The 4 Struggles of Going Zero Waste and How to Bust Them!
Let's reflect on the struggles of going Zero Waste:
- "Having no choice"
Everything that surrounds our lives are made of or packaged in plastic!
The plastic free option more often than not, requires preparation or planning. Getting refills? Gotta make sure I bring my containers! This is not always possible when I'm out and just realized I needed more (insert item). Trying to avoid buying water bottles? Better make sure I am carrying my big water bottle!
The eco friendly choices cost more! 'Nuff said
- It doesn't really matter or count.
EVERYONE else buys everything in single use plastic. What difference would I make?
What if I told you..these are all just limiting beliefs preventing to us take action? Hear me out! Sure they have some truth... but nothing worthwhile is ever easy. The struggles ARE REAL. ...REAL but NOT IMPOSSIBLE to overcome!
- The MYTH of "no choice ". In the age of information and accessibility, there are always multiple choices! Dzah! Exam lang? But kidding aside, you can use the internet to access unlimited information. . . Start by googling "zero waste menstrual pads", "zero waste shampoo" , "zero waste diapers" whatever your need ! Improve your searches by including location based searches . Or better yet, connect with other people who share the same interests! In the Philippines there's Buhay Zero Waste, a Facebook group of individuals who want to share and learn about zero waste living. In Cebu, we started Cebu Eco Market where members are encouraged to practice eco-consumerism. There are endless options and you'd be surprised what you'll find and how there's actually TOO MANY choices after all!
2. The MYTH of convenience. . . This one is a little harder to bust. Plastic is definitely one of the most convenient inconvenience to the planet. But you see, when you start to practice mindful purchasing and eco-minimalism. The slight inconvenience will become the norm and you'll realize that you didn't need that level of mindless convenience afterall! In the era of e-commerce, you can choose eco-friendly products and have them delivered right at your doorstep! Just a few clicks and button presses and your shopping is done without you leaving the house . In the Philippines, rising eco business, Zero Waste Solutions offer refill deliveries for laundry, dishwashing and other home needs.Customers just have to prepare their containers at home and the staff show up to refill all their needs! No plastic, no effort wasted and no worries of being exposed to the general public (it's 2020 as I write this).It doesn't get anymore convenient than that!
- The MYTH of higher price. It's true that certain eco-friendly brands cost a bit higher than supermarket brands. BUT. . . Going zero waste does not necessarily mean you HAVE to buy every eco-friendly product. There's a popular saying in the eco community..."The most eco-friendly friendly product is the one you didn't buy." .. and if you didn't buy it, you'll have more money to spare! Many of us tend to purchase things because they're on sale or they look cute or whatever reason.. but when we start to set boundaries in our purchases,reflecting on whether or nor we TRULY need them, we end up consuming less. I personally have NEVER bought a metal straw. Sure, some people might have medical reasons to physically require them in order to take fluids. I don't . I can drink straight from the glass. I can wipe a bottle if I don't trust its storage and handling. So far, I'm still alive. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BUY in order to practice zero waste. You can start exploring your creativity! Run to the internet or to craft groups! You'll find ways to create your own products from all the things you have at home. There's almost ALWAYS a DIY, zero waste version of what you need. Man I love the internet! But if you're time poor and you live in the Philippines, Zero Waste Refilling Station has physical and e-commerce stores that supplies your needa minus the plastic. There's also the recently launched BYOB (Bring Your Own Bote) launched in Luzon to encourage people to purchase the usual food items and ingredients in the refill system. REFILLING IS AWESOME!!!
- The MYTH of "It doesn't really matter or count". I'm gonna be honest here. I get sucked into this level of eco-anxiety as well. It's an awful feeling. But in relation to this I want to share The Starfish Story by Loren Eiseley which I learned.
The Starfish Story:
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.
Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”
The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf.
Then, smiling at the man, he said…..“I made a difference for that one.”
You see, you are the little boy and every small act you have been doing counts. Let's make this even clearer.. Have you seen the photos of turtles, birds, and whales who die from ingesting or getting trapped in plastic? Every time you made the right choice, you spared their lives. Every time you put in the effort, suffered through the slight inconvenience and paid a little extra for the eco-friendly alternative, you allowed them to live and be free. You don’t have to be perfect!
Since October 2020, Zero Waste Solutions Inc.(Zero Waste Refilling Station)in the Philippines has commited to planting a tree for every gallon of product sold. This doubles the impact of positive change. As Sir David Attenborough recommends, the best thing we can do to save the planet before it's too late is "to rewild the world". He refers to letting nature reclaim space and promoting diversity. When we plant different trees in areas requiring reforestation, we do exactly this. A tree is not just one living thing.It becomes home to many other creatures! Mangrove roots become the nesting ground for fish to lay eggs and of course many other creatures like lizards and birds thrive on trees!
In the war against climate change, the struggle is real. But WE ARE ZERO WASTE WARRIORS AND WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE. Laban lang!
Written by: Leslie Estaniel, Zero Waste Solutions Startup Executive
Disclaimer: Memes/ photos belong to their rightful owners. I just fit them here to make things cool and interesting.