​​It Started with Brown Paper Bags

It’s not until someone else points out the impact of your habits that you get to appreciate its value.

It started with brown paper bags. In Makati City, plastics are not allowed. So when you buy groceries, they either put it in a box, eco bag or paper bag. I prefer the latter because we use them for our trash bins. We still buy plastic trash bags as a reserve but not regularly because we have free paper bags from groceries and food purchases after all. When Mart started to visit my place more, he noticed this practice and remarked how environment-friendly my sister and I are. I never really thought about it that way but from that point on, I became aware.

Months later, Mart moved to a different apartment. On weekdays when we work at his new place, we usually don’t have time to cook lunch so we buy from a walking-distance carinderia. Being regulars, we got ourselves acquainted with the owner, Ate Lyn.

In one of those noon walks, I happen to share that back in childhood my mom used to have me buy viand from a nearby carinderia too but she always had me bring containers. I don’t recall my mom advocating environment-friendly practices but I do remember she didn’t like waste. Anyway, we thought it’s a good idea so we agreed to do the same. We realized we use and throw 7 pieces of plastic bags each lunch trip and felt wasteful after.

The first time we brought containers in an insulated eco bag, Ate Lyn was pleasantly surprised and complimented us with “very good’. Like two kids getting star stamps at preschool, her remarks made us smile ear to ear.

Mart and I were also pleasantly surprised at how much extra portions of food she gave. It seemed like the portions suddenly doubled!

At one point, we had so many eggs about to expire. For the love of desserts, we decided to bake our first leche flan. A second one followed days after, then a third.

Recently, we had overly ripe bananas so we decided to make banana muffins with them!

They were all delicious!

Family played a big influence in these environment-friendly practices. It wasn’t until recently that I appreciated its value. What made the big difference beyond the realization though is having someone who shares the same values and celebrates tiny wins of conscious decision to be not wasteful.

Future impact may be tiny but still better than nothing!



Finding wonders and laugh on boring mundane stuff

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