More than 60 million plastic bottles end up in landfills and incinerators every day.
Plastic takes up to 10 to 1000 years to decompose.
How on earth do we manage this unsustainable habit?
Nude, the Zero Waste Store is trying to play its part in this growing problem.
We spoke to the founders, Cheryl Anne Low and Wilson Chin Voon Tshung.
Here are some of the questions we tackled.
What are the worst things we produce that are harming the planet?
Single use plastic that doesn’t break down for 500 to 1000 years. Or thin plastic that breaks down but ends up in the ocean, gets eaten by fish that we eventually consume as our seafood.
Wilson: Our mindsets.
When we are not conscious of the kind of waste we’re producing. If everyone did their part, even if it’s just 10%, it will make a huge difference in the environment.
What is Nude, The Zero Waste Store?
Wilson: It’s a place you can come to get your regular items. We usually tell people we’re like a ‘kedai runcit’. But with air cond!
It’s a little bit more comfortable and more pretty here, but essentially, we try to provide all basic necessity items like your food, cooking ingredients like rice, to your personal care items like toothbrush and toothpaste, shower cream and floor wash.
Basically, everything that you can get from your normal convenience store but unpackaged.
Or at the very least, if they come in packages, you can return with the packaging and it can keep being reused.
Cheryl: To build on what Wilson said, we are more than a ‘kedai runcit’.
We have a bigger purpose. That bigger purpose is to fulfill the non-packaging sector where packaging is much more limited, and we don’t create so much waste.
The end goal is to help our earth heal.
What do you sell at Nude, The Zero Waste Store?
Physically, we have 3 sections. We have Moods, Foods and Goods.
The Moods section carries zero waste lifestyle products that are reusable. Stuff like tiffins, collapsible cups, stainless steel straws, skin care, beauty care and female care products.
Then there is Foods.
We have dried foods, nuts, spices, herbs, package free cereal, homemade handmade fettucine, pasta, dried mushrooms, Asian spices, rice and noodles.
And for Goods, we have household cleaning products, an insect repellent range, refillable essential oils and a pet section, because we love animals!
We also have nitrogen coffee! Which is really good because it’s cold brew and the nitrogen helps preserve the coffee and lift the different nodes of the coffee.
What are your favourite environmentally friendly products sold here?
Wilson: The Spork!
This is something we sell very popularly. It’s a favourite of mine because I find it very handy when we go for lunch and instead of taking the disposable cutlery offered, we can use this. And because it folds down, it’s travel size and easy to bring around.
The other one is Bye Bye Cicak
from the Gramp’s range. There is also Bye Bye Nyamuk and Semut and Lipas. The great thing about it is that there is finally something that is 100% natural. It’s non-toxic, you can even taste it, it’s salty, and I use it around my house to get rid of these pests.
Cheryl: My favourite item is the life changing menstrual cup.
This replaces your disposable pads and tampons. For women, this menstrual cup can save up to thousands of pads ending up in the landfill. It’s very light and handy, very useful, it’s like my new best friend!
My second favourite thing here is the solid toothpaste.
It replaces the toothpaste you usually find in plastic tubes. This is also refillable. You can buy it in a tin, which is very light, so great for travelling. To use it, wet your toothbrush and dip it in the solid toothpaste. When it finishes, we sell refills, so you can buy them, pop them in your tin, and you’re good to go! Zero waste.
Why should someone come to Nude, The Zero Waste Store?
Apart from doing your part for the environment, it is a very practical way to shop because you get only what you need and also, the cost savings you get from a lot of products. Take for example herbs, people usually buy three to four times more than what they need, which is in small packages verses weighing them out.
We make weighing out your ingredients here for a cheaper price possible because of the work we do back end, where we buy in bulk and negotiate better pricing for our customers.
2 habits we can pick up quickly to be more environmentally responsible.
Whenever you’re doing your shopping, your eating, your drinking, be mindful of what you use and ask yourself “Do you really need this packaging or container, do you really need that extra tissue to clean up or can you use a cloth or a handkerchief, something you can wash off instead?”.
It’s more about common sense which is tricky because we’ve gotten so desensitized, so used to the convenience of using something and throwing it away. Hence, mindfulness is a good place to start.
Cheryl: There are five very simple steps that we can try to remember. The first step is to Refuse. Refuse what you don’t need, only take what you really need.
Next is to Reduce. Reduce in your consumption or usage of what you already have. T Nude, The Zero Waste Store?
Then Reuse. Reuse what is available to you. Say you need a container. Go to your cupboards and look for one. You don’t necessarily need to go and buy one just for the sake of getting it new or pretty.
Recycle comes next. As much or as little as you can. If you’ve followed the first three steps, then you don’t have to recycle as much. Also, because we’re bound by local recycling methods.
And Rot. Rot involves all the things that you can compost, things you can put back to nature to help it flourish and grow. And that’s it, five simple steps and the first one is always to Refuse.
It was an enlightening chat with the founders of Nude, The Zero Waste Store and I hope you guys also benefitted from it!
Even if you can’t drop all plastic from your life, it’s helpful if we all started somewhere. Baby steps are always better than remaining stagnant. So, it’s time now to play our parts today in reducing our use of plastic!
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