Heard of Greta Thunberg, the sensational teen environmental activist who travels around the world (on railway tracks and sailing across the seas, mind you!) to promote and call for sustainable ways of life? Well, I\u2019m no activist like her, but I do join her and many others in the plight for a more sustainable lifestyle. My motivation in this is my children\u2019s future. It won\u2019t matter how best they\u2019ve been provided for if the environment we live in is sick. Everyone\u2019s health and livelihood will be affected. I never gave much thought about environmental issues, and the terms \u201cglobal warming\u201d and \u201cclimate change\u201d just whoosh past me. But, since watching this short documentary filmed by a British who went snooping around Malaysia, it stopped me in my tracks. The sheer amount of trash secretly dumped in our landfills is shocking to see with my own eyes. It was especially heart-wrenching to hear one family\u2019s story about how their little girl\u2019s health is affected (jump to nine minutes into the documentary). One Small Change Has A Bigger Effect Than We Think Image credit: Cotton Bro from Pexels We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions doing it imperfectly. - Anne-Marie Bonneau Our lifestyles cause so much damage to the environment. Even more so as a woman and a mother, as we use lots of disposable sanitary napkins on ourselves and disposable diapers on our babies. In my effort to be more eco-friendly, I\u2019ve made simple changes to my lifestyle and even educate and encourage my children to do the same. After all, it\u2019s for their future. They might as well start young in being responsible for the home that we call mother earth. I\u2019m sharing some of the simple and cost-effective ways to change to a more sustainable lifestyle, and hope more mummies will join the plight with their children, too. Switching From Disposables To Reusables Image credit: Anna Shvets from Pexels Last year I stopped buying disposable sanitary pads as I made a switch to cloth pads. It took a while for me to come to terms with it. After all, we all question whether it\u2019s the best thing to do, hygiene and convenience wise. But once I made the switch, I had no regrets, as I find the cloth pads to be more comfortable. I\u2019m not the only one. Other ladies who made the switch to either cloth pads or menstrual cups have also become ardent fans of these reusables. We just need to get over the initial resistance and mindset. Image credit: Pexels Many mummies are also converting the use of disposable diapers to cloth diapers. These days, cloth diapers are highly absorbent and come in pretty colours and designs. They are also easier to use and wash compared to the traditional cloth diapers. One other disposable item that we all use a lot now is face mask. There are many reusable cloth masks available so it\u2019s a good idea to go for those too. Just ensure that they comply with the required\u00a0safety criteria and are breathable. Buying Package-Free Products Image credit: Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels Packaging has become a big part of marketing when selling a product. Unfortunately, most of these packaging comes in the form of plastic or paper. Both are a form of wastage since we throw them out as soon as they're stripped out. As much as I can, I shop at zero-waste stores to buy my family\u2019s toiletries and household cleaning products. These shops sell products by weight and without packaging, so you have to bring your own bottles and containers to store your purchases.\u00a0 The good thing is that you can buy as little or as much as you need without feeling bad about it. It\u2019s all about zero-waste, and operators of these stores also encourage buying in small quantities if that's all you need. Many of these products are also eco-friendly. They don\u2019t contain harmful chemicals that end up polluting our oceans, not to mention healthier for our use, too.\u00a0 Some of these zero-waste stores also sell foodstuff in the form of dry condiments, pasta, spices, grains, beans, nuts, etc.\u00a0Just bring your containers to fill up. What I normally do is to leave a few empty containers in the trunk of my car. Whenever I have unplanned visits to these stores to pick up something, I have them ready. Usually, these stores also have clean recycled containers if you happen to go in without yours. Being Sustainable Doesn\u2019t Have To Be Expensive Image credit: Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels Some have found that buying sustainable products such as stainless steel drinking bottles, cloth facial cotton pads, bamboo toothbrushes, etc, cost more. Undeniably true. However, the idea is to use something we already have and to reuse them wisely. We don't necessarily have to buy pretty and Insta-ready products. Let\u2019s say you have a functional plastic water bottle. You don\u2019t need to throw it out and replace that with an eco-friendly version. We can also reuse plastic bags lying around at home as our shopping bags. When these things eventually give way and need replacements, we can then consider buying more lasting and sustainable options. Even then, we are smart consumers with plenty of choices and merchants to choose from. We just need to get a little creative in finding our reusables. When all else fails, we can resort to DIY, too. I have sewn my own produce bags (albeit with crooked thread lines) and made beeswax food wraps together with my children, thanks to the YouTubers and bloggers who generously share their DIY steps. Sustainable Living Benefits All Of Us Some of us are already directly feeling the effects of our polluted environment (watch the earlier shared documentary), whilst some are still unaware. In the years to come, more of its effects will be felt by future generations. By then, it may be a little too late to contain and reverse the dire effects. We all have busy lives and we want our products to be convenient, hassle-free and quick. These conveniences can come with a heavy price with its lasting side effects. Fortunately, we have some homegrown groups and several zero-waste store operators mushrooming in Malaysia who aim to promote awareness and encourage as many people as possible to live more sustainably. We can do our small part, one day at a time. Don\u2019t feel that one act is too small and doesn\u2019t make any difference or impact. It does, and it certainly will.