A Marine Advocate’s Top 10 Favorite Items for a Sustainable Lifestyle

A Marine Advocate’s Top 10 Favorite Items for a Sustainable Lifestyle

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Anna Oposa
Marine Conservationist
  • Rocketbook
    Core Smart Notebook

    Anna Oposa

    I stopped using paper notebooks a few years ago to reduce my paper use, but I’ve always missed writing with pen and paper. I was thrilled to discover the Rocketbook Smart Notebook last year. The notebook comes with a Pilot Frixion penーthe one with erasable inkーand a microfiber cloth. 

    You can write on the pages, take a picture with the Rocketbook app, sync it with your productivity apps, and wipe the pages clean with a little water and the cloth. My Rocketbook is linked to my Google Drive and Evernote accounts. It’s the last notebook I’ll ever need!
  • Human Nature
    Purifying Facial Scrub

    Anna Oposa

    Microbeads are tiny beads we find in body scrubs and facial washes that exfoliate our skin. They're made of plastic that almost always ends up in our oceans and waterways because wastewater treatment plants weren’t designed to filter them out. 

    15 countries have already banned the use of microbeads in personal care and cosmetics. Human Nature, a social enterprise in the Philippines, found a natural and biodegradable substitute that wouldn't harm the seas and wildlifeーreal strawberry seeds and fine bamboo granules. 

    I love that the natural exfoliants gently cleanse and remove dead skin cells, leaving my skin soft and smooth. I've been using this product since it launched in 2012 and it has been one of the staples in my skincare routine!
  • Human Nature
    Liquid Detergent

    Anna Oposa

    Another one of my favorites from Human Nature is this liquid laundry detergent. This formulation uses plant-based foaming and cleansing agents and locally-sourced coconut cleaners.

    I can’t use fabric conditioner on the clothes I wear, and this keeps my clothes soft and smelling fresh as if I were using fabric conditioner. The best part is that their detergents and liquid dishwashing soaps are refillable! 

    Human Nature has two refilling stations in Metro Manila. Human Nature and Save Philippine Seas are part of a coalition of stakeholders advocating for policies to allow the refilling of other household products.
  • Sinaya Cup
    Menstrual Cup

    Anna Oposa

    I switched to tampons in high school in an attempt to reduce waste, then finally switched to menstrual cups in 2018. 

    Honestly, there’s a steep learning curve and it may take a few cycles to get used to inserting the cup and pulling it out. There may also be some trial-and-error required to find the right cup for your body and menstrual flow. I’ve tried three different cups until I found "The One". 

    Once you find the perfect size and shape, you’ll be a convert! It’s a challenge to clean in public restrooms, but fortunately, you can wear the menstrual cup for up to 12 hours, depending on your flow, of course, so you can plan your cleaning and changing times ahead.
  • Zippies
    Reusable Standup Bags

    Anna Oposa

    To reduce food waste and save time, I meal prep twice a week and measure my portions. I have a stash of resealable, reusable, freezer-safe, food-safe containers and have tried different brands and materials. 

    The Zippies are the best ones for me in terms of quality and price point. Sometimes, the smell of the food transfers to the material. This is common for some plastic- and silicone-based containers, but this is easily fixed with a bit of water and water and baking soda. They can be stored flat to save space. You can use them for non-food items too, like accessories and cosmetics.
  • Zippies
    Earth Sponge Reusable Paper Towel

    Anna Oposa

    Before I learned about the Zippies Earth Sponge reusable paper towels, I would put a few pieces of disposable paper towels in my food container for vegetables and fruits to absorb moisture that builds up in the refrigerator. 

    This is the perfect replacement. Each purchase comes with four towels with a different icon per towel, and each one can be reused up to 100 timesーlet’s be honest, I’m not counting. The reusable paper towels can also be used to wipe countertops and surfaces. 

    There are different ways to clean itーhandwash with dishwashing soap and airdry (my preference); machine wash; or pop washed, moist ones in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  • Lush
    Montalbo Shampoo Bar

    Anna Oposa

    Cosmetics & Go, now known as Lush, created the first shampoo bar in 1988ーthat's 33 years ago, way before shampoo bars became a trend! I tried my first Lush shampoo bar in 2014 when I was given one as a gift, and since then, I've always had at least one Lush shampoo bar in my bathroom. 

    They last for months and can be packed in your carry-on. Unlike liquid shampoos where the plastic bottles add to the waste after using them, a shampoo bar gives you a straightforward usage with zero-waste! Just remember to keep it in a cool, dry place after use.

    The formulation of a shampoo bar is different from liquid shampoos, so it could take time to find the bar that suits your hair and scalp type. I’ve tried others that dried my scalp and made my hair limp and greasy. The Lush Montalbano, Seanik, and Jason and the Argan Oil variants work best for me.
  • Kudo Surf
    KS Delilah Blackbird Surfsuit

    Anna Oposa

    This one-piece swimsuit or surf suit lives up to its promise of being “wipeout proof.” Trust me when I say this since I’ve tested my two Delilah suits against big waves in Siargao, Batangas, and Palawan and through speed drills in a lap pool!

    The cut is flattering for different body typesーthis is important for me since I have a figure that requires different sizes for bikini tops and/or bottoms. Each suit is made from REPREVE® Polyester, a type of fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. 

    Supporting the brand, Kudo Surf, also means supporting the Philippine surfers that they sponsor and activities of the non-profit Siargao Environmental Awareness (SEA) Movement.
  • Kiehl's
    Midnight Recovery Concentrate – Facial Oil

    Anna Oposa

    The Midnight Recovery Concentrate Facial Oil has been a staple on my nightstand for three years already, so it represents my Kiehl's recommendationーI honestly have many favorites from this brand! 

    This serum is formulated with lavender essential oils, a scent that signals bedtime for me. The plant-based squalene (emphasis on plant-based, as some personal care products take squalene from sharks!) also helps restore and refresh my skin while I sleep, so I wake up looking refreshed and dewy.

    I'm a big fan of Kiehl's because of their ambitious targets to reduce their carbon emissions and water consumption and increase the use of recycled materials in their packaging. 

    It also has a global Recycle and Be Rewarded program, where customers are encouraged to bring their empty Kiehl's containers for reward points and other incentives. Each country has different terms and conditions, so it's best to check what the rules are in yours!
  • Reusable Swabs - Combo

    Anna Oposa

    These reusable swabs are made of medical-grade silicone that can be cleaned with water and soap. I don’t use this for my ears because my Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor has specific tips for cleaning one’s ears and it doesn’t involve a cotton swab! 

    Instead, I use this to touch up makeup, specifically for lipstick- and eyeliner-related slip-ups, and to apply ointment on scrapes and scabs. In addition to that, I also use it to clean my electronics and remove debris and buildup from the hard-to-reach holes and crevices of my keyboards and phone