Metro Manila: Zero-Waste Stores for Responsible Travelers
Zero-waste is a principle of reducing your waste to nothing.
But it’s not as simple as having no garbage to dispose of. The zero-waste movement doesn’t start with controlling disposal. It starts by controlling consumption.
A recent report shows that Metro Manila produced 9.2 million kilos of garbage in 2018. But the problem extends beyond Metro Manila. The Philippines is known to be the world’s third-largest ocean polluter: masses of trash swirling in waterways, clogging our canals, flooding our oceans, taking over our mountains and even being ingested by our wildlife.
But there is hope, led by a community of people who believe their actions, however small, can make a change. The zero-waste movement is here, and it’s calling out to travelers to mind their lifestyle and their impact.
Show me the zero-waste shops!
The zero-waste movement is not limited to using natural products, or even the act of recycling them. It’s being mindful with your consumption: the waste you produce. It’s easy not to think about as travelers, but every plastic straw or paper bag ends up somewhere.
Incorporating the zero-waste lifestyle with travel habits can be challenging, but there are places right in the heart of Metro Manila that can equip you with all the necessary tools.
Ritual identifies as a general store and cacao/coffee joint; it’s run by people who decided that they wanted a place that sells local, eco-friendly, preferably organic products not enclosed in plastic. From coconut-based cleansers to coconut coir scrubbers, and even edible, local, natural goodies from all over the Philippines; stock up at Ritual before you head off on your next trip.
Location: 2nd Floor, Languages International Bldg., 926 Arnaiz Ave., Makati City
Operating Hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11AM-8PM, Sundays 11AM-4PM
Humble Market houses a variety of personal care items such as beeswax wraps, silicone menstrual cups, metal shavers, travel-size organic soaps, cotton net totes, bamboo straws and a lot more. They also sell food by the gram so bring your own containers!
Location: YDG Coffee, Mandala Park, Shaw Blvd, Mandaluyong City, Philippines
Operating Hours: Open daily, 8AM-10PM
Got Heart Shop
This one-stop shop in White Plains has a loyal following, thanks to its all-natural and organic products (both food and non-food items!). As a bonus, Got Heart Shop products are curated thoughtfully from partner indigenous communities, start-ups and small business partners, so you’re also throwing your support to local communities.
Some great finds: their artisanal soaps, package-free shampoo bars, conditioners, sanitizers and other cleansers. They also sell woven baskets and hand-potted plates and jars that you can bring on your travels.
Location: Lot 10, B-10 Katipunan Avenue, White Plains, Quezon City
Operating Hours: Open daily, 11AM-9PM
“A collective of better goods.” Loop is the department store of zero-waste, housing more than 30 brands that cover beauty, personal care, home, travel, and slow fashion goods.
Cool items you can get from Loop include coffee-coconut tanning oil, natural bamboo band-aids, reef-friendly sunblock, reusable freezer bags, and collapsible silicone travel tumblers. They also have mesh bags, ‘conscious’ towels, and stylish swimsuits to make sure you’re travel-ready.
Location: Unit 30, 68 Don A. Roces Ave, Diliman, Quezon City
Operating Hours: Tuesday-Sundays, 1030AM-730PM
Kahilom is all about mindful living, but that includes dressing and decorating. This quirkly little hub has a some of everything, all eco-conscious.
You might want to check out their abaca dishwashing sponges (for your toiletries), along with their bags and footwear made from dried water hyacinth.
Location: First United Building, 413 Escolta St, Binondo, Manila, 1008 Metro Manila
Operating Hours: Open daily, 11AM-8PM
Short on time? Live on the Internet? The zero-waste lifestyle is available online.
The Good Store
The Good Store (no relationship to The Good Trip, but high-five) is an online marketplace that advocates local community-based and cause-driven products to elevate your lifestyle. Cut down on your "plastic footprint" by using zero-waste products and saying no to single use! Sustainability is key with these social good items and sets.
Things That Matter
For those who live for the aesthetic—this online shopping site curates products that are both eco-friendly and artisanal. They celebrate the tradition of weaving, empowering minorities and uphold sustainable living through their online platform.
Sustainable travel is not a fad
How can we manage waste in the way we live, the way we travel? How do we create a culture where zero-waste is commonplace?
The shift towards sustainable travel is a constant process; it can’t happen overnight. It also can’t come solely from consumers. But perhaps consumers can have an impact, as the zero-waste movement believes. But more than just buying the tools needed for a zero-waste travel lifestyle, start by changing consumption and disposal habits.