Physical distancing is changing the way we live our lives, our buying habits and the type and amount of domestic waste we make.
According to the Jakarta Post of 1 May 2020, Jakarta reduced its trash output during these times, but domestic waste could increase, as the longer we stay at home the more often we will resort to ordering food and groceries online.
A customer in Zero Waste Bali (Ubud) shared with me that before the outbreak, she ordered food online once a week, but now she is using food delivery services more often, around three to four times a week. Now that she does almost everything at home, we also tend to buy food and other daily necessities online. But, online shopping means that goods are shipped via courier services that also use plastic covers, bubble wrap and other packaging, while food deliveries typically come in plastic bags or takeaway food containers. This could lead to an increase in domestic plastic waste. Another factor is the increasing public use of face masks, single-use gloves and disposable wipes. Not to mention the growing use of hand sanitizer in plastic bottles of which could generate extra waste during the pandemic.
So let’s continue to be mindful and use the Refuse, Reduce Reuse, Repair and Rot where we can. This might just be right moment, to spend time paying more attention on how we consume and how much waste we generate. As consumers we have the power to choose for less: less stuff and less waste.
Personally, during these COVID-10 times, I started to buy less daily household items, to cook much more at home and to reduce my organic waste. I use my hands more instead of my head and started baking (sourdough!), fermenting and pickling “leftovers” from my weekly farmers’ box, making my own yoghurt, soda and householder cleaners. It is surprisingly yummie and satisfying (even though the bakes don’t turn out as expected), very meditative and calming. Contact me, if you like have questions on any of these topics.
Some of the easiest ways you can start to reduce plastic coming into your home are as follows:
- Refusing single use plastic bags and cutlery
- Drink from a reusable water bottle
- Bring a reusable bag with you everywhere you go
- Change your mindset to reusable rather than single use
- Install water filters at your home, instead of buying gallons of water
Here are some other checklists to help you to minimise the use of plastics and assist in transitioning to a waste free lifestyle. What we really need to be moving towards is waste-free living, and in order to begin this way of life, we need to stop plastic before it comes into our homes. A simple way towards being zero waste is by changing the demand and inevitably we will change the supply.
Sophie Woo is 4th year Green School Parent. In February 2019, she opened a Zero Waste Bali store in Ubud (next to the Four Seasons Resort in Ubud) after learning of the waste problem in Bali (world). She aims to inspire others to have a more fulfilling life by living simpler and more connected. Her next project is on slow fashion which will be opened across the bulk store.