5 Starter Tips for a Zero-Waste Sustainable Lifestyle

Did you know that the Philippines is the third largest dumper of plastic waste in the earth's oceans? 

Well, we didn't either. 

But this is just one of the many alarming statistics we've recently been learning from zero-waste lifestyle advocates, along with the fact that the amount of plastic waste our country generates each year would be enough to cover the Chocolate Hills of Bohol. Yikes!

zero waste plastic pollution

Now that you have a better picture of how urgently this plastic pollution issue needs to be addressed but aren't quite ready to make the full-on switch to solid shampoo bars or menstrual cups (Wait, what?) just yet, we've rounded up a few simple suggestions to help you sustain a zero-waste lifestyle. 

1. Carry a reusable bag with you at all times.

Even if you have no plans to do groceries or even if the supermarket offers plastic bags, stash an eco bag (or five!) in your purse or car whenever you head out. 

These could also come in handy for when you get your food to go or for an impulse buy. Besides, a canvas bag with an empowering statement or cute design serves as a chic accessory, too!

Image from Pinterest

(Image from Pinterest)

2. Return used bottles.

Not only are you saving the environment but you can also save money when you take advantage of bottle return policies. Every peso counts!

Among our partners, Messy Bessy offers a discount of P10 for every bottle returned for a refill.

Human Heart Nature is currently collecting clean and empty bottles in their branches to be upcycled through different arts and crafts activities in collaboration with Museo Pambata.

human heart nature balik bote

3. Repurpose empty containers.

No bottle return policy? No problem! 

You can always do the upcycling yourself in repurposing empty containers, such as those of First Harvest's peanut butter spreads or Kayumanggi Organic's raw coconut sugar.

Tsaa Laya's tea cannisters can be reused in so many different ways, plus the uniquely creative designs make 'em double as decorative pieces. Use them for storing your coloring pens, paper clips, charging cables, washi tapes, hair ties that always go missing... the list is endless!

4. Opt for biodegradable items.

Of course there will always be products that need to be disposed of regularly, like toothbrushes or diapers, but these days there are alternatives that don't end up as plastic waste in oceans or landfills.

The Bamboo Company's charcoal bamboo toothbrush steps up the zero-waste game with antimicrobial nylon polyester fibers infused with activated charcoal that is degradable, on top of having an eco-friendly bamboo handle. 

Bamboo straws can also serve as a sustainable alternative to plastic or paper straws and while these may be less durable or a tad more difficult to clean compared to metal ones, you can still rest assured that these will break down naturally instead of creating more waste when you toss 'em out. 

5. Assemble your mess kit.

Reusable straw? Check!

Reusable utensils? Check!

Reusable tumbler? Check!

It doesn't really take THAT much effort to assemble or carry around a mess kit, but it's a good step in building zero-waste habits. 

(Image from Pinterest)

Even better, a handful of local restaurants do support these initiatives by asking their customers if they'd like to have their food served in reusable containers they might be carrying around. 

Of course if you don't have any, you can still enjoy your meal or drink in containers that scream guilt. Tsk, tsk!

There you have it. Simple and doable enough, right? Any other simple zero-waste starter tips you can recommend?

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