Getting into a zero-waste lifestyle is no easy task. You will be faced with many daily challenges when it comes to switching out old lifestyle habits ingrained in you. Though it might sound nearly impossible to be zero-waste in Singapore, these 7 tips here can serve as an easy guide to follow for your everyday habits! We’re here to help you become that Zero-Waste Hero that we should all aspire to be.
If you’re planning a wedding and would like to encourage zero-waste habits to your guests, you can also check out these 4 ways to make your wedding more eco-friendly!
Bring your own – BYO
Plastic containers, bags, and utensils are the top few waste contributors to the environment today, especially with the rise of food delivery services. Not to forget styrofoam boxes, which are non-biodegradable, create harmful air pollutants when burnt, and cause health hazards to humans through releasing toxic chemicals.
If you find the need to takeaway food, bring your own reusable glass or stainless steel containers and utensils that can be washed and reused! Other Bring-Your-Own products include reusable cups and tumblers, cloth cup holders, metal straws and many more. Just like how you can’t leave home without your wallet and house keys, make it a habit to bring your reusable containers along as well!
Minimize food waste
Food waste is often overlooked in Singapore, especially when a shortage of food is not an issue for most families. Make a difference by ordering or preparing appropriate amounts of food based on your eating habits to minimize food waste. In the event where food waste is unavoidable, you can turn food leftovers into compost or fertiliser for zero waste! 60% of your food waste can be transformed into compost for your plants.
For a faster method, you can also look into vermicomposting, which is the use of compost worms to create a mixture of decomposing food waste. Compost worms are incredibly beneficial to soil ecosystems as they boost nutrients while eliminating parasites. Check out this guide to composting in Singapore here for more details!
Cut down on single-serving packages
Single serving packages are a convenient way to split up your snacks or drinks with many people, especially when it comes to parties or big events. This includes sweets with individual wrapping, multipacket bags of chips within a larger bag, and soft drink packages of six. Try cutting down on food packaging waste by purchasing items in bulk! Though it may be more tedious, dividing them into smaller, eco-friendly containers can go a long way. When it comes to drinks, switch to buying larger bottles and cartons. Pour them into cups that can be washed and reused.
Shop at zero waste stores
Zero waste grocery stores are slowly taking over today! These stores don’t just encourage you to bring your own shopping bags, but also your reusable containers. Items like food, raw ingredients, soap, laundry detergent, and many more can be filled according to your preferences. As many grocery stores are starting to charge extra for plastic bag usage, support zero-waste grocery stores in Singapore such as Scoop Wholefoods and The Social Space. You’ll be surprised at how easy and convenient it is to bring your reusable containers for groceries!
Assess your trash
Have you checked what’s in your dustbin lately? To cut down on waste, you first have to assess yourself and find the non-recyclable items you have been tossing away in the trash. In the process of separating your rubbish into recyclables and waste materials, you can start searching on how you can replace your waste with items that can last longer. For example, using bar soap more often instead of soap bottles, reusable cotton pads instead of makeup wipes, bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic ones, or cutting down on disposable items such as shavers and undergarments.
Instead of throwing away the red packets you receive during Chinese New Year, you can also opt to recycle them! Check out these 5 easy tips for an eco-friendly Lunar New Year here for more ideas.
Cut down on meat consumption
Eating less meat is one of the best things you can do for the environment. Meat eaters produce twice as much carbon footprint as compared to vegetarians. This is because the livestock sector generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as cars, trucks and automobiles combined. This doesn’t mean you have to cut down on meat consumption entirely if you do not want to! Making the conscious effort to choose vegetarian based foods at least once a week will make a difference not just to the demand for meat, but it also encourages a healthier diet for yourself.
Borrow, not buy
Sometimes, we might see advertisements promote amazing products or our friends owning unique items that we think we might need. More often than not, these items are not necessary. We’ve become so accustomed to the consumerism lifestyle that we don’t question the things we purchase. You might end up barely using it and eventually tossing them aside to collect dust. Why buy when you can borrow it from your friends and family? If you feel that it is a must-have product, it’s a good habit to check out online websites to see if you can buy second-hand products instead. This is also an excellent way to save your wallet!
Remember that nobody can go completely zero waste overnight– it is a step by step process into making the world a better and more sustainable place for everyone! Don’t beat yourself up over any setbacks, as it is essential to ease into new habits slowly. Sure enough with practice, you’ll become more conscious about reducing your waste products and being more eco-friendly.
The Virtual Green Christmas Market
This Christmas, we’re on a mission to reduce our waste and carbon footprint. Join us at The Virtual Green Christmas Market from 27 – 29 Nov 2020 to discover eco-friendly gift ideas for your loved ones! Shop sustainable businesses across 5 categories, enjoy hourly upsized cashback and win prizes during the event. RSVP to the Virtual Green Christmas Market now!