After a much-needed break from the everyday routine, I now feel refreshed and ready to brainstorm new ideas for my clients! (If you want to know what I do, know more about me HERE.) But we’ll talk about that and our travel diaries on a separate post. For now, let’s talk about zero-waste lifestyle. If you guys have been following me for a while, I wrote about my first week going zero-waste HERE and why I started going zero-waste HERE.
But before anything else, what is zero-waste really? Does it literally mean living totally waste-free? The answer is no.
“Trash-free living means different things to different people. For some families, a trash-less life might mean moving from filling a giant, 64-gallon garbage can a week to filling a 32-gallon garbage can once a month. To others, it might mean a small grocery sack of garbage a week. To still others, going trash free means sending absolutely nothing to the landfill at all.” – The Zero-Waste Lifestyle by Amy Korst
To simply put, living a zero-waste lifestyle is about being mindful of your trash and consistently working on reducing it.
Yes, it is challenging but when we start doing it, it isn’t really that hard once we get the hang of it. I’ve been going zero-waste for almost three weeks now and I couldn’t really feel the changes. Transitioning to zero-waste is a is even more challenging as a mom and a wife. Because you don’t think about your own trash anymore, you also have to think about your family’s trash as well. It’s even harder for me because I have no yaya, no helper at home, and I also have to work, babysit and take care of some of the household chores (Some is being taken care of the husband. Thank you husband!)
At first, I thought it was impossible. Because if I go zero-waste there will be added chores for me. Like if I start reusing cloth diapers, reusable food containers when buying food outside, then I have to wash and clean them. Unlike using single-use plastics which are very convenient because I can just throw it in the trash after use. But after thinking about my why, I realize that I really needed to make this work. But I needed to come up with a workaround that won’t be too much of a burden for me and that it’ll fit our everyday routine perfectly. So how do I do it? The answer is to start small. I haven’t even achieved everything on the list below, but I’ll get there – slowly but surely.
How are we going to start living a zero-waste lifestyle without losing our minds in getting burned-out? Read the list below:
1. Switch to cloth diapers
Disposable diapers take about 500 years to decompose. The millions of tons of untreated waste added to landfills each year through plastic diapers can contaminate ground water. Another concern is that viruses excreted in a baby’s feces could end up leaking into local water supplies. According to the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program, landfills are known for producing greenhouse gas emissions, which can contribute to the earth’s climate changes. Decomposing diapers release methane into the air. – Livestrong | Environmental Impact of Disposable Diapers
I have used cloth diapers in the past but have stopped because I have always thought it to be a burden. But since I started reusing them, I just wash them after every use everytime Nishka and I takes a bath. It doesn’t feel too heavy a task anymore! And I only have 15 cloth diapers! So you don’t need to have a lot to start.
I have purchased Nishka’s cloth diapers from Vezees Closet, they are the cheapest online store I can find. If you also want to know more about cloth diapering, join this amazing group on Facebook, Cloth Diaper Addicts PH. There you will find a lot of useful information with about cloth diapers.
2. Use reusable baby wipes instead of disposable ones
I personally haven’t done this yet but I have already purchased a container for this. It’s a plastic container for baby wipes and I’m just waiting until it’s emptied. I bought the Baby Clean Baby Wipes from Baby Company at the SM store.
Photo source: Baby Company website
I have bookmarked these DIY on how to create reusable wipes from DIYnatural.com and Growingagreenfamily.com. The ingredients in the recipes can be purchased in Shopee. I’ll create a separate post once I’ve successfully made my own reusable baby wipes kit.
3. Consider using cloth pads
I haven’t bought my cloth pads yet but I’m looking into purchasing mine from Chill’s Cloth Pads. I just had my menstruation and I haven’t had the time to buy cloth pads because of our vacay but I’ll be sure to use them the next time the visitor arrives. If you’re like me who has menstrual cramps, then you should definitely consider switching to cloth pads.
Disposable pads also use plastics, which block airflow to your vagina, and not surprisingly, can encourage a painful rash. Disposables also use synthetic fibers like rayon, which are super-absorbent, but will also absorb all the moisture in your vagina, increasing your chances of severe pain and infections — especially if you are wearing one for hours, all day, all week. – TreeHugger | 7 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Switch to Reusable Menstrual Products
4. Start using metal straws
Plastic straws belonged in the top 10 for marine debris. An avid scuba diver, Kasey Turney, snorkeled in a popular diving site in Manly, Australia and found an astounding 319 straws on a single 20-minute snorkel and another 294 straws on the exact same place 24 hours later.
Disposable straws are usually made from plastic and plastic never breaks down. As time goes by plastic will separate into smaller and smaller pieces, but never completely biodegrades. – 1 Million Women | Straws: Why They Seriously Suck
The easiest way to say goodbye to plastic straws is to stop using them! But if you really love using straws, consider using reusable ones. You have many options other than metal straws, there are reusable straws made of bamboo, glass and event plant-based materials.
5. Ditch your plastic toothbrushes
You may not see it in grocery stores, but there are toothbrushes that are made of bamboo.
The problems that plastic toothbrushes cause go beyond just what happens after they are thrown away; the manufacturing processes that are used to make brush handles and bristles impact the environment as well.
Handles for plastic toothbrushes are made from hard plastics that get created out of crude oil. The rubber in the handle of your toothbrush also requires petroleum and crude oil, non-renewable resources, to be produced, which means oil wells are constantly being drilled and non-biodegradable products are being made just to be thrown away.
Bristles that are made out of pure nylon undergo manufacturing processes that release greenhouse gasses like nitrous oxide into the atmosphere as well, which can contribute to global warming. – CharBrush | The Environmental Impact of Plastic Toothbrushes
After your plastic toothbrush has run its course, consider replacing it with a bamboo toothbrush. THIS Shoppe online store sells bamboo toothbrush for adults and even for kids!
6. Use eco bags when going to the market
Instead of using plastic bags, bring your eco bags with you. Every time you buy something like your fruits and vegetables, just put it directly on your eco-bag and just tell the vendor you won’t need the plastic anymore. Bring smaller eco bags if you want to separate the items you bought. I also found a reusable silicon container in Shoppe that can be used when buying wet goods in the market.
7. Bring water bottles
Wherever you go, bring water bottles with you. Instead of buying plastic water bottles every time you get thirsty, bring your water bottles so you don’t have to buy anymore. You saved both the environment and money if you do so.
8. Refuse flyers and pamphlets
When you are in a mall, chances are you will be handed flyers and pamphlets. It’s easy to just give in and take them without thinking much about it. But once you’ve taken them, they become your responsibility. Start the habit of saying no to these.
I was once like this, whenever somebody handed me a flyer I would take it without really reading it and just put it in my bag. When I get home, I’ll have at least 3-5 flyers that I immediately throw in the trash can without ever reading it.
9. Use reusable food containers for takeouts
This can be challenging. Most people feel ashamed to take out their own food containers when taking out leftovers. I personally haven’t done this because I haven’t really been in a situation where I need them but honestly, I haven’t started the habit of bringing reusable food containers when eating out. So far I just bring our metal straws. I have to remind myself to start bringing reusables next time we go out.
For now, we only use food containers when buying ulam for lunch. And so far it has greatly helped us reduce our trash. I’m not using glass containers, I’m using plastic containers because we have a ton at home. Take note that going zero-waste doesn’t mean ditching plastic altogether. If you have reusable plastics at home, use them instead of buying new containers just to avoid plastic. Using plastic up to its last stretch is a means of helping the environment too.
10. Buy your kids wooden toys
Consider buying your kids wooden toys instead of plastic ones.
If we are considering the environment and the ultimate destination for many toys (which is landfill) then wood is clearly the better material. If we are thinking about robustness and the resilience of the material to the treatment that toys receive at the hands of their owners then both materials can perform well, depending upon the toy. – Storify | Why Wooden Toys Are Better
Read this article to learn more about why wooden educational toys are better than the plastic ones.
That’s it! Those are the simple ways you can start living a trash-free life even if you are already a mom. Have you already started on this journey? Do you have other ways you can share? Tell me in the comments and I’ll add them on the list. 🙂