If, like any Mom in the world, you shop both for personal items and for your family’s groceries, you may be overwhelmed thinking that zero-waste shopping hasn’t quite made it to Philippine shores just yet.
According to the web, the definition of Zero-waste;
It is the conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of all products, packaging, and materials, without burning them, and without discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.
Simply put, it is purchasing goods with no packaging whatsoever. The good news is that it has found its way to our shores and although you can count on one hand the small boutique-like stores that offer a zero-waste shopping experience, you can still adopt the zero-waste principle on your own and yes, even in the big supermarket chains all over the country.
While it’s best to start out with this as a goal than a definite target, its a start to reducing the gargantuan piles of waste that seem to be everywhere, especially in our country that is so fond of purchasing things in sachets, plastic or in small packaging.
While we don’t expect you to go Zero-waste in one-go, here are three ways to begin the journey simply.
First of all, BYOB. Short for, Bring Your Own Bags.
In cities where plastic is no longer allowed, many shoppers do bring their own bags but take it a step further and don’t buy fruits or vegetables that are packaged in plastic. Many supermarkets have already weighed and priced produce for your shopping convenience but this involves plastic which has no place in zero-waste. Bringing your own net bags which you can fill with the produce you need and have weighed and priced at the counter shouldn’t be a problem. I have learned that if you tell the staff your preference, they usually oblige rather than tell you, it’s not allowed by management.
Buying produce in the market is actually going closer to the source as markets are where farmers unload their fruits and veggies so you’re not only getting fresher veggies, you are also getting it cheaper than in supermarkets.
While the local market tinderas pop out those plastic bags like they’re racing to finish a hundred bags per hour, all you have to do is show them you have your own bag and tell them firmly that you don’t want plastic, and they’ll more often than not follow your wishes. Don’t be shy. Remember, when you’re paying, it is your wishes that should be followed also known as “the customer is always right” and in this case, you most definitely are!
Secondly, BIB. Buy in Bulk.
Buying products in big containers reduces the amount of waste you produce when you buy in small quantities. This is good for products like cooking oil, spices such as salt and pepper, dishwashing soap, detergent, flavouring like soy sauce and vinegar and many other products that you need for your home. Buying in bulk also comes out cheaper in the long run.
Bulk containers like for cooking oil or soy sauce may be sold to junk shops to be recycled. Just make sure to rinse them out before bringing them to be recycled to reduce cockroaches and other insects and to maintain cleanliness.
Finally, IYHPEI! A rather long acronym for: If You Have Plastic, Ecobrick It!
Ecobricks are great ways to make use of the plastic that still somehow end up in your home despite your zero-waste shopping advocacy. If you’re not familiar with what an ecobrick is, these are plastic bottles, usually the 1.5L PET soda bottles that are densely packed with clean, dry plastic that you usually find in your home. Aside from plastic bags and packaging, other non-biodegradable materials such as medicine foil, straws from single serve tetra bricks, instant noodles and soup packaging, plastic candy wrappers, washed and dried cling wrap and foil juice containers that are rinsed, dried and cut into bits, can be used to pack ecobricks till they reach their desired weight.
Making eco bricks can be a relaxing activity that may reduce stress due to the repetitive and creative process involved while at the same time providing a purpose for the plastic that finds its way into your home. Ecobricks are used to make furniture, garden spaces and per the ecobrick information online, full-scale buildings such as schools and houses.
So as 2019 progresses, Nature to Nurture hopes that your Zero-waste shopping advocacy starts off right! Our products are sold in big sizes to minimize waste and maximize savings! We also proudly announce our Bottle and Dish Wash Refilling Station which is located in The Parenting Emporium. BYOB not only for Bring Your Own Bag but Bring Your Own Bottle, too! Find them on Instagram at @theparentingemporium
Check out our products here.