Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Zero Waste or Low Waste? Bonus Low Waste Swaps

Hello, lovelies~ Have you heard about plastic pollution? It's all over the news and some places have even banned those single-use plastics. According to TIME, 8 million metric tons of plastic ends up in the ocean EVERY YEAR.
Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

I'm not against all single-use plastic, of course. Syringes are made from plastic that is disposable or single-use, but it has benefits of being able to keep infection rates low to none. There is no more cross-contamination thanks to sterile equipment that is wrapped in plastic. So? I'm not against plastic nor do I avoid them like the plague.

Would I call myself a zero waster or living a zero-waste lifestyle?

I don't think so.

Maybe it's more of a Low Waste Lifestyle instead

Anyway, I have a few tips for you who are interested in learning more about this lifestyle or looking for ideas on swaps to be more conscious of our waste. Just know that it's not gonna always be smooth sailing in our journey for minimal waste.

Don't be too hard on yourself if a waiter gave you straw in your drink or a plastic bag with your food order. We live in a linear economy, so breaking up from it will be a task. We have to slowly change into a circular economy, so there would be less waste. Remember this mantra when you're starting this lifestyle,

We don't need a handful of people doing it perfectly.
We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.

Let's get on with the swaps I did on my journey of minimizing my waste.

Bringing my own shopping bag so I don't have to use the plastic bags that stores usually provide. I usually have 3 or 5 of these in my bag. Sometimes, I do still forget to use my own shopping bag when I'm getting my food to go. When I do remember, I return the plastic bag back to the shop. 

Not using straws and using our own reusable cups when we're getting bubble tea. I have to admit that this one habit is slightly harder than the previous ones. G and I don't really use straws when we're drinking, except when it comes to bubble tea. We can't drink it straight from the glass because they're at the bottom and it's hard to get both the tapioca balls and the drink at the same time. Am I making any sense? Sorry if it didn't.

Anyway, we ended up getting those wide reusable glass straws to suck up those pesky, delicious balls of tapioca and sugar.

We're both hot tea drinkers, so we have opted for loose leaf tea when it comes to steeping a hot cup of tea. No more using tea bags for us since some of them (may) contain plastic within the bags to make it more durable when steeped with hot water. Of course, not all tea bags have this, you have to research the brand.

Ice cream would have to be my favorite dessert out of all of them. I like to have them in a cup because I'm not too fond of eating the cone. In my bag are two reusable cups (around 400 ml) and two metal teaspoons that I bring so I can use them for ice cream sundae. This way, I won't feel guilty when I'm enjoying my ice cream in a cup.

I have started using a menstrual cup for that time of da' month. It was (really) a learning curve and I have written about it in-depth in this post right here. All I can say is you really gotta be CHILL when using a cup.

I am starting a compost box at home where all the food waste (vegetable scraps, fruit peels, etc) goes to rot safely and turn to compost for the plants. Our landfill is overloaded with organic and inorganic waste that they formed mountains of garbage. The organic waste (food scraps mostly) gets buried underneath and decomposed anaerobically because of lack of oxygen. When it starts to decomposed anaerobically, methane is formed and released into the atmosphere as one of the worst greenhouse gases. Methane is able to trap 100x more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

This is all I can think of now. If I have more swaps, I'll it in a new blog post later on. My bag kinda looks like I'm going to have a picnic by the river because of the eating utensils. All I'm missing is a rug to lie down while I enjoy the calming sounds of the river.

I know this isn't much and I'm only one person doing all of this (2 if you count G), but I'm trying to help in any way I can to the best of my ability for the earth. I know that companies should be held responsible for managing their own waste, but I don't think there is a law for that, so until then, I'll just be here and do my best to help our Earth.

Have you made some low waste swaps to help reduce plastic pollution or reduce waste in general? Let me know in the comments below. Until then, I'll see you later~

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