By Deneb R. Batucan
EVERY little thing we do on this fine earth affects it, whether good or bad. That’s why it’s important to leave positivity wherever we could. God knows Mother Earth badly needs it.
Local zero-waste advocate Michiko Gandionco has found a lifestyle that could very well help our planet. By reducing as much waste products as she can, like plastic products, among others, she is doing her part in helping Mother Earth heal from the ill effects of unabated man-made pollution.
From the time Michiko first heard of the zero-waste lifestyle, she ouldn’t just turn away and not do anything. It was her way of giving back to nature.
Of course, changing her wholelifestyle has many setbacks. But Michiko believes that even the tiniest positive act can go a long way. Here are five simple ways to start your zero-waste journey.
1. Ditch the disposables.
If you’re already planning on going out to eat, why not bring reusable containers with you? Two out of 10 times you’ll look like a crazy germaphobe, but other than that, a lot of food places don’t mind this at all. If you regularly get coffee or smoothies to-go, bringing your own reusable tumbler can go a long way. You can also bring a little utensil kit (including stainless or bamboo straws) so you don’t have to use plastic cutlery and straws.
2. Eat less meat.
Beef and dairy alone make up 65 percent of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. Going meatless at least one day a week won’t kill you. If you’re worried about protein, there’s tons of alternatives out there. Ask your local vegan or check out #MeatFreeMonday on Instagram.
3. Buy locally grown produce.
Enter: Farmer’s Markets. They’re quickly popping up around Cebu. What’s great about these places is that everything’s unpackaged, and they use almost no plastic at all. Even if you’re without your reusable bag, they’ll pack your produce in a paper bag.
4. Buy secondhand or invest in “slow fashion.”
There’s no shame in buying secondhand or ukay-ukay. The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world. “Fast fashion” brands are cheap at the expense of unfair labor, poor working conditions, and sometimes even stolen artwork. “Slow fashion” sees the big picture and bridges sustainability with clothing. A quick google search on slow fashion will have you second-guessing all your payday purchases.
Think of waste as a misplaced resource. This is my personal key motto for Zero Waste, and now DIY projects! Look up any Nifty or Bright Side craft videos, and it’s mostly made up of things just lying around your house. Before you decide to throw something away, always think if there could be some better use for it.