I am currently obsessed with reading blogs, printing thirty-day challenges and watching vlogs on youtube about how I can make my personal waste less and how I can make my life a lot simpler but better and fuller.
I have started thinking about this conversion to less materially-focused life a couple of years back with my “Project Big Life”. Let’s change it into Full Life, now. However, with the birth of three children in a span of six years, it became harder not to buy and hoard stuff both for me and the babies. It is equally difficult to minimize our production of waste materials. Hello, diapers and hello wet wipes. Hi, bottled distilled water too! Thankfully, my two kids are out of diapers, bottled waters, and wet wipes. Isa na lang! You know, with all my heart, I’d like to be more conscious about the waste we contribute to the planet. But, I’ll be honest also. It is not easy. One reason is that it’s so hard to unlearn what we’ve learned and what we’ve been taught all these years. Second is, more often than not, eco-friendly items are more expensive. Take for example the bamboo toothbrushes and biodegradable wet wipes. Plus, it needs us to exert some effort. Take for example, bringing reusable bags while shopping or bringing tumblers in restaurants or coffee shops.
Then why am I here again, restarting this “difficult, expensive and demanding journey”? Because, it’s worth it, mamas! Planet Earth. Mother Nature. They are worth it. We are worth it. Our kids and their future kids deserve a clean and beautiful place to live in. I’m taking baby steps, really baby steps, mamas. I figure that no matter how small the effort is, if added altogether, it will have an impact na rin. To begin this journey, I wanted to know first where to focus my efforts and that would be for the waste I produce more of and that takes more time to decompose. Here’s a good guide for some common waste materials’ decomposition rate.
I’m making space in my bag and in our car for reusable shopping bags and water bottles. And, I intend to use the water bottles for takeaways in restaurants/food stalls. Also, I will no longer use a plastic straw from now on. Do you know that sipping from straws contributes to the lines/wrinkles on the side of your lips?
I love reading books (although I have no time for it now). I love the sound of flipping pages. And, I love the smell of paper. But, papers are made from trees. And, trees are scarce already. We need trees to balance the ecosystem and we need them for oxygen. Because of this, I decided to embrace e-books. Tutal, I’m on screen na rin naman parati. I already embraced e-bills, by the way.
I want to lessen the plastic waste I produce by using bamboo toothbrushes and shampoo bars. I ordered a couple of these on LOCOCO. Before, I give good packaging a credit but now, the less the packaging, the greater my appreciation. One big move I’m making for this journey is going for washable panty liners. So far, so good. I wash them together with my underwear. Soon, I’ll try using washable sanitary napkins for my periods.
It’s okay to turn your old clothes into rags (the ones na hindi na pwede i-donate sa kalumaan). My sister used to stop me from doing it because for her it’s bad luck to step on your old clothes. But, I’m definitely turning a deaf ear on her advice. Taking care of the planet is more important to me. So, recycle and reuse and repurpose I must, even for my old clothes. Maybe, I’ll just cut them into pieces and quilt some fabrics together to create a nice pattern for a rag of different sizes.
As for my kids, we still cannot do away with disposable diapers for my youngest but I stopped buying milk cartons. Instead, I buy big boxes of milk and prepare a pitcher in the morning for their whole day consumption. I’ve been teaching them to use washable utensils even in schools. Also, I give them handkerchiefs and teach them to use it instead of tissue papers.
Ultimately, I will be buying less of everything from now on. Yes, that goes for my clothes, shoes, bags, make-up, skincare and etcetera, etcetera. Makakatipid na, less clutter pa. I will invest, as I’ve always done before, in dual or multi-purpose products such as essential oils (aromatherapy, topical ointment, cleaner, pest killer, air freshener) and vinegar and baking soda (cooking, cleaning, facial care).
If you want to begin your own less-waste journey, you might want to visit Going Zero Waste. I’ve learned a lot from it and she also has a free printable thirty-day challenge. Also, I love watching these How to be Basic vlogs on youtube. Lastly, I found this another thirty-day challenge on facebook.
Goodluck to us, mommies. We can do this! Saving Earth one effort at a time.
Featured Photo by James Cousins on Unsplash