How to zero your (mental) waste

Dear friends,

Before I begin, I would love to share a beautiful quote:

" Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny."

This post is going to weigh heavy in thoughts and it got me thinking a lot about my relationship with nature and the greener place that I wish to be. I sincerely hope that by penning down my thoughts and my wish for Mother nature, will somehow resonate with friends who want to do put their words into actions; actions which will literally transform this Earth into a more beautiful place to live in.

👆 Falling heart-shaped leaf from Lazarus island

When I was drafting my previous post "Beach cleaning at Lazarus Island" which spoke about the human littering issue, I was recommended by Youtube to watch Chasing Coral, which is a documentary about mass coral bleaching. From one event leading to another, the root of the problem was us (humans).

This documentary got me questioning myself on the responsibilities of being a human being.

👆 On my way to Lazarus Island

Take littering for example; rather than blaming who is misbehaving, are we able to look deeper into the cause through our own experiences as humans? By simply asking What makes me (as a human) mentally and physically litter?

From my personal experience: The feeling of not having enough, feeling incomplete (and broken)
For example: 
Feeling overwhelming because I do have the courage to say no to things that I don't agree with.
Feeling stressed because unknowingly comparing myself with others
Feeling down because I don't even know the reason why I am feeling this way
Feeling why am I the only one who suffers?

All these feelings "broken down" into context is a form of mental littering. Each of us has our own recycle bin (with different capacities) to store our mental littering. Once the bin is full, we will not behave like our usual selves. That's when our behaviours harm to both ourselves and Mother Nature

This used to be my favourite thing to do whenever I am stressed: Retail therapy to shop and buy numerous fashionable clothes (from top to toe) without ever considering whether these new clothes will serve me for a long time. Ironically, all I cared about was the excitement of owning something new. 

How could buying what I love (at that one moment) become destructive to Mother nature?
Because it was so hard for me to admit that I only buy for the sake of owning them and dislike having to wear the same outfit to work twice. 

My realisation surfaced when I kon mari the clothes I had into a total of 7 x 70 litre trash bags (my pre-loved clothing became textile waste) to give away. Resources wasted, energy wasted, money wasted because of the way I handled my stress - mental waste eventually morphing into textile waste 

Still remember Mahatma Gandi's quote at the very beginning? Your thoughts become your words, your words become your action. Right before the action, our thoughts act as a compass which will lead us into action. And I can't agree more with Gandi.

👆 Sleeping cat on the general waste bin in Chikeshan

What can we do to reduce our mental waste?

Here's a little stress-free story to share.

My cousin, Matthew, shared with me his perfect day: 

He woke up for breakfast with his wife and the timing seemed just right for him. After he returned home, he worked for hours on end and felt tired and craved for a cup of coffee. At that moment, his friend coincidentally invited him (without advance planning) for a short coffee break, to catch up with him. 

He went back to work after coffee and continued to work till he felt hungry and found food laid out on the table, prepared by his wife. After their dinner, they visited the nearest park to enjoy a walk, hand in hand admiring the stars and the moon in the darkened sky. 

He mentioned everything went smoothly for him throughout the day and he felt that he had "enough"

Enough was plenty:
Enough sleep
Enough good vibes
Enough happiness
Enough hardworking-ness
Enough friendliness
Enough good meals
Enough space
Enough me time
Enough love
having enough "enoughs"
and he needed nor wanted anything more

Feeling enough and knowing it's enough has aided him to be grateful for a wonderful day.

I wish to "stay awake" to observe when I have a day like this, to find that golden ratio formula for a day like that - to make everything fall into place on its own (feeling enough can turn my greed into a sleeping mode). 

And here is the simple practice which I can share with you through my personal experience: Click the beauty of slow if you need to know the how-to. 

👆 Hidden forest in Tampines Eco Park

You can also click the link below to read others self-care related post:

👆 Nature reflection at Tampines Eco Park

From big events like climate change to how we take responsibility for our own mental waste (before it morphs into physical waste), we should learn that everything is interconnected in a way which we are yet able to comprehend. Our internal self-reflection is key to understanding this. If big events like climate change are caused by us, then we are also the solution to our own problem. 

Thank you🙏 for reading to this point. 

Here is the link to the documentary which gave me the motivation to write this post, a post which I hope hope hope will provide you with a new perspective on how to reduce our impact/ carbon footprint on the place which gives us life and breath - our complex yet so beautiful Earth.


Chasing Corals: Documentary on mass coral bleaching due to the risen temperature in the ocean. They shared the relationship between corals and us in a very educational and beautiful way. Click here to watch the full documentary.
video via youtube

Before the Flood: An eye-opener of the factors of climate change and how we can do out part to prevent before it's too late.
video via youtube

War on waste: Innovative solutions for general waste.
video via youtube

Waste no more,
Waee Waee