definitely a need for all menstrual cup users.”

Shop it here.

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