Written by Dara Ayu Ariane, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia
Thousands of Jakarta residents were evacuated from southern and eastern areas of the city. They witnessed their cars and homes almost entirely submerged in the shoulder-high muddy waters. As mere onlookers, we often consider what else we can do to help lessen the current and upcoming environmental disasters. With a rising urgency to offer a helping hand in one of the biggest global challenges, sometimes the fight against climate change can feel extremely overwhelming. This doesn’t mean we can’t also make our own unique impact through our individual choices. Remember that “everyone can do good”, and even though our actions may seem small at first, keep on reading and let us help you by challenging yourselves with these effortless sustainable swaps!
Hop onto your favorite e-commerce because it is time for a sustainable home-makeover! We recommend shopping from one store that offers a wide range of eco-friendly house products and opting for regular shipping duration. We prefer to shop in the store physically to reduce the CO2 emissions from shipping, but with Miss Rona still out and about lurking around every coughing corner, we advise to keep your distance and shop online in bulk.
Some of the online stores worth browsing over if you’re in or near the Jakarta area are Demi Bumi, Sustaination.ID, Greenhabit.id and Zero Waste Indonesia that offer various sustainable goods worth trying and complete with eco-friendly packaging! Here are some products you should consider on buying:
- Goodbye plastic trash bag, hello Cassava Bag! Made from natural resins derived from 98% tapioca starch, 1% vegetable oil, and 1% natural biopolymer, this super bag can be composted and consumed by micro-organisms in the soil!
- Multi-purpose Loofah, made from natural fiber from oyong and commonly used as a substitute for bath foam or dishwashing.
- Lerak Soap, a 100% natural cleanser without chemicals and can be used as laundry detergent, dish & hand soap, and others.
- Natural Deodorant made from batu tawas is hypoallergenic, easy to wash and eliminates odor-causing bacteria.
- Bamboo/Wheat-straw Toothbrush
- Have any leftover food or ingredients and you’re unsure how to store it? It’s time to try Beeswax Wrap! An environmentally friendly and reusable replacement for cling wrap. Protects food, fruit and vegetables from air and moisture to keep them fresh for even longer.
- Not forgetting our precious self-care time, it’s best to switch to using reusable cotton pads and DIY masks & scrubs.
- If you’re feeling a little bit more adventurous and brave, for all our lovely lady friends out there, switching to a reusable menstrual cup or pad is worth trying. Not only is it capable of replacing up to 3-5 years worth of normal pads without producing waste byproduct, it can also last for up to 12 hours a day!
Once we’re all set with these amazing sustainable products, now is the time to tackle our household waste management system. Indonesia is estimated to produce roughly 190,000 tons of waste each day with 20% percent of the plastic waste is believed to end up in rivers and coastal areas (Mann, 2019). Our landfills alone remain to be inadequate solutions to this problem due to the lack of soil to bury the waste or land to build a sanitary site. Before you start panicking, let’s not forget our nearby trash banks! Another social enterprise we can rely on is Waste4Change with its Personal Waste Management subscription service. It offers monthly inorganic waste collection services directly from our homes. Therefore, it doesn’t only help us to be more responsible with our household waste, but also to practice sorting out our trash based on its categories!
Our products at home may be eco-friendly, but don’t forget to break them bad habits and start behaving more environmentally conscious. A few simple tweaks to our lifestyle can have a big impact on our environmental footprint!
- Set a timer for your AC. We know the weather in Indonesia can get quite hot, but reducing household energy use can help reduce carbon footprint even more.
- Save water, time your shower! A 10-minute shower uses about 80 gallons of water and can produce up to 1kg of CO2 emissions (Spector, 2019).
- Most people don’t realize how much food they throw away on a daily basis. By planning our meals for the week, we are reducing our food waste, saving money and conserving resources for marginalized communities.
- Think twice and use your voice. Get involved with environmental platforms and communities to further educate ourselves on the current issues. Similarly, pay attention to product labels when you’re shopping to help minimize our impact on wildlife and the planet.
Living more sustainably may not solve the climate crisis overnight, but by taking these small steps we can try to practice breaking old habits and kick-start our journey in becoming a more responsible global citizen. Don’t forget to share this challenge with your friends and let’s start building a much more sustainable community!
Mann, A. (2019, March 1). The waste challenge: Is Indonesia at a tipping point?. TheJakartaPost. Retrieved from https://www.thejakartapost.com/academia/2019/03/01/the-waste-challenge-is-indonesia-at-a-tipping-point-1551431355.html
Spector, N. (2019, October 3). Ideas to make your bathroom more environmentally friendly. NBCNews. Retrieved https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/12-practical-ways-make-your-bathroom-eco-friendlier-save-some-ncna1061246#anchor-1Reduceshowertimeandgetalowflowshowerhead