How to get behind the sustainability movement

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These days, you can’t scroll through online shopping and social media apps without seeing metal straws, bamboo utensils, and reusable water bottles for sale.

And with good reason – the sustainability movement was propelled by the speed with which environmental issues are encroaching the planet. 

As it is, we generate 2.01 billion tons of solid waste each year. At least 33% of that waste is not managed “in an environmentally safe manner.” 

Where does all that go? Around 79% - end up in landfills and waterways. The World Bank estimates that global waste generation will increase by 70% in 2050. 

It’s no wonder consumers – particularly from the millennial, Gen Z, and Gen X groups – are demanding sustainability.

Admittedly, achieving a truly zero-waste lifestyle is pretty much impossible in this industrialized age. But exerting effort towards a more mindful lifestyle helps.

The first step is to reduce single-use items. Here are a few tools you can use to get started on your sustainability journey. 

Ditch the plastic bottles by bringing a reusable drinking bottle wherever you go

Going shopping? Place your groceries in canvas totes to avoid plastic bags

Good hygiene doesn’t have to come at the cost of more plastics

Enjoy your drinks without having to worry whether your straw will end up killing turtles

Carrying cutlery may feel weird at first, but this portable set makes it easier to help the environment

Besides being bad for the environment, plastic food containers may also contain chemicals which mess up hormones

Just remember that the point of the sustainability movement is to buy as little as possible. It’s easy to buy a zero-waste kit and call it a day, but the true way to a sustainable lifestyle is to make do with what you already have. 

You can also try looking for secondhand options if you have no qualms about purchasing used items. Another tip is to wait before buying new things in order to evaluate if you really need them. It won’t be an easy journey, so join groups such as Buhay Zero Waste to look for tips and inspiration. 

At the end of the day, you can challenge consumerism by simply appreciating what you already have – household goods, clothes, and of course, mother nature. – Rappler.com

What we buy – or choose not to buy – says a lot about us. Welcome to Rappler's Beyond the Buy, where we explore the latest trends in consumer culture and share product recommendations.