Clean Green Story #5: Sochenda, the zero-waste warrior

Have you ever imagined a world without plastic? A world in which plastic would end up neither in landfills nor oceans because it would no longer exist. Sochenda is one of those who thinks this world can become reality. She took the decision to eradicate plastic from her daily life. As you might expect, she cannot fight against plastic waste by herself. One year ago, she launched ZEROW a zero-waste education platform to share her experience as a zero-waster.

We asked her to tell us more about her commitment. We hope her story will inspire you! Stand against plastic pollution by joining Sochenda’s zero-waste community!

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Hi Sochenda, could you introduce yourself a bit? 

I am Sochenda Aok, an environmental content creator in Cambodia. I am the founder of ZEROW where I share and discuss my zero-waste journey. I use social media as a way to promote my zero-waste lifestyle. Through my videos and posts, I seek to empower people by providing them solutions they can use in their daily life. I try to upload weekly content on my Facebook, Instagram and Youtube platforms to keep people informed of my tips.

What do you achieve to make our world more sustainable to live?

Besides living a sustainable life alone, I am spreading the word and trying to build a community. More and more Cambodians are embracing the zero-waste lifestyle, especially young adults. The world needs more people to be conscious and living their simple lives with less waste.

Did an event or something special triggered your commitment to waste reduction? What made you realize the impact of waste?

Sochenda's zero-waste bathroom essentials

I, once, came across a zero-waste lifestyle in a debate club called Life Group. Then I started realizing how much waste we produce every day non-stop. Yet, at that time, I did not go zero-waste right away but I only tried to reduce some waste. It did not make much of a difference because I always had an excuse or forgot that I had to bring my own containers or bags. Until over one year ago, I decided to go zero-waste and let people around me know I was doing it. Then, I realized that reducing waste was within everyone’s reach! Sometimes, I think we just have to go all in.

How did you start reducing your waste?

I have started living zero-waste before sharing my lifestyle to the general public. I discovered the zero-waste community and started reducing waste three years ago. I have been learning how to say NO to unnecessary stuff. It sounds easy but believe it or not, it is not. I stopped using single-use plastic as an indispensable first step! Then, I worked my way up to reach the zero-waste bathroom, zero-waste skincare, and so on. Despite my efforts, I am not a complete zero-waster yet. I still need to further deepen my action but I am so happy with what I have done so far!

Tell us more about your commitment. What are the reasons you have created your blog? 

There are two reasons for this content creation. First, to bring a zero-waste lifestyle to Cambodia. Second, to raise awareness about environmental issues. It hurts when some small group of people in Cambodia do not throw their trash in the bins. While that happens, I step to another level and start showing how to live a zero-waste lifestyle. My main principle that I always talk about is to stop creating waste as the first step. Since we do not have waste, then we do not have to throw it away, then we do not have to reuse or recycle.

Do you feel that the public is receptive to your message? Which public do you target?

Within the ZEROW community, there are people who start acknowledging this issue. They have shared that after watching my videos for instance. They have reduced their use of plastic and some have started living as zero-wasters as well. Little by little, I hope, more people will follow the movement.

Which tip would you give to someone who wants to start reducing their waste? What are the first steps or indispensable tools ?

For zero-waste starters, we can use what we already have to substitute plastic items. Heading out to stores to buy new stuff for living zero-waste is not recommended. Use what we have first. Then, buy what we need only. Remember, less is more.

My advice to someone who wants to start reducing waste is to stop creating unnecessary waste. For example, using a disposable plastic bag to hold a plastic water bottle. The plastic bag is not even necessary. So start there!

article-Sochenda-food
How to ban plastic from your kitchen...

What are your future projects? Do you want to work for environmental protection?

Right now, I am working on building a community of people who are going zero-waste or wanting to. I am planning a special, closed Facebook group where I will share exclusive content. I want to create an inspiring place where zero-wasters help and support each other to continue their efforts. In the near future, I aim to provide products all over Cambodia to make my zero-waste lifestyle more accessible. Finally, I am thriving to help and take part in environmental protection projects.

logo-ZEROW

Sochenda invites everybody to join her community whether you are already a zero-waster or seeking to invest in the fight! If you are interested in learning more about her no-plastic tips and initiatives, reach her out on her website or follow her on Facebook and Instagram. Let’s play our part to abandon plastic from daily life! 

 Looking for other inspiring Clean Green Stories? Click here

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