You’ve been wanting to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, but haven’t really managed to. What could be wrong, you may ask – why couldn’t you commit to it 100 per cent?
Well, maybe it’s because you haven’t put yourself in an eco-friendly state of mind yet. :)
“Once you think you’ve gotten into this state of mind, being a conscious consumer will come naturally,” says Lily Khairunnisa, one of six people who run The Zero Ways, which she describes as a “pop-up based zero-waste grocery and lifestyle store” in Singapore.
“We believe it’s a holistic lifestyle (that involves the) mind, body and soul – which is why we realise that most people who are low-waste are also practising yoga, are conscious of their food intake, are vegans or vegetarians, and animal lovers.”
But don’t fret – The Zero Ways can help you achieve all that with what they have on offer. They have organic food that’s free from preservatives, additives and artificial colouring, for starters.
“We have in-house brands for lifestyle products,” she adds. “We also have social causes; for example, some of our bamboo straws are from Lombok, which support the local youth and mothers there.”
And then you have their experiences and heartfelt advice. Ready to go all in? Lily reveals how we can change the way we think – and begin to pursue an ethical, responsible and socially driven way of life today. :)
#1 Have a clean heart and soul
“This is, in fact, the basis of life before anyone starts a journey. Whatever we do, we must do it for an ultimate purpose: to make this world a better place.”
#2 Be grateful
“Especially for the littlest things, because when we’re grateful, we slow life down and don’t get too caught up in unnecessary qualms.”
#3 Get organised
“And we don’t mean to the level of OCD. Organise your wardrobe, kitchen, office, schedule and plans. It’s healthy to put things where they belong, because it’ll make our lives a hundred times better.
“For example, plan your meals for the week so that when you go grocery shopping, you know what to take with you, and the chances of being plastic-free increases. Otherwise, you’ll end up having to use that plastic bag or cup because you didn’t plan and organise.”
#4 Focus on needs, not wants
“We need very little to live, if we think about it. Our family has reduced our home-cooked dishes from three to one, so now we cook mainly one-pot dishes that use ingredients found in wet markets. We don’t need to eat meat every day, so we eat that less. We need fruit and veg, so we buy those more. We’ve almost cut out all junk and processed foods.”
“Going zero waste is contagious when people see how happy you’re practising it. Please don’t whine and complain about minuscule things, like that waiter who accidentally put plastic straw in your drink when you’ve already told him you don’t need one. Smile and try again next time.”
Why not invite your friends and family to join you in your journey too?
If there’s one thing you can give them that’ll make a difference, Lily believes “it would definitely be the gift of knowledge. Share with our loved ones what we believe in and the whole purpose of practising the lifestyle.
“There are so many green, eco products out there, but if they don’t see the bigger picture, that gift is going to be just ‘another gift’.”