Monday, August 30, 2010

Ditch the Disposables Challenge 2010

As I've mentioned, I've been seriously thinking of my throwaway lifestyle so I've been reading a lot of blogs and articles to motivate me and give me ideas. I stumbled on this. What better way to help me start being greener by making a 2 month commitment? They say that it takes 21-66 days to make and action a habit, so if I do something for 2 months, that brings me to nearly 66 days :D

Right now these are the stuff that I do and should continue:
  1. Use rechargeable batteries. Batteries are so cheap here in Vietnam and it would be easy to fall back into habit. I even bought some for my parents a while back. Good thing they bought rechargeable lamps (some with AM/FM radios) to use at the farm and for blackouts.
  2. Luckily, I grew up with in a household that uses dish towels and my housemates did, too. 
  3. I've got allergic rhinitis and there are days when it's so bad --- runny nose, seemingly endless sneezes ---tissue paper makes it worse so I use hankies or baby face towels. 
  4. I used to love wrapping gifts, I would make each one different depending on the recipient. Recently, I've been avoiding the use of wrapping paper and I've been choosing reusable bags or I don't wrap at all. Still thinking of other ways to wrap gifts without adding to the trash.
  5. Instead of disposable Q-tips, I use a small metal ear cleaner. It has a tiny spoon at one end, used to scoop out ear wax. 
And these are the stuff that I'm going to add to it:
  1. Ditch the 'poo ---> until I find baking soda and ACV, I'm going to be using warm water and/or lime/lemon juice to clean my hair and a bit of conditioner **cheating a bit, figured i can start with shampoo and go from there
  2. Use cloth wipes for #1 even when I'm out ---> gotta give the credit to my Mom, who started doing this years ago, much better for my V and the environment!
These are some of my "problems"
  1. Reusable shopping bags ---> I've got some for dry goods but I don't have anything for produce or meat. And I often forget bringing them because I rarely have a bag with me when I go out.
  2. Paper towels ---> my housemates (who cook, because I don't) use paper towels to absorb the grease of fried food
  3. Disposable chopsticks and straws ---> here in Vietnam, most takeouts (and even dine-in) include these. Even if you try to tell them you don't need them, they would usually forget and put it in anyway.
  4. Water bottle ---> even if I do insist on carrying my own water bottle, some places require you to buy drinks from them. Tap water isn't an option because there is no central water treatment here.
  5. Paper napkins/wet wipes ---> sometimes I have one or two hankies on hand but what do I do when I'm outside and I'm going to eat something very messy like crab? Not all restaurants here have a wash area
  6. Cleanser, laundry detergent, deodorant and other items that I can make ---> ingredients are difficult to obtain here. 
Plans *Buying these stuff but will have to wait for a couple of months. I'm not very confident receiving packages here as they might get lost or be tasked by customs.
  1. Sanitary napkins, pantyliners, 
  2. Wet bag for travelling *in place of ziploc bags
  3. Reusable sandwich bag
  4. Produce and insulated bags for fruits, vegetables, meat and other wet goods

Note: I am not an environmentalist. I think for the present, you can just label me environmentally-concerned. I was talking about less packaging with a friend and she started saying "Oh you're one of those environmentalists." I wish I were... But I'm too lazy to be one.

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