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The zero-waste movement is an environmentally friendly lifestyle that aims to curtail the amount of waste that individuals create every day, and so minimise our carbon footprint.

Want to start your own zero-waste journey? Here’s a quick guide for you!  

Avoid Fast Fashion

The fast fashion industry refers to the mass production of clothes – and they are often made with cheap, low-quality fabric and materials that often don't last long. Fast fashion is attractive mostly because of their fast production of new, trendy items which can provide instant gratification to buyers.


Here’s how we can avoid being a part of the fast fashion culture:


  • Shop for ethical fashion brands and follow sustainable fashion trends 
  • Buy good quality clothing that lasts longer so you need new clothes less frequently
  • You can donate or sell clothing that no longer fit or suit you – don't ever throw them in the bin! 
  • Rent clothing you will use only once for a special occasion
  • Recycle or upcycle clothes

Reducing the Plastic Packaging in Your Kitchen

Our kitchens are where we use the most plastic, from containers, utensils to garbage bags. Try to reduce the plastic usage in your kitchen to ensure that you leave behind a minimal carbon footprint.

Some ways in which you can cut the plastic usage in the kitchen are:


  • Use mesh bags – for onions, potatoes, garlic, etc.
  • Buy grocery locally and in bulk, carry a cloth bag to hold your purchases
  • Avoid refrigerator bags
  • Avoid plastic wrap and re-sealable plastic bags
  • Upcycle and reuse kitchenware
  • Start composting your organic waste either yourself or through an organisation that offers the service

Be Energy Smart

Smart energy is the process by which we use energy-efficient devices.


Here are ways to become energy smart:


  • Reduce the temperature of your water heaters and raise the temperature of your air conditioners
  • Turn off lights as your exit the room
  • Try to use electric equipment less frequently by waiting for full loads before starting your dishwasher, washing machine, etc.
  • Switch to LED lights
  • Purchase energy-efficient equipment with 5 or 6 energy star ratings.

Reducing Single-Use Plastic

By reducing the usage of single-use plastic, you can reduce pollution, save energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, all of these which contribute to climate change.


Some effective ways to reduce single-use plastic are:


  • Avoid drinking from plastic cups and using straws
  • Carry a cloth bag while grocery shopping
  • Buy loose vegetables and produce, and fewer packaged food products
  • Replace plastic in your kitchen with reusable crockery and cutlery
  • Separate your plastic waste drop is off in a recycling bin
  • Choose to go green, recycle and reuse your packaging always.


These are some very easy steps to get started on your zero-waste lifestyle. CIMB hosts The Cooler Earth Sustainability Summit every year where we convene global citizens, experts and key stakeholders to deliberate on what you can do today as an individual and as a business to shape a more sustainable tomorrow. Consider these small initiatives as a way of building upon your contribution to our tomorrow. 


This article is brought to you by CIMB as part of our ongoing efforts to raise the level of financial literacy among Malaysians. Financial knowledge and understanding are key to making well-informed and meaningful financial decisions that will improve all our well-being. This, in turn, achieves CIMB’s purpose of advancing customers and society.