Whenever Jasmine Tuan brews a pot of coffee, she makes a conscious effort to keep the used coffee grounds to make a body scrub.
"Many people do not realise how easy it is to make your own luscious scrub from used coffee grounds. It is also kinder to the environment and helps to stretch your money further," says the founder of Kuala Lumpur's Blackmarket pre-loved clothing store, during a phone interview from Singapore recently.
Due to the movement control order (MCO), the Singaporean has not been able to return to Kuala Lumpur to run her business.
Tuan is among a growing number of consumers who are moving towards a zero-waste lifestyle. These days, she makes many of her personal care products, including body scrubs and toothpaste.
And as the owner of a pre-loved store, she isn't bothered about using second-hand clothing.
Tuan was one of the speakers on Zero Waste Malaysia's #JomZero Waste community live stream on Facebook and Instagram. Her session, held on May 4, was aimed at teaching Malaysians different ways to conserve the environment during the MCO.
During her 20-minute session, Tuan shared simple steps on how to repurpose used coffee grounds into body scrub.
"To make a coffee scrub, you only require two portions of used coffee, one portion of sugar, and one portion of coconut oil. It is really that simple," says Tuan.
In her session, Tuan also spoke on how consumers can be creative and make different scrubs with other edible ingredients. Besides coffee scrub, Tuan enjoys making a body scrub using fine sugar, lemon juice and a few drops of essential oils.
"If we can eat them, they are also good for the environment when washed down the drain. Many beauty products have chemicals with names that we can't even pronounce, let alone understand. It is important to make conscious decisions," says Tuan, adding that it takes only a few minutes to prepare a homemade scrub.
With the current conditional MCO in place, Tuan advises people to rethink their decisions on sustainability and zero-waste living.
"During the (restricted movement) period, we hardly think of what to wear each day. It boils down to what's most comfortable in our humid climate. We should also start to think of ways to move towards zero waste. The MCO teaches us to re-evaluate what is truly important and valuable to us," says Tuan.
Two weeks ago, Tuan created a blog (smileslikegreenspirit.com) to share her thoughts on the 5Rs – refuse, rethink, reuse, reduce and recycle – and more.
"Actually, I started the blog because I picked up so much more Rs which helped me in my journey. I'll like to introduce one R at a time to help others in their journey."
"I hope the blog will help enlighten consumers on how we can do so much more than just recycle. There are many methods we can adopt, like rethink, repurpose and refuse."