For many, the beginning of another year is the perfect opportunity to learn and develop new habits, which is why setting new year’s resolutions continues to be a popular tradition. Some of the most common ones include eating healthier, exercising more, discovering new hobbies, and managing finances better. This year, why not make space for one more resolution on your list and try going zero waste for the planet?
Adopting a zero waste lifestyle means minimizing the amount of trash an individual generates daily to reduce waste that ends up in landfills and the environment, which further contributes to global warming and climate change. It is also a way to help mitigate the solid waste crisis in the country as local waste generation is projected to reach 23.6 million tons in 2025 from 21.4 million tons in 2020.
Starting your zero waste journey doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it can be as simple as practicing the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
Believe it or not, this is one of the easiest ways to become zero waste—you just have to limit yourself from buying things that you don’t need. When people purchase more items, more waste is produced and the demand to manufacture also increases, resulting in more impact to the environment. So the next time you’re out shopping, evaluate first whether the items in your cart are truly worth the space in your home.
Another tip is to cut down on unnecessary single-use items, especially plastics, to lessen one’s waste footprint. They may be convenient to use, but that does not change the fact that they also largely contribute to the solid waste crisis at hand. Invest in reusable items instead. Fortunately, there’s a wide range of reusable alternatives for almost anything nowadays, from water bottles to sanitary products, that makes the switch so much easier.
Instead of buying new things, use your resourcefulness and creativity to reuse and/or repurpose items that you have rather than just throwing them away. The possibilities are endless! For example, NESCAFE Gold glass jars make great containers for pens and other trinkets while KOKO KRUNCH cereal boxes can be crafted into gift boxes, bookmarks, and even drawer dividers. You can also give used goods a second chance by purchasing from thrift stores and choosing to repair furniture, household items, and electronics.
The waste we generate that cannot be reduced or reused will ultimately need to be recycled. Remember that the recycling process starts at home—it’s our responsibility to properly segregate our trash and make sure our recyclables are clean and dry before collection. Make sure to follow your barangay or LGU’s collection schedule for recyclables or if that’s not applicable, you can also send them to recycling centers or look for the nearest plastic drop-off location nearest to you by visiting #PlasticDropPH.
Kitchen and garden wastes, on the other hand, can be composted to prevent them from ending up in landfills. You can either try backyard composting if you have the space or indoor composting, particularly Bokashi method and vermicomposting, if you reside in a condominium or apartment.
Choosing to live a zero waste life is not an easy task, but there are many communities both online and offline that can support you with this transition. More and more brands are also doing their part in enabling the public to become more conscious of the waste they produce and how to manage these properly.
Nestle Philippines, for example, is embracing its leadership role in tackling plastic waste in the country and shaping a waste-free future through its various initiatives that are inclusive and wide-ranging. Aside from constantly working to make its packaging more sustainable, it also empowers its consumers and communities to practice proper solid waste management (SWM) by developing educational modules, conducting capacity-building activities, and supporting construction of collection, segregation and recycling infrastructure, particularly materials recovery facilities in barangays.
To mark this year’s National Zero Waste Month celebration, Nestle Philippines and GMA Network are launching an online video series aimed to raise awareness about the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. This is part of the Kapuso at Kasambuhay ng Kalikasan partnership that aims to educate the public about our individual responsibility to the planet and engage them to be more actively involved in the advocacy for the environment. Don’t miss it!