It’s the start of a new year and a new decade, and our hearts are ever fervently hoping for the change we need in our world and in our lives. As you reflect on the year that was and is to come, make sustainable living and making greener choices part of your new year resolutions!
Here are 20 tips from eco-entrepreneurs on how to have a waste-free year.
20. Be aware of your environmental footprint
“Be conscious and aware of your own environmental footprint. Maybe you can stop using straws, reuse old clothing, donate old things, keep things to be recycled. The first step is always making a conscious effort to reevaluate your lifestyle and think about the small changes you can do to help the environment. Every small step helps!” – Kelvin Yu of Narra Watches, 23, @narra.watches
19. Stop giving in to “wants”
“Don’t let things bind you. free yourself from all the wants because of what everyone else has or what looks great now. free yourself from the need to always have new things.” – Yza Tolentino of Sunny Label, 24, @sunnylabel
18. Start small
“Just start small as by starting small that we could create big impact and change, and that we should be conscious on our choices and habits that may affect directly or indirectly our environment.” – Jamico Jamlang of The Bamboo Company, 25, @jamicocojam
“Start small but start now. Creating small green habits, such as bringing your own (BYO) eco-bag whenever you go out and start to refuse single-use plastics such as straws, plastics, hotel toiletries. You could also start by interest, for instance, if you are into fashion you may opt for slow fashion than buying from sale (fast fashion) or if you love to take out food then you may want to consider to dine in together with a friend or family member and have a nice conversation during a meal. Better yet, have a home-cooked meal.” – Camille Rose Duque-Albarracin of Gree-Ne-Las, 39, @greenelas.ph
17. Buy local, buy eco-friendly
“First of all, it’s about embracing the change and simplifying our choices. There are so many local handmakers you can find online or in the next neighborhood fairs who continue to provide all-natural and eco-friendly products so consider buying from them. If you have specific needs you may approach them as they might be able to customize anything for you.” – Wilma Torralba of ECOMOMMMAMNL, 41, @wilmavtorralba
16. Choose experience over possessions
“Understand and change the purpose of how you live. Sometimes convenience is our enemy but if we understand our whys we could easily adapt and change our habits gradually.
Choose experience over possessions. Create memories with your loved ones instead of giving them gifts and material things.” – Camille Rose Duque-Albarracin of Gree-Ne-Las, 39, @greenelas.ph
15. Appreciate Mother Nature
“When we are reminded how blessed we are to enjoy all these God-given natural resources, we can be encouraged and moved to want to preserve these for the longest time possible. After all, it’s natural for us to take care of things that are precious and valuable to you. So this coming new year, plan for visits to Mother Nature. Take lots of photos! Interact with the locals in the area to understand how the environment has been helping them live and contribute by looking after your own waste during your trip. These will help motivate us to embrace the lifestyle that is more sustainable and less wasteful.” – Rei Tugade of BalaiKamay, 33, @BalaiKamayPH
14. Make your food from scratch
“By making our own food from scratch, buying from the public market to get away from excess packagings and bringing our own bayong or reusable bags and container to reduce plastic consumption. And if possible, planting or farming, eating more plant-based and composting. And planning well to lessen food waste.” – Genevieve Inumerable of Eco Switch Shop, 36, @ecoswitchshop
13. Choose one thing you want to do first and master it
“Whatever you choose to do to become more responsible, choose one thing first and do it well. Master it first, and then move on to the next. We are constantly bombarded by social media to do this and buy that in order to live a more “sustainable” life. But if you try to do too many things at once, then you will be doing everything with a 75% focus. That will only get you overwhelmed, frustrated, and make you want to give up. So decide on your first focus, research extensively, and really make an effort. Once you lock that first thing down and get a kind of system in place for whatever it is, then you become comfortable with it, become proud of it, and it will incorporate itself into your everyday life – and then you can move on to the next. Becoming a conscious and critical consumer takes a lot of effort, but I feel that if you start slow, you get into the rhythm of it better, and it will gradually become second nature.” – Daniela Calumba, @danielacalumba
12. Source food from local farmers
“Engage local farmers with long term produce contracts e.g. community-supported agriculture. This means you can ask farmers to grow your food requirements; in turn, you get to know your farmer and understand where your food comes from thus ensuring safe and healthy food for your family.” – Henry James Sison of Agro-DigitalPH, 45, @agrodigitalph
11. Know the story of the brand you’re buying from
“Shop when needed and educate yourself when it comes to the brands you buy from — know their story, their advocacy, the people behind the brand.” – Adrienne Charuel of Maison Metisse, 34, maison.metisse