We always try to advocate for plastic-free (if not totally waste-free) living at Nolisoli.ph, but we also know that it’s really a challenge, especially since a lot of establishments—and even the people around us—still aren’t that open to choosing the reusable route.
I started to wonder, are the people following the zero-waste movement in the country really a small, niche group? Turns out it’s not. I was recently added to a Facebook group called “Buhay Zero-Waste” and it’s exactly as it says on the tin: It’s a community for Filipinos who want to “reduce the amount of waste they produce in their day-to-day living.” As of this writing, there are 1,464 group members.
Scrolling through the group’s discussion posts, I’ve found quite a gold mine. There’s a list of establishments selling reusable products so you can more easily go zero-waste. Think bamboo straws, glass, stainless, or food-grade silicone food containers, cloth diapers, and pasadors.
Members of the group also share their zero-waste experiences in various establishments like supermarkets and fast food restaurants.
Let me share a few things I’ve picked up:
There are greener alternatives to our usual household products. The dishwashing sponge, for example, can be replaced by knitting your own scouring pads, or, if you really can’t DIY it just yet, popular sponge brand Scotch-Brite has a scour pad alternative that uses agave fibers. Turns out the alternatives are there, we just really have to look for them.
Don’t be afraid to BYOB (bring your own baunan/bottle/bag). There have been members who provided their own containers at fast food restaurants and at supermarkets, groceries, and markets. For grocery shopping, providing your own container for your meat or fish, for example, is also more efficient as you can already easily put them in the freezer without the hassle of transferring from the packaging.
Reducing your waste requires effort, but it’s not impossible to do. Enough said.
If you’re interested in joining the group, either to share your own zero-waste initiatives or to get ideas on shifting your consumption habits, head over to this link.
Photos courtesy of Buhay Zero-Waste Facebook group
Writer: PAULINE MIRANDA