So it has been one week since I started my green-venture 30 days zero waste challenge in Bangkok. So far I’ve tried to:
- Not use any plastic, but instead carry my own water bottle and tote bag.
- Not produce food waste, which means finishing my food.
- Start composting
- Learn how to make my own products
- Reduce overconsumption by not buying unnecessary stuff, yup that includes all kinds of shopping.
I am really enjoying this challenge even though it is as hard (or even harder than) as I thought it would be.
Not use any plastic (2/5)
I’ve been carrying around my stainless steel water bottle and a tote bag like I’ve promised. I’ve been doing it everyday. Yet still plastic has been incorporated in a Bangkokian’s life that I still find it hard to detach myself from the system. The other day I went grocery shopping at Gourmet Market in Emporium Shopping Centre. Even though I had my tote bag with me, I still wasn’t paying attention when the cashier lady put all my stuff in a plastic bag and handed it to me. Guess what I did? Yup, I have to shamefully admit that I willingly accepted. It was about 5 minutes after that did I realize what had just happened. It was like using plastic has been so instilled in my daily life that I completely zoned out.
At least once I realized what I did; I transferred all the stuff I bought into my own tote bag before walking back and returning the plastic bag back to the cashier lady. I think you all can imagine the funny look she gave me.
Last Saturday, I also carried this small container around to buy cookie at my favorite Vegan Café in Bangkok, Veganerie. I bought these cookies for my English student, got the oatmeal, chocolate cranberry and chocolate chip flavor. So so delicious!
I think I’m doing well on the not producing food waste part. I completely finished all my meals (don’t know if it’s good for my weight but anyway). I also decided to become a vegetarian every Saturday. I know this might not be a completely sustainable pathway compared to becoming a full-time vegetarian or vegan. But still, I’ve tried doing it full time and my body does not react all that well, I felt really bloated and sluggish but maybe it was because I wasn’t doing it right and was too heavily carb-based? Anyway I’m going to take it slow and just stick to meatless Saturday for now.
Start compositing (0.5/5)
Ha this is the category I find the hardest. I guess it’s because I actually have to do a thorough research before I start composting. Many people told me if you’re not doing it right then your backyard would probably attract all kinds of unwanted guests. So I’m trying. The other day someone told me that I can bring my organic waste to Root Thonglor and they’ll use it to make organic fertilizer. I don’t know where they heard that from because yesterday I finally called up Root Garden only to find out that they know nothing about it. But anyway they told me that they are actually going to host a workshop on how to make your own organic compost and that they’ll be in touch, so that call wasn’t all for nothing. Despite minimal progress, I think I deserve a 0.5 because at least I’m in the process of starting something, right … ?
Learn how to make my own product (2/5)
Last week I attended a workshop called “Detox Your Life” hosted by Madeleine Recknagel from the blog The Sustainable Self. In class, we made this beautiful coffee scrub made from all natural ingredients. I loved it the moment I can smell that sweet fragrant of coffee, sugar and cinnamon. I fell in love with it even more when I actually get to use it. The coffee grain wasn’t too coarse and my skin felt so smooth and moist after (probably from the coconut oil).
After I returned home I was determined to start making other products. So I started looking out for ingredients. As far as I know there are not too many shops in Bangkok that stock up on all natural ingredients for product making. Everything was just so scattered in different places.
I bought my essential oil from Botanicessence at Maleenont Tower, shea butter from Sabai Jai at Paradise Park and Beewax from Sumpeng Market.
First thing I try to make was my own toothpaste from Madeleine recipe. I actually like it so much, my mouth feels really clean and fresh after. Now I aim to make my own shampoo, soap and body butter. Let’s see how it will go.
Reduce overconsumption (0.5/5)
Somehow I dreaded writing about this category since it is something I find so hard to do. Nowadays it seems like materialism seems to be so well integrated into Thai culture. Everywhere I go there is something to buy, stalls lining and hiding in different street corners. Every time I go on Facebook and Instagram, product advertisement would pounce at me in a flash urging me to buy something. Every product seems to have another version of a better and nicer design. The other day I was at Starbucks and saw this really cute take-away grey mug. I really wanted to buy it with the logic that it would help me reduce my use of take-away paper coffee cups. My mum said we have one take-away mug at home, she got it as a freebie from an event she attended and even though it’s not that cute, I really didn’t need to buy a new one. But that new one is so nice…
Anyway this week I ended up buying a pair of shoes and earring…
Let’s just say I just seem to still have so many wants that I am still very much rookie when it comes to reducing overconsumption. It’s hard, but I’m determined to do better in this category.
Overall I think it has been a pretty successful first week. I’m excited to see how next week will play out..