We’re halfway through the year and I was just stocktaking changes I’ve made for a more purposeful, sustainable life. I’m actively making small changes to my every day life to be kinder to the planet.
1. If you live in Hong Kong, you must check out Hong Kong composting, an initiative by a friend Ming. For 110HKD/month, you get to drop off your organic waste that is composted and goes back into the earth as fertilizer. Landing up in landfills just creates more greenhouse gases.
You can buy the compostable garbage bags from the bulk store livezero.
2. More plant-base
I’m a flexitarian and mostly plant-based. I made the effort to inverse meatless Monday to Meat Monday and oftentimes Sunday, eating meat twice a week when Mr chef is off and there are new restaurants and menus to try out.
I feel so much better on a plant-based diet and apart from my digestive tract having a better time, I also struggle with eating animals knowing they were raised cruelly in industrial farming.
I try my very best to eat only sustainable seafood and animals that were raised happy and slaughtered humanely. I always pray for their good rebirth. Of course there is the hypocrisy and guilt, but I try, which is better than not at all.
3. Keep cup, waterbottle silicon lunchbox
I travel with my keepcup all the time. It always comes in handy when you’re so parched and have a container to fill up from the tap or watercooler. How lucky am I to live in a country with potable water? It doesn’t always taste great but it’s a privilege to be able to drink tap water and cook with tap water.
Most airports have refilling stations, and on flights I ask my bottle to be filled instead of getting a disposable plastic cup. The flight attendants always oblige.
It’s super easy with the collapsible lunch boxes to head out to buy lunch – it fits salads, pasta, rice – you name it, it definitely fits with the same capacity of a styrofoam takeaway cup or plastic container for takeaways.
4. eco egg/ soap nuts
I bought the eco egg at a Green fair in HK, but have to say it isn’t great. I bought the refills and it works for up to 250 wash cycles. It has a light fragrance but the laundry doesn’t feel as clean.
I am planning to switch to soap nuts after and will test drive that. Otherwise soap powder in the cardboard boxes – but I have refrained from doing this often as I’m not sure if the outflow is bad for the environment!
5. DIY softener
I’ve stopped buying softener to avoid single use plastic. I’ve researched and looked into many different variations and found the easiest and most effective ingredients:
I buy the essential oils on iherb because the bulk store sells it for an arm and leg and it’s truly not sustainable on a budget.
6. library books
Living in land scarce Hong Kong, I haven’t been able to add much more to my overloaded bookshelf. Borrowing books from the library also holds me accountable as I have to finish them in 2 weeks (and you’re allowed to renew them up to 5 times at the Hong Kong library).
I don’t know about you but I have a terrible habit of buying books and not reading them.
7. Shampoo and soap bars
This is an easy one to fix to avoid single use plastic. I have searched for the right shampoo bar for ages and finally found a reasonably priced one on iherb. I used to get conditioner refilles from the bulk store, but that too is an expense, and I found this shampoo bar excellent – it even gives volume to my curls.
When I’m travelling and it feels a little dry, I put some coconut oil or argan oil on the ends of my hair so it doesn’t knot out of control.
I use old beeswax wrap to keep the shampoo bar as after nearly 4 years I feel like its efficacy keeping food fresh has reduced but it doubles up as a soap bar wraper!
8. Earphones on planes
I always bring my earphones… because hygiene. But also to avoid opening another plastic packet. It doesn’t work on business class, but the iphone earplugs fit in most economy flights.
10. Lining bins with newspapers
Once you start composting, there is no more icky wet decomposing trash, it’s really just packaging that goes into your normal bin, so save on the compostable plastc bags, just line the bin with newspapers!
11. Umbrella cover
These are the best thing ever. No need to bag your wet umbrellas in single use plastic anymore. Even if you re-use the plastic bag a dozen of times, it soon gives way and plastic takes a million years to breakdown.
There are so many ways to live more sustainably without breaking the bank, it takes a little effort and time, but it goes a long way to making the planet a better place for future generations.
Have a look at the bulk store for food items, but also ladies might consider switching to the mooncup/diva cup for menstrual cycles, I’m still trying to get accustomed to my moon cup. And those Thinx underwear are definitely worth the investment. It sounds odd, but it’s a pretty nifty creation and I am so grateful to whoever created it!