My Favourite Community Resources for Sustainable Living in Malaysia

It is not just for those who want to go zero waste, everyone can benefit from saving RESOURCES – whether it’s money, time, unnecessary stuff, and a whole lot of waste.

There are some of my favourite, most oft-mentioned community resources that I constantly recommend to everyone I meet.

They make going zero waste a whole lot easier for me – with the strength of community and fantastic organisations.

Most of these are online, or in the Klang Valley and Penang. However, you’ll find similar concepts and initiatives prevalent in most places!

/ NGOs & NOT-FOR-PROFITS

Organisations dedicated to making your world a better place.

Zero Waste Malaysia

Great for: zero waste businesses, tips and tricks for sustainable living, crowd-sourced ideas

A hub of zero waste activity in Malaysia, Zero Waste Malaysia is an invaluable volunteer-run NGO.

Their Facebook group is a rich community resource for support and local know-how of living a low impact life.

The forum is a great place to seek answers to all your questions. Often, the questions you have have been asked and answered there by the community. Use the “Search” function to find common threads and conversations of your queries.

I use the group to search for resources, discover new solutions locally and to brainstorm with the community – whether it’s where to shop #zerowaste, discover new vendors or to exchange ideas and encourage solution-driven life hacks to everyday life.

Their Zero Waste Map plots all the locations of resources and businesses to help you in reducing your waste, whether it’s zero waste stores, traditional bulk food stores, repair shops, compost sites, etc and is regularly updated.

Free Tree Society

Great for: Free Plants! Urban gardening education

Free Tree Society is an environmental organisation that gives away free trees and plant saplings to the community to encourage reforesting our urban areas.

Watch out for their regular plant giveaways on Facebook and Instagram, as they enable more Malaysians to fill our living spaces with greenery.

You can volunteer with them heredonate monetarily, or donate your unwanted pots or seeds and cuttings from coveted plants, so that they may continue their good work.

They have nurseries in Bangsar and Taman Tugu Negara, and I would highly encourage visiting them during their open days!

/ COMMUNITY INITIATIVES

Find your people by doing the things you love.

Buy Nothing Project

Great for: Free #secondhand stuff, re-homing your unwanted items

LOVE the Buy Nothing Project (“BNP”).

A Buy Nothing group, and similar offshoots, is exactly what it sounds like, a freecycling group so people can buy nothing and give freely.

I use it to source practically EVERYTHING secondhand and re-home stuff I don’t need in my home responsibly to be reused by someone else.

Check out my guide to decluttering responsibly

There is one in every country, state, county in the form of Facebook groups; and if there isn’t, why not start one yourself?

Here are the Klang ValleyPJ, and Penang ones. The platforms operate through Facebook Groups.

Instead of owning something by buying it, I treat BNP as my “personal garage”; sourcing, loaning, and/or giving items whenever I need to

Most items you could need or want, likely already exists in your community under-utilised or forgotten in someone’s storeroom.

We must embrace the power of community again, instead of pulling out our wallet automatically.

The power of the gifting economy will help you literally Buy Nothing!

Plant Swag (Swap/Gift)

Great for: Free Plants! Urban gardening community activities and support

Plant Swag is a plant swap platform where you can swap / gift or adopt plant saplings within the community! The Facebook group founded by Lady Of Leisure, Evangeline Lim, believes that

We know how quickly our plant obsessions can rack up our spending, but nature is the gift that keeps on giving and it SO easy to multiply the plants we already have.

So why not propagate your existing plants and swap with other gardeners in your local community?

Even if you’re just starting out and have nothing to swap, there are lots of generous gardeners happy to start you off with your first saplings!

Composting

Great for: Convenient drop off spots to deposit your food waste to be composted

One of the quickest way to significantly cutting your waste apart is to compost your food waste.

Almost 50% of our waste going to landfill comes from food waste, where valuable organic nutrients are not only lost but wreak havoc by emitting methane, powerful greenhouse gas, in the conditions of a landfill.

If you’re not ready to compost in your own home yet, you can drop off your food waste at some of these locations:

/ LOCAL HEROES

Meet my everyday heroes in Sustainability.

Davina Da Vegan

Malaysian-inspired vegan recipes, nutrition knowledge drops, a dose of kindness inspiration

Davina is the epitome of kindness and empathy. She’s also a source of some seriously delicious vegan eats. Her plant-based lifestyle is a great motivator to anyone looking to reduce their meat intake and pursue a plant-based diet in Malaysia.

Her ‘Healing Diets’ training also gives us insight to how we can unlock the forgotten healing value in our food.

With colorful plant-based recipes adapted from local delicacies and ingredients, local vegan-friendly ‘makan’ places and exciting new ingredients shared on her website and social media, it feels like you have a friend taking your hand to explore all the ways we can eat cruelty-free.

Her personal Instagram, Davina Goh is also worth a follow where the ever present quality that resonates in each of her posts is kindness and looking beyond oneself.

Benny Price/ Veggie Hench

Science-based fitness on a plant-based diet

Benny is a beast.

This plant-powered personal trainer not only shows us it is possible to be insanely strong without meat, he drops serious truths on fitness and the plant-based diet, backed by his obsessive study of the latest science in fitness and nutrition (emphasis on the science, not ‘bro science’)

He doesn’t claim to be a scientist himself, but rather an avid learner. With strong deduction skills and an even stronger bulls*** filter, there is no sugar-coating to his content. Just hard facts and reasonable arguments with an inquisitive spirit. Plus, his humor makes learning a lot more appealing while he sifts through the fat and serves you the gold.

Apart from giving us lots of food for thought to the way we approach fitness, Benny is a strong ally in the environmental movement and also forms 1/7th of The Green Guerrilla