February 3, 2018

Let’s Mend our Wasteful Ways

Let’s Mend our Wasteful Ways

Food waste is a huge problem in Malaysia. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Often it seems we’re drowning in waste. In some cases, literally so. In the world’s seas and oceans, plastic waste has been accumulating at alarming speeds, engulfing large swathes of water and choking marine life in the process. On land too, there is way too much waste, putting great strains on landfills.

We are all responsible for this sad state of affairs. Citizens across Malaysia have been generating large amounts of food and plastic waste. Sadly, the trappings of increased wealth and economic prosperity have come with the scourge of wasteful habits.

But we can change that. And the change must start at home for each of us.

For starters, we ought to start buying fewer things. We should buy new clothes, accessories and other disposable items only when we truly need them. Conspicuous consumption is a threat to the health of the environment.

Plastic waste can accumulate fast in even pristine settings, not only becoming eyesores but posing serious environmental hazards. Photo Credit: Bo Eide via Flickr

Instead of buying new we can also buy secondhand. Buying secondhand items is not only cheaper but also more environmentally friendly. Better yet: we can share our possessions if we can so that we won’t have to keep buying new stuff that then ends up gathering dust unused.

In the same vein, we should stop ordering more food than we can consume, thereby helping reduce the vast amounts of food waste generated daily in Malaysia. Each day the country’s citizens, many of whom are in the habit of ordering way too much food, leave some 15,000 tons of food waste behind.

We should also try to avoid buying things with way too much packaging, Manufacturers love touting their fare with flashy plastic and paper packaging, which is then chucked out immediately after purchase. We should lean on these manufacturers by refusing to buy items with too much packaging. Likewise, we can also take our own bags for shopping in an effort to phase out the rampant use of disposable plastic bags that are handed out freely in stores and shops.

These simple steps can go a long way towards reducing food and plastic waste. Let’s start taking them.



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