The Consciousness is Real

Friday, July 20, 2018
Photo credit: Young Parents

Half a year elapsed in the blink of an eye. You don't really realize how fast time runs when you're faced with the dreaded block. It took a while and several lame excuses before I picked up a pen and finally filled up an empty page. Nevertheless, it feels good to ramble on responsibly. In the last few months, I'd been thinking and observing a few things about zero waste.

ZW products on social media are becoming more and more popular. I'm happy they're becoming more of a thing (yay for more options). However, as with most good things, there are haterz that gotta hate. I've seen comments on how suppliers aren't really in it for the ZW and ride on the ~trend to make money. I've also heard how they tend to forget the meaning behind ZW products, because they are still imported or probably sourced unsustainably (ex. metal straws). However, if there are things that can help us reduce waste, why not make them accessible to us? Producing a menstrual cup or a metal straw may take up lots of resources, but so does producing sanitary pads and plastic straws. it seems better to use something over and over vs tossing out single use items into a growing garbage pile. Even if they might cost a few resources to make (or even buy), you might as well make the most of the things you have.

I've come across a few articles on how conscious consumerism is a lie (with this one as my favorite) and how it doesn't really make an impact. To a certain extent, it may be true, but on another, it can also be false. I do understand how capitalism is to blame for the vicious cycle of consumerism, but are we just going to take it lying down? I believe everyone's efforts count, just like how every vote in an election counts. If you are doing something about it, then you are part of the solution. Your efforts may not necessarily be felt all the way in Timbuktu, but you are doing your share for the polar bears. It may not make an impact on the entire world right away, but it does make a difference in your environment.

There is a misconception that conscious consumerism is expensive and inaccessible. There is some truth to this, and perhaps you need a certain amount of disposable income to invest in a few items that will last you a while. You may have to spend a bit at the start (menstrual cups can be costly!), but at the end of the day it's really about selecting only what you really need. Do you really need that extra bottle of skincare, or a second beauty blender? I think it also helps when you think of where stuff go once your garbage is out of sight. It's difficult not to fall into the lure of fast fashion and convenience shopping (the struggle is real), but if you *must* succumb to it, ask yourself if you really need it, how long its life span will be, and how many times you will use it. If you have to buy stuff, make sure they'll have several uses and last you a while. Go for less, but better.
I await the day we prove dem haterz wrong and that conscious consumerism will be proven to make a difference. For now, we trudge on and do our best to be part of the solution.

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