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    Among the countries that produce the highest amount of plastic waste in the world, the Philippines ranks 3rd place. Unfortunately, most of our plastic waste ends up in the ocean, and thus threatens the lives of many marine species. For this reason, zero-waste lifestyle has become a trending lifestyle option for many millennials. But, take note, shifting to a zero-waste lifestyle is a not a transition that you can do overnight.

    So, how do you shift to a zero-waste lifestyle? Well, here are some tips for beginners:

    Know your waste
    Transitioning to a zero-waste lifestyle is a goal-oriented process. First, you need to know what waste you are currently producing. To do that, you might need to start digging through your trash. Yes, you heard that right.

    Throughout this process, take note of the different kinds of waste in your trash can. Are you producing more plastic waste than paper? How much of your waste is actually being recycled? After noting those things down, you can start planning your goals.

    Use cloth bags 
    According to All About Bags, most paper bags are not actually being recycled. In actuality, paper bags might just be a bit worse than plastic bags as they require more energy to produce. So, the next time you are grocery shopping, bring reusable cloth bags. These bags will not only cut your expenses, it will also help you lessen your paper wastes.

    Stop buying packaged food
    This step might be the most difficult thing to do, but it is one step to a zero-waste lifestyle. Katherine Ripley of Huffington Post shares her experience.

    One of the main reasons why she decided to purchase non-packaged food is that plastic packaging is not recyclable. Most plastic packaging either end inside landfills or floating in oceans. And those options do not exactly produce good outcomes.

    So, how did she eliminate packaged food in her life? Well, to be quite honest, she hasn’t completely stopped purchasing packaged food. However, she was able to cut her packaged purchases to 90 percent. Here are her secrets:

    First, she buys her groceries in bulk. She would shop at the farmer’s market as most, if not all, produce is packaged in cartons, not plastic. Second, she brings cloth bags to store her groceries. And third, she tries to make meals from scratch.

    Take small steps to change
    It is important to remember that a lifestyle change does not happen overnight. And for the most part, it will be filled with a lot of obstacles. But, during those trying times, remember the reason why you are doing these things for. Just stick to those goals that you’ve planned and taken things slowly. It might take a year or two to completely transition to a zero-waste lifestyle.

     It is estimated that in 2050, the world’s oceans will have more plastic than fish. If we don’t want that to be our future, we have to act now. Adopting a zero-waste lifestyle is just one of the many ways in which we can lessen the world’s waste. If this is your choice of saving the planet, then feel free to follow these tips!

    Contributed by: Allison Julianne Macasaet, a freelance writer on the side, a student of international relations on the other. Interests include fantasy books, international relations, and lifestyle.