25-year-old Maria Tan leads a zero-waste lifestyle – that means everything she uses leaves no impact on the earth. She tells us just how she goes about it. When I was a student in London, I became more aware of how unnecessary supermarket plastic bags were and decided to start bringing a reusable tote bag. Then I watched a YouTube video by Lauren Singer on how she lives a zero-waste lifestyle and that instantly clicked with me. The ability to simplify my life while supporting an [eco-friendly lifestyle] became a priority, and I started swapping everyday disposable items for reusable ones. The first thing is to know your enemy – collect your trash for a week and record what kind of trash you generate, then tackle it step-by-step. Start with low-hanging fruit like disposable plastic bags and coffee cups. Then, go room-to-room in your house. Organic cotton reusable pads are good for both the environment and my sensitive skin, and since I’ve started using them, my periods have been smoother and less painful. Yes, I have to spend a couple of minutes washing them, but the benefits outweigh the costs for sure. I’ve managed to live this way while working full-time and have never felt happier and more satisfied with my life – so, yes! It really is a matter of changing your mindset and taking that first step, because once everything becomes routine, you won’t even miss the “convenience” of using disposables. Maria is participating in the Income Eco Run 2018 as a Zero Waste Runner and is working with them to reduce waste generation during their upcoming runs and pre-events. The Income Eco Run happens on April 29 at the F1 Pit Building. For details, visit www.income.com.sg.