going green a step at a time

Remember a while ago I wrote about the challenges of going green? Ever since then, I’ve put a shopping bag in my car, hoping to avoid using plastic bag whenever I go for a spree. But how often have I remembered to take it with me when I enter a mall? Perhaps once. Maybe twice. There rest of the time? Plastic bag it is. If it’s Saturday (no plastic bag day, which I usually realize only when I reach the cashier) I have to drop the less important stuffs as there’s only so much I can carry in my hands without looking like pendatang asing balik kampung.

And I also mentioned the possibility of bringing my own food container to replace polystyrene boxes for take-out meals. Have yet to move towards that. The truth is I’m not ready to be known as “the tupperware girl” everytime I go to my usual mamak joint, pasar malam or gerai nasi lemak tepi jalan. Not ready for that kind of publicity :-p

Yesterday, as I looked at a week load of trash in the kitchen, I realized that I could actually do something to kick-off my green ambition. I remembered one day while walking past an Alam Flora trash truck doing pick-up, I saw the workers going through every single bag of trash with their bare hands to find anything recyclable. Hey, I could actually make their job easier by separating my trash into different groups (i.e. paper, plastic, glass and waste) the way people do in many developed countries. So I took everything out from the bin and started sorting my trash.

The result?

Four bags of clearly labeled junks!

Plastic - Mostly food wrappers and empty bottles. I’m still amazed by how many plastic bags and wrappers have been collected over the course of just one week.

Polystyrene - Food containers. I actually have no idea which category they fall into so I just set them apart. Most damaging to ozone layer if burnt. Wonder if the material is recyclable.

Paper - Food wrappers, loan shark flyers and old newspapers. Wanted to put them in a paper bag but because they were mixed with other trash previously, most of them are wet and slimy. So I’ve to put them in a plastic bag. Will do better next time.

Compost - Unrecyclable waste. Mostly leftover food - a quarter of chocolate cake, a full serving of nasi paprik, several pieces of kuih etc. The danger of succumbing to food craving at Pasar Ramadhan.

Next step, I’m planning to get several small bins for each category of material. That way I can separate my trash at the point of throwing rather than sorting them out later.

I know I’m far from being Greenpeace. Taking baby steps here. The day I hit the ground running I’ll trade my petroleum guzzling ride for a hybrid car!


Aida Rezuan said...


Hey.. you're doing good. Baby steps are better than nothing at all. And for the cans, boxes and bottles, maybe you can squeeze them first before throwing in the separated trash.

Go Dieya, go green! :)

* i do the same with my trash :)
* bout the grocery bag, since you make list for everything (hehe!) so maybe you can add it in your grocery list, so that you can remember before going out to shop.
* my style: always ask myself if i have everything while standing in front of the door, before going out.

marmarn said...

i had 'green' life when i was in uk but all gone when i came back :( msian shud be aware n well educate bout being green. its important tho not just bcoz the global warming hitting us but all in all to our nxt generation indeed.

~jeet~ said...

hybrid car..i nak satu..but none that is affordable hits malaysian market yet.

me and my hsemate, kitorag dah lama separate trash, but the thing is we plan to send the recycleable materials to the center, (which kitorang tak jumpa lagi..) so ends up our store room is full with plastic bottles and papers..hahaha..

anyhoo...good move in the right direction, keep it up ;)

dieya said...

good idea. must remember to squeeze those stuff. hahaha u r so right, i so have to put the bag on my list! hope i won't end up buying another bag though :-D
and taking a moment in front of the door before going out, awesome tips!

i think lots of malaysian wanna go green, but the absence of proper mechanism makes it difficult. alam flora doesn't prepare separate bins for recyclable materials like those in other countries, so people are not motivated to separate their trash. even after separating my trash, everything ended up in the same big alam flora bin, leaving the workers to do another round of sorting!

dieya said...

hahaha i have one cabinet full of mags and newspapers. dulu pakcik old newspaper selalu tekan loceng time weekend, now no more. nak angkat pegi recycling centre berat laa pulak (excuses.. excuses..) so still finding the motivation to do it full fledge.
yeah let's go green!

ahkakbatik said...

kat mesia kaktek selalu separate trash...kat sini... semua belasah satu plastik... sebab it's harder to find recycle bin in charlotte compare to seri kembangan..
kira kampung kaktek tu moden gitew...

one thing for sure, don't ever compose excess cooking oil dlm sinki, it may clog the pipe... kaktek tuang atas tanah belakang umah..hehe... go green ek?

lucky said...

Bravo dieya!! im soo proud of you! yess.. kat germany memang wajib asingkan kalu tak depa taknak amek your trash.. at first it was hard for me tapi lelama tu okay :) and i love doing it.. i love going green!

dieya said...

k tek,
eh terbalik laa pulak, i thought kat sana it's easier to go green, rupanya tak ye.
about the cooking oil, really? alright lepas ni i must remember to do that!
hahaha tuang atas tanah terus.. memang green abes!

thanks! that's what i heard happening in other developed countries too. i'm so bersemangat to go green now, albeit in small steps :-)