#zerowaste

August 13, 2019



Hey guys!

I've been reading up and watching a lot of #zerowaste videos recently, just out of curiosity.

Perhaps the most famous one is about the girl who managed to keep 5 years of her rubbish in a single glass jar.





Super crazy isn't it? Inspiring yet crippling at the same time. I mean, how many of us can do this? I hope that if you want to reduce your waste, this video encourages you instead of the opposite.

I think the most important thing about #zerowaste is also about how you can use existing things you already have, instead of buying new items like charcoal toothbrushes and fancy collapsible mugs so you can be #zerowaste cool. That's not the point yeah? You can just use whatever you have at hand.

I've watched people do trash audits and see what they can recycle, or find out where most of their trash is coming from. All these things basically help you be more conscious of what you consume too.

Most of the #zerowaste videos, though useful, are based in the US or UK, so sometimes it's rather hard to relate when our lifestyle habits are so different. So I added the keywords 'Asia', and 'Singapore' in my search terms to find videos that would be more relatable.

Asia
One notable video would be this one where an entire Japan town goes zero waste. A great example for the world.

Also watched this one about waste in China. I find it so crazy that other countries used to ship their rubbish over to China. 

Singapore

So I watched Singaporeans attempt #zerowaste challenges as individuals and more interestingly, as families. It's easy to change your own habits, but how about the habits of your family members? 

It's probably after this video I started to be more conscious of my use of tissues and switched to using towels and rags more often instead. Also I started thinking about food packaging in terms of snacks packaging.

There was this girl doing the challenge, and she rejected the small plastic bag you get for each individual bread at the bread shop, and just took her bread and ate it. I can totally get on this since I usually drop by the bakery and buy a single piece of bread, and immediately eat it anyway. LOL. 

Also watched videos on what you can throw in the blue recycle bin. Did you know you could rinse and recycle milk cartons? I think most people just throw them away. 

There's one video from CNA where a grandma tries to go zero waste to engage with her green savvy grandchild. Quite cute.


And this one where Neil Humphreys BYOB to caifan stalls and other places with his daughter around Singapore. 



Little Steps

I don't really buy drinks when I'm out cuz I always have my water bottle with me, so although I have one of those metal reusable straws, I have not used it.

Here are some small things I have done though.

  • Re-purposed my empty cardboard tissue box. It now serves as a box that holds my long socks, separating them from my shorter socks. Lol.
  • Stopped using disposable face masks when I declutter and instead tie a towel around my face to keep the dust out instead.
  • Convinced my mum to use this big plastic container that used to hold some health supplements to hold washing powder, instead of throwing it away or recycling it. Re-purposing is a double win cuz you get extra value AND it breathes new life into hard-to-recycle things especially like plastics.
  • Thought about bringing my own utensils, especially since I received a portable set from my friend Quek's wedding. Shout out to Quek for bringing her own straw when she's out despite some green shaming from friends. Also shout-out to my friend Jason for having wedding favours (cookies and candy) in glass jars from APSN (Association for Persons with Special Needs). Super double win for supporting others in the community.
  • Reduced dabao opportunities. I literally go out and eat instead. Dabaoing food and food delivery uses a lot of plastic which I feel uncomfortable about, so I will try to avoid this whenever possible.
  • Tried a menstrual cup to no avail HAHA. Imagine all the pads I don't have to use though. Shout out to my friend G who is meticulously using cloth pads to help save the earth!
  • Use a lunchbox to hold my sandwich
  • Eat less meat, especially pork and beef. Not exactly #zerowaste, but a way to help the environment too. I don't particularly like pork, and though I enjoy beef, I can probably eat less of it. This is mostly still a work in progress!
  • Saved my used green tea bags in the fridge and used them for under eye dark circle applications
  • Followed and subscribed to green bloggers on YouTube and IG for more ideas and to educate myself
Am I perfect? Hell no lol. Sometimes I forget and we receive plastic straws with our drinks. Sometimes we get Styrofoam plates. Sometimes I still accept plastic bags when I forgot to bring my tote. I also create waste when I try to declutter things. I do try to donate and recycle whenever I can though, and tell my students to do the same.

But generally I try to incorporate little things and whatever I can do to be a little greener, I guess. As a child I was super extra and I brought a paper box (those you get when you buy printing paper), and put it at the back of the classroom to collect paper for recycling (with the blessings of my teacher). I had seen a lot of classmates wasting foolscap paper and I just couldn't sit and do nothing.

It definitely helps that I have a handful of friends that are passionate about this cause too. I just don't want to be part of this huge environment problem.

What are some things you do to reduce waste, upcycle, or recycle? Ideas and stories are welcome.

Let's be conscious of our own actions!
Skye

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