I AM AN
I am a regular inhabitant on this planet who enjoyed shopping like many. I loved a good sale and pride my skills in getting the best buys with the greatest savings. At strokes of midnight, you might sometimes find me at my computer checking out my pre-filled cart to make sure I lock in the deals before they get snapped up.
From face scrub, cleanser, toner, serum,.. to overnight mask, my face / body / hair routine included no less than 20 items, majority of them in some form of plastic packaging. I didn't really use them all. I was just a willing victim of the formidable marketing messages, fancy bottles and promises of clear youthful skin.
I didn't think twice about taking an extra bag at the groceries for the heavier load or for the item from the frozen department, and by estimation, I've probably already sent some 20K disposable plastic bags to the landfill.
Working long hours, running the rat race in the corporate world, I was like many, striving to meet the demands of multiple stakeholders in life, at work and at home. Stress levels were high, time was scarce, sleep precious. The punishing schedule left little me-time for the badly needed self-care, making material rewards the sought after outlet to de-stress.
I drove everywhere and frequently bought takeaways in disposable containers.
Whatever brings about convenience and time savings are no-brainer options.
Whatever makes life easier.
Until one fine day,
I was struck by a picture of children swimming in swamps of plastic. It was not the first time I saw such pictures, but that day, something clicked. Perhaps it was the new found knowledge that plastic takes 500 years to break down, and the first toothbrush that I used in my life, possibly still lies somewhere on Earth. I realised the mountains of things I put in the trash didn't really go away, even if I didn't see them anymore.
With my curiosity piqued, I started learning more ...
that the landfills are running out,
that animal species are going EXTINCT every day,
that the water used to make ONE simple cotton tee can feed a person for 2.5 years,
that we only have until 2030 to prevent climate changes becoming irreversible.
that we are in a climate emergency.
It was quite a wake-up call for me and II wondered how I've been ignorant and blind before.
A mother of two young children, the thought that my kids might not have a pleasant planet to live their dreams in was a scary thought. And all the destruction to environments that humans are inflicting in the name of progress may be robbing unaware children their chance for a future.
The rebellious streak in me didn't allow me to sit and do nothing.
I couldn't live with the fact that I had contributed to the problem for so many years of my life.
Now that I am no longer ignorant, I needed to find a way to reduce my personal impact on the environment,
even if I can't invent anything to save the world.
My efforts are not anywhere near that of the fabulous eco warriors,
and my waste cannot fit into a mason jar. But I do my best to refuse single use products,
stop my addiction to fast fashion, swap out plastic products, divert waste from the landfill and start conversations.
My lone efforts are small.
Many people around me shun the topic of zero waste, thinking it is an extreme movement.
Most are not tuned in to the climate emergency we are in.
They either think it is an exaggeration, or feel their individual efforts are not worthwhile.
I knew I needed to do more, and that led to the creation of the EXTINCT bag.
To instil a new habit of reusables, to raise the awareness around recycling PET1 bottles,
and to enable more people to trigger conversations with our loud and bold messages on the bags.
My efforts may be small, but I choose to be part of the solution, not the problem.
I believe there are many out there who would love to be part of the solution too, but simply have no time to find out how.
By curating and sharing bite sized zero waste tips, I hope to enable more people to join in,
so that even busy professionals who have the intention, but not the time, can do it without stress.
We believe every effort counts.
So what is YOUR choice?