Approaching Zero Waste

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(  Have you contributed to the Pacific Trash Vortex today?  )
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The best way to be zero waste is taking it one small step at a time. Another one is to be really mindful of what we put into our lives, be it something we consume or use indefinitely.

There are #DIV/0! steps to get rid of plastic use in your life, and if you’re itching to do just that, you can enwind for some tips somewhere, or you can read on to see some of the few things I do myself.

Avoid junk food

We already know it’s junk, despite its “Fortified with Vit. A, Iron, & Iodine; Accepted by Department of Health” seal (you know, the one with a smiling sun in it), so why do we still consume it?

Not only are they unhealthy – i.e. they increase cardivascular disease risk, elevate insulin levels, and are lacking nutrients – but the packaging is immediately thrown away after it has served its purpose.

I guess under the umbrella term of junk food also includes most of the fast food, so might as well reduce consuming those. To add to that, fast food industry is a wasteful industry, with its waxed papers, plastic bags, paper sacks, napkins, plastic cutlery, and plastic-wrapped condiments.

We need also to demand fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG, or sometimes consumer packaged goods, CPG) manufacturers to come up with better technologies for a more sustainable packaging.

These companies must be made accountable for all the junk they continue to make soon!

Try ditching the plastic straw.

If you’re able-bodied, consider ditching the notion of using straws ever. However, if intorting a tube with your lips is something you enjoy aside from sipping that drink, and/or you are actually a person with disability, you may opt for the reusable straws that are now available in a lot of places. Bamboo or metal will do.

There might be real reasons why ditching plastic straws could be difficult, and I think the most affected ones here are people with disability.

Reusable Straws might not yet be for PWDs

Here’s a helpful chart I found why some disabled people don’t use reusable straws12:

Choking Hazard Injury Risk Not Positionable Costly for Consumer Not High-Temp Safe

The pressure to create bio-degradable straw options that are safe for the environment and for all disabled people shout fall upon the manufacturer, NOT marginalized disabled consumers.

Once we accept the necessity of plastic straws, we can work together on other environment initiatives that are effective, inclusive, and accessible.

Bring your own jug or water bottle.

I know someone who finds bringing anything with him uncool, but what’s even more uncool is to buy an overpriced mineral water in PET bottle. For your information, it’s also unsafe to reuse PET bottles, so avoid that and invest in a water bottle. It will save you more in the long run, plus Mother Nature shall be grateful for unloading her of future quintals of PETs.

We must also start demanding local government units and private institutions to provide us with water refilling stations. Clean and free drinking water is our right, and it must be accessible to as many people as possible.

Before you go out and buy groceries, bring containers with you.

Here you will store meat, fish, and other animal products that might otherwise be placed in a plastic bag by the vendor. Unlike the bags, you can wash your containers and reuse them next time. It helps a lot to plan your groceries, so you’ll know how many containers you only need to bring in your run. In meat dealers in supermarkets, just ask the vendors first to take your container and adjust their electronic scale to zero before weighing.

Bring your own dining utensils with you.

This is so you can avoid single-use plastic utensils. Although if you have been avoiding fast food, it’s less likely you’ll encounter them in restaurants. You’ll never know when you’d be eating out, so it’s still good practice to bring something with you.


Small steps though these are, they ensure little entry barrier for those people who are having a hard time ditching plastic altogether. And it is hard, because plastic use has been normalized, so much so that when you follow the steps above, many people whom you’ll be interacting with might find you odd at first.

Fret not, comrade; the seemingly social wite of these deeds you be employin’ will free you soon from the plastic errors, and the ornithes acknowledge your flight. When you get the hang of it, convince your friends and family to start doing the same.

More info here:


  1. Schultz, K. (2019, October 28). Plastic straw bans are not fair to people with disabilities, and here’s what we can do about it. CreakyJoints. ↩︎

  2. Wong, A. (2018, July 19). The Last Straw. Eater. ↩︎