SOME people think that living a green lifestyle is only meant for the rich.
Buying organic and non-packaged produce by bulk, converting to slow fashion, switching from disposable plastics to reusable cups, tumblers, eco-bags, and metal straws and utensils, may seem like it’s too costly.
What people don’t realize is, these initial costs can eventually save them from spending more in the long-term.
Care for the environment has been a growing trend: from refusing single-use plastics (SUPs) to the #TrashTagChallenge. These environmental efforts encouraged people to switch to greener lifestyles. However, some still find it hard to change their plastic-filled habits instead, they opt to be apathetic towards environmental concerns because they think it requires too much effort and it’s expensive.
The Philippine is a single-use plastic, sachet-country. Most Filipinos buy products like toothpaste, shampoo, and dishwashing soap in tiny sachets instead of buying in bulk thinking that these are cheaper.
This practical mindset may have originated from the Filipino idiom of “Isang kahig, isang tuka” which means having enough to get by. Changing this is the first step of tackling this problem. If only Filipinos switched to buying products they can use in the long term and refuse buying sachets, this might lessen the country’s use of plastics.
Slow fashion was a term coined by Kate Fletcher as she saw the need of a slower pace in the fashion industry. It’s an alternative to fast fashion, in which large retailer brands like H&M and Forever 21 release several new fashion collections every season to be competitive without thinking about the effects of producing garments on the environment.
Some millennials think of slow fashion as recycling clothes and extending its lifetimes by buying or redesigning vintage or “pre-loved” clothes. Buying in ukay-ukay might take too much effort, but it’s certainly cheaper than buying new clothes in malls.
“I love thrift shopping in San Pedro. It’s not only cheap and fun to do, I feel like helping the earth through recycling clothes,” Angel Chua said.
Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) recently implemented the banning on SUPs. Bottled waters are not allowed to be sold in the cafeteria resulting to most students to bring their own tumblers saving them P15/day.
“I’m happy that AdDU made an unprecedented move against plastic pollution. It’s a small step for the other schools to follow,” Allan Acera, a Mass Communication student said.
The Roxas Eco Market #TamaNaAngPlastikan movement spearheaded by the AdDU Communication students also encourages people to bring their own tumblers, baonans, utensils, and eco-bags when eating or buying in Roxas Market to lessen the use of SUPs.
“A survey conducted by the Mass Communication students showed a high number of plastics used per day. We hope that people will bring their own containers when eating at Roxas,” Karl Maglana, Roxas Eco Movement head said.
Croft Bulk Foods sells their products in bulk without package to encourage plastic-free shopping. They sell a variety of products from seasoning, to dishwashing liquid, to shampoo bars. Consumers bring their own containers and the items are priced depending on the weight.
A lot of efforts are being made by different people and companies to lessen the use of plastics and switch to living greener lifestyles. With constant efforts, this may elevate to a national level, prompting the government to implement laws in the future.
Our efforts may seem like they’re small, but they matter. Saving the planet needs all of us to act. (Gloria Andrea U. Mendoza, contributor)