Here’s the ugly truth: all the waste you accumulate throughout the day, from the plastic utensils that come with your takeout to the paper bag you store it in, ends up going into landfills and oceans.

These take forever to decompose, which means most of them end up just cluttering up our environment. But thankfully, the threat of global warming has become enough of a wake up call for a lot of people to take action.

ICYMI: the zero waste movement has now reached Philippine shores. Simply put, committing to a zero waste lifestyle means making eco-consciousness second nature. While most individuals can’t drastically help in solving large-scale environmental issues, we can all start small and do our part to preserve our home.

Yes, really—we’ll prove it to you! Here are just 7 ways to get started on a more sustainable lifestyle today:

CHANGE #1: SAY NO TO SINGLE-USE


Takeout meals all come with disposable straws and cutlery—all in the name of convenience, especially for those on-the-go. While they do come in handy when you can’t spare a minute to wash up, they also contribute to a ton of waste while offering little else.

Instead, bring a set of reusable straws and utensils with you wherever you go. They come in many different styles and materials, from stainless steels to bamboo, so you’re guaranteed to find something you’d love to keep using. TRY: Mimi & Me Greentools 2-Piece Spork Set, P190, Gubby and Hammy Premium Love Set, P585, Solo Bended Stainless Steel Silver Straw Set, P150, Verde All In Straw Kit, P280

CHANGE #2: DON’T FALL INTO THE FAST FASHION TRAP


Skip the fast fashion finds made of increasingly flimsy material! Trust us, most of ‘em won’t even last a few washes. If you have to shop at all, invest in high-quality, sustainably made clothing designed for long-term use. Even better, just flip what you already have and sell whatever you can stand to let go of. It’s all clutter if you’re not getting any use out of it! TRY: Habi Lifestyle Foldable Shopping Bag, P299, The Recovery PH 100% Cotton String Bag, P180

CHANGE #3: COOK YOUR OWN MEALS


Not only does meal prepping help you reduce the amount of takeout containers you collect, it also gives you full control over what goes into your body. To recap: that’s less environmental waste, healthier choices, and major savings for your wallet!
TRY: Que Collapsible Bottle, P1,250, Mini & Me Greentools Collapsible Container, P399, Sip PH Steel Straw and Bamboo Utensils Burrito, P550

CHANGE #4: OPT FOR BIODEGRADABLE ALTERNATIVES


What do you do about necessities that you have to get rid of after X amount of time? Like, say, toothbrushes? Our answer: bamboo. This plant-sourced alternative decomposes much faster than plastic, so it’s a good go-to for things you have to switch out every few months.
TRY: The Bamboo Company Panda Charcoal Bamboo Toothbrush, P149, The Simple Trade Bamboo Toothbrush, P85

CHANGE #5: QUIT PAPER & PLASTIC


Fight “throw away culture” by swapping out paper towels for dish rags, cling wrap for beeswax, and cotton pads for makeup remover cloths. If you can’t spring for new buys just yet, you can always go the extra budget-friendly route and recycle old clothes for use as wraps and rags. TRY: Milea NatuWrap Beeswax Food Wraps, P435, TRVLR Makeup Remover Cloth, P400

CHANGE #6: SWITCH TO RED DAY REUSABLES


Ladies, if you want take your zero waste efforts to the next level, consider switching from sanitary napkins to menstrual cups and reusable pads. It just takes some getting used to—but your environmental impact (not to mention your monthly savings!) is totally worth it. TRY: Anytime Menstrual Cup, P700-P875, Hannahpad Washable Sanitary Napkins, P360-P860, Takeps Washable Sanitary Pads, P100-P180

CHANGE #7: MULTIPURPOSE IS THE WAY TO GO


Keep an eye out for treasures that just need a little imagination or upcycling to serve multiple purposes. An old jam jar can hold so much more than jam—and zip pouches can totally moonlight as toiletries bags. When you think outside of the box, anything can be multifunctional. See, even coconut oil, which most people used to think of as simply a cooking staple, has emerged as a haircare must-have in recent years! TRY: TRVLR Clear Storage Pouch Set, P70, BeautyMNL Gold Holiday Pouch, P20

See? Baby steps!

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