Sustainable living is living in a way that doesn’t deplete our world’s resources. It is a lifestyle thinking about our future generations and making decisions based on the long-term effects.
This sounds incredibly difficult but is actually much easier than we realize.
A few ways to live sustainably are by adopting a zero-waste lifestyle and using eco-friendly products. A zero-waste lifestyle is making conscious decisions to reduce your everyday waste.
In 2019, The Star reported that we Malaysians generate 38,000 tonnes of waste every day. According to the GEC (Global Environment Center) that is enough waste to fill the KLCC Twin Towers every 7 days. Additionally, according to the WWF – Malaysia Facebook page, only 24% of this waste gets separated and recycled.
With the rise in climate changes and permanent resource damages, now more than ever, we Malaysians must think about our environment.
So how can we live sustainably in Malaysia? Well here are some ways and products you can use for the benefit of the environment.
Eco-Friendly Personal Hygiene Products
Toothbrushes, cotton pads, sanitary pads, packaged soap, and many more are some of the few things that all of us use regularly. But have you ever wondered how much waste these products all contribute to? Many of these items are single-use only and are made from plastics with other non-biodegradable materials.
One of the easiest ways to live sustainably is to switch out these products for reusable items and products that are made from sustainable materials. These small changes can greatly reduce our everyday waste more than we realize.
Here is a list of items you can look into:
1. Bamboo Toothbrushes
Popular brands like Jordan and Watson now offer toothbrushes made of bamboo. These toothbrushes are biodegradable so that even after they’re thrown away, they have little to no negative impact on the environment.
2. Reusable Cotton Pads
Now instead of filling up your trash with single-use cotton, you can buy reusable cotton pads. Many of them are easy to clean and can even be thrown into the washing machine.
This reduces your waste by a lot, especially if you often use cotton pads to take off your makeup or apply toner.
Check out The Mine Raw reusable cotton rounds for more information.
3. Reusable Sanitary Pads and Menstrual Cups
Reusable sanitary pads are the way of the future. If you use disposable sanitary pads, you know how much plastic is used on a single piece. With reusable cloth pads, we can cut down on this plastic waste.
If sanitary pads aren’t your thing, you could even try a menstrual cup. Menstrual cups are often made with body-safe silicone and claim to be more effective than sanitary pads when it comes to how much volume they can hold.
4. Handmade Soaps
Handmade soaps are usually made by using organic materials and natural oils. This means that these soaps are not only good for your skin but are less likely to pollute the water and the environment that relies on them.
These soaps smell as good as they look! Nowadays, you don’t have to look far for handmade soaps as many small businesses have taken up the craft. Some of my favorite shops include Lave republic and Ana Temori.
Zero-Waste Grocery Stores
Even with the widespread introduction of reusable grocery bags, grocery stores still contribute to a large amount of non-biodegradable waste.
So how do you reduce this?
There are grocery stores where you can actually bring your own containers and fill them up with what you want. So instead of going home and removing items from their packaging, you can simply organize your beautiful produce jars and call it a day (while also knowing you are doing right by the environment).
Here’s a list of some zero-waste stores you can shop at:
1. The Hive Bulk Foods
Being one of the first zero-waste stores in Malaysia, The Hive Bulk Foods has since expanded its business from a single shop townhouse to having 5 outlets in various locations today. From at-home accessories to cooking essentials, The Hive Bulk Foods has everything you need to live sustainably.
2. Minus Zero Waste Store
This online zero-waste store allows shoppers to make better choices from the comfort of their homes. In this store, you’re able to buy eco-friendly laundry powder, natural kitchen scrubs, organic solid toothpaste, and even reusable cotton buds!
The limits are endless with the Zero Minus Waste Store.
Check out their Facebook page Zero Minus Waste Store for more information.
3. A Bit Less Bulk Store
On Facebook, A Bit Less Bulk Store says its mission is to eliminate single-use plastic and create a shopping community that minimally impacts the environment.
They encourage their customers to bring their own containers and sell package-less household staples.
Check out @a_bit_less on Instagram for more information.
4. Zero Waste Earth Store
All your favorite snacks, package-less and in one place. According to their Facebook page, this store was Dr. Janira Kumari and Jaclynnd Wong who aim to encourage and educate more people to adopt a sustainable lifestyle.
Their mission is to create a “Zero Waste Ecosystem of Refill, Reuse, Recycle and Repeat,” and they’re certainly achieving it. This store has a wide variety of products that are of quality and are decently priced. They even have charity programs where you can donate your reusable containers or sponsor refills for families.
Check out their website for more information.
Here are some of the ways and products you can use to kickstart your sustainable lifestyle. Realistically, it will probably be difficult to completely adopt a zero-waste and eco-friendly lifestyle immediately, but these are some of the ways in which we work towards it.
Making small changes is as important as big ones.
Judith Louis is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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