The Advocate: Kelsey Albano

My journey started back in 2016. It was my first time to go free diving in Moalboal, Cebu. I felt a deep connection with the ocean. I was addicted to the feeling of going as deep as you can and testing your limits. The weather wasn’t cooperating with us, so we had to wait in White Beach until the waves calmed down.

As I was waiting, I saw pieces of plastic scattered around the beach. I stood up and started collecting trash. I couldn’t stand seeing things I love and the things that make this world such a beautiful place getting harmed because of our negligence. From that day on, I promised I would spread awareness and fight plastic pollution in every way I can.

Striving to be plastic free

We live in a country where our basic needs are in sachets. Changing our behaviors is a huge commitment. But you have to start somewhere. I started with giving up fast fashion because shopping secondhand not only eliminates plastic and fabric waste, it also prevents clothing items from going into the landfill.

This was the easiest step for me to take because I love buying clothes in thrift shops (ukay-ukay) anyway. Next on the list were straws, plastic bottles, and bags. This was challenging because I either leave my jug at home or it gets lost, but i got the hang of it along the way. I cut down my plastic waste and have been responsible with the plastic I consume for almost 2 years now.

We might not all have the power to reverse climate change and stop the oceans from rising, but we can do our best to reduce our consumption of single-use plastic.

Individually, each step is small, but collectively they add up to real change.

Small steps, huge wins

When we practice what we preach and share what we fight for, we get to educate others. I love sharing my journey, in the hopes that I can influence others to make changes in their lives as well. Here are some of my tips. Let’s call this 10 ways to live a plastic-free life for beginners:

  1. Bring your own eco-bag wherever you go.
  2. Carry around a reusable bottle, and when you run out of water, you can refill in cafes or restaurants.
  3. Skip the plastic straw.
  4. Use cloth towels.
  5. For the ladies, invest in a menstrual cup. 
  6. Refuse plastic cutlery. 
  7. Bring a reusable stainless Tupperware just in case you want to take out food. 
  8. Use a bamboo toothbrush. 
  9. Visit a local farmer’s market
  10. Shop second hand (Ukay-ukay)

It’s hard to go zero-waste, but there are ways to support the cause. I would definitely love to hear more about your zero-waste journey.

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Story by Kelsey Albano


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