When I was handed the task to write about zero waste management, I got mixed feeling. Happy, of course, as finally this topic getting more popular. But at the same time, I doubt if I am the right person to write about this. I cannot put my 4-year trash into a small jar https://www.buzzworthy.com/year-of-trash-in-mason-jar/ but over the time, I learnt to practice reducing my carbon footprint as much as I can. It is not as hard, I would say. One rule of thumb, never get something I don’t need. There is a slight difference between “want things” and “need things”. Here is the list of stuff we think we need, but we merely want it.
1. Disposable bottle and container I stopped buying mineral water since I was studying. The house I rented did not have water filter. So my only way to get drink water is to buy from minimart everyday. It’s convenient (also expensive). But then I realized I don’t use the bottle afterwards. It feels bad to throw plastic bottle. Reuse it is not recommended either. Thus, I got myself a reusable water bottle, and got it refilled in campus. It’s been 5 years and the reusable bottle still working perfectly. Imagine how many plastics I would already throw if I did not get myself a reusable bottle? More than 1500. If we take 1% of world population to have same buying behaviour like me, we can already see a plastic hill.
2. Gadget People nowadays cannot live without their smartphone. I agree. Smartphone is like my own personal assistant. But, I don’t need to change phone every year, after the newest, and more canggih version launched. Lust after something new and nice might be exciting for awhile, but after a month or so, the excitement fades. I tahan using my laptop for 8 years, before I get new one. It’s a new record.
3. Plastic bags. Our old friend. It’s very convenient. Cannot agree more. But It takes 1000 years to decompose plastic. Before one plastic successfully decomposed, there are already tonnes of new plastic being thrown to the landfill. What I usually do, I carry tote bag when I go out from home. I can put everything I want, also it becomes friendly on grocery store visit. When I forgot my recycle bag, I can always keep it in my bag. Save RM 0.20, and save the environment.
4. Pamphlet. Used to walk around shopping mall and take pamphlet without thinking much. bring it home with me then throw it away. Uhh, not very wise, is it? Now I learn not to take it anymore. Because I will create more demand on pamphlet and companies will make more. If I really need the information, I usually take photo and save it into my phone gallery. Also, I really like how Taiwanese and Chinese maximize the usage of QR code. While this is not very common practice in Malaysia, QR code automatically send you to company website, thus, company do not need to print out pamphlet.
These are my most common practice to my zero waste management journey. I wish I could write more but I have limited space here. Not quite there yet, because I am still learning. And I am getting better every day. what about you? What do you do to minimize your trash? Share with me.