2 years ago, I started my Zero-waste journey.
For years and years, I have been pinning and saving posts on social media about zero waste products because it amazes me that every day there are new alternatives being invented that can help lessen the effects of climate change. I was always hopeful that these amazing products will be made available in the Philippines.
I first started my journey when I was a college student in the cold City of Baguio. I came across this ad about shampoo bars being available and super excited to try, I hurried to the small shop to get my very own shampoo bar! It’s a small step, I figured, but it’s a start!
After a few months, I discovered the perfect pair for my shampoo bar, A conditioner bar! I bought one (of course) and added another item on my zero-waste list, a bamboo toothbrush. This other shop was also selling bamboo toothbrushes so I went and bought one too.
Tip: Bamboo toothbrushes mold easily in humid and cold places like Baguio so I would not recommend it. But if you are living in areas where wood does not easily mold, then it should be fine.
I moved to Metro Manila the following year after graduation to work. I stayed and Mandaluyong for a couple of months and I stumbled upon zero-waste fairs. As a rookie, I spent so much money on things I didn’t need or didn’t suit me (and I wish someone had stopped me)
You don’t have to make the same mistakes I did. Here are a few tips that I wish I had known before I started my Zero-waste journey:
1. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.
I am a very simple person. My zero-waste essentials are shampoo and conditioner bars, reusable menstrual pads, collapsible cup, activated charcoal facial soap, tin can, metal razor, and a glass straw. However, when I attended fairs, I admit I sometimes lost control over my spending. I always ended up buying products I didn’t really need (like lotions and facial scrubs).
In order to avoid this, I would suggest that you make a list of the things you normally use before going out. This will guide you on the items you should and should not buy. If you are tempted to buy something you think you don’t really need, wait for 7 days and let the urge pass. If you still want it after a week, only then should you buy it.
2. Be careful of zero-waste skincare products!
When I started out, I bought several zero-waste skincare products that I’d later regret buying. Some of the facial bars and sunscreens I bought irritated my skin which lasted for months and I ended up discontinuing the use of those products which were a bit pricey and not really good.
3. Check the events section on Facebook if there is a zero-waste fair near you
Facebook was really a helpful tool in finding zero-waste fairs near my area. The perks of finding zero-waste fairs is that you get to see the products up close, you’ll have many stores to choose from, and you will be able to attend their free talks and workshops that will motivate you to start- or continue – your journey. Another plus is that you’ll be able to save money from shipping and you can avail discounts!
Before you start your awesome zero-waste lifestyle, never forget these three rules: 1. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it, 2. Be careful of zero-waste skincare products, and 3. Check the events section on Facebook if there is a zero-waste fair near you.
Also, if you’re interested in starting a zero-waste lifestyle but is unsure where to start, you can follow my shop on Facebook and Instagram: @ngunyan.shop
We offer tried and tested products for zero-waste starters just like you! We’re excited to be a part of your zero-waste journey and we’re rooting for you!