Here’s an ugly truth: in the Philippines alone, people throw away 35,580 tons of trash per day. From the cardboard takeout cup that carries our morning coffee to the plastic cutlery we use at lunch, and even our leftover ulam after dinner, we produce A LOT of waste in our daily lives.
Our wastage, as you probably know, impacts the world we live in. But what if we could live our lives without creating waste? Well, this is precisely what the zero-waste movement aims to achieve. The movement, plainly and simply, hopes to eliminate collective wastage—and ultimately, write it out of existence. Successful zero wasters such as Kathryn Kellogg, in fact, have since inspired a legion of followers, who can fit a year’s worth of trash into a mason jar.
While many of us might never live a completely trash-free lifestyle, we can still do our part in reducing our carbon footprint. Here are 8 products to kickstart your zero-waste journey. Every little bit counts!
THE ZERO-WASTE LIFESTYLE STARTER KIT
1. MENSTRUAL CUP
Conventional pads and tampons are usually made of plastic and pile up in landfills and sewers after women unthinkingly throw them away. A menstrual cup, on the other hand, is reusable for up to 10 years and therefore drastically reduces landfill waste. It’s made of medical-grade silicone that is not only better for the environment, but your lady bits, too.
TRY: Anytime Menstrual Cup (Size 1), P700, Anytime Menstrual Cup (Size 2), P700
2. CLOTH PANTYLINERS
For those squeamish about menstrual cups, there are still ways to make your cycle more eco-friendly. Take, for instance, cloth pantyliners and pads. They’re more absorbent than regular plastic options and feel comfortable to boot. Bonus points: with proper care, they last for up to 3 to 5 years.
TRY: Ka Nami Pasador Cotton Pantyliner, P100
3. VIRGIN COCONUT OIL
We’ve raved about the wonders of virgin coconut oil before—and for good reason: the multitasking ingredient can stand in for a multitude of plastic-bottled skincare products on your shelf. Use it as makeup remover, moisturizer, or even hair serum. Just be sure to get one with reusable packaging!
TRY: Greenlife Home of Coconut Products Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (10oz), P250
4. BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSH
Over 4.7 billion plastic toothbrushes are produced—and discarded—every year. Luckily, there are greener alternatives that are made of only biodegradable materials, like bamboo and charcoal. Unlike a plastic toothbrush that will sit in a landfill forever, a bamboo toothbrush will naturally decompose after it’s been disposed of.
TRY: Skinlab Naturals Charlie and the Charcoal Factory Bamboo Toothbrush, P120
5. SHAMPOO BAR
Lather, rinse, repeat. We all do it—usually with a shampoo in a plastic bottle. Unfortunately, 80 billion plastic bottles from shampoo (and conditioner) find their way into our oceans every year. Shampoo bars aim to provide a zero-waste solution. Most (if not all) are made with biodegradable materials, and last 2 to 5 times longer than liquid variants.
TRY: Bomb Cosmetics To Be Sheer Shampoo Bar, P399
6. TUMBLER OR REUSABLE CUPS
Did you know that most takeout coffee cups aren’t always recyclable? It’s true! If you love coffee or tea as much as we do, consider investing in a reusable tumbler or bottle. Most are intelligently designed, insulated, and so cute, you wouldn’t mind lugging it around.
TRY: Frank Green Original Smart Cup, P1,450, Eco Vessel Triple Insulated The Boulder, P1,950, Fifty Fifty Double-Wall Vacuum Insulated Coffee Cup, P1,650
7. RECYCLABLE CONTAINERS
You might already be using reusable containers for your baon, but they’re just as good for takeout or leftovers. They’re easy to wash and last for years as long as you take good care of them.
8. REUSABLE UTENSILS
Plastic cutlery and straws are the bane of takeout—and of the terrifying single-use plastic problem on our planet. Fortunately, you don’t have to add to the terrifying equation by opting to use steel or bamboo utensils instead. Yes, you’ll have to wash ‘em after every use. But a few minutes of your time is a good exchange for less waste in landfills!
TRY: SIP Ph Rose Gold Steel Straw and Bamboo Utensils Burrito, P600
9. REUSABLE BAG
The next time you’re on a grocery run, say no to plastic bags. You can fit all your purchases in a lightweight, mesh bag. And when’re you’re not in the grocery, the same bag can double as tote for your personal belongings. It’s that versatile!
TRY: SacMNL Liwa Mesh Long Handle Cotton Bag in Old Rose, P299
Small changes, big results!
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