PETALING JAYA, March 30 — In conjunction with Earth Hour that’s taking place across the globe today, actress and environmental activist Maya Karin is one of the few personalities who walks the talk when it comes to green living.
While it’s easy to assume an actress such as Maya would have countless outfits at her disposal, it couldn’t be further from the truth for the German-Malay beauty who loves living the simple life.
When Malay Mail asked the Munafik 2 star for some simple but impactful tips for a better planet, one of the points Maya highlighted was buying fewer clothes.
She also connected the dots between social media trends and how it potentially affects the environment.
“I really don’t like this hashtag Outfit of the Day (#OOTD). People are running out there in droves buying new clothes all the time just so they can post outfit of the day stuff on Instagram.
“Fast fashion is very bad for the environment, it’s one of the top contributors of environmental decline.
“My personal assistant would tell me to go shopping because I need new clothes and I tell her ‘No, I don’t’. I’ve worn my dinner show dresses multiple times,” said Maya, who will be presenting an award at tonight’s Festival Filem Malaysia.
As a passionate campaigner of treasuring and preserving our rivers, the River of Life ambassador is also urging the public to stop treating our waterways as a dumping ground.
One example is the recent toxic waste dumping at Johor’s Sungai Kim Kim which affected more than 4,000 people.
“We need to stop throwing Coke cans, cigarette buds and cigarette boxes down the drain and we need to be alert. If we see someone littering, we should say something, if it’s something big we should report it,” she said.
Maya added that environmental education begins at home as children emulate their parents’ actions.
“If they see their parents littering, then they see no problem or if the kids are littering and parents don’t tell them to pick it up, they’re not going to do anything,” she said.
The singer, who recently released her new single Getaway, credits her mum and dad who taught her to live modestly and inculcated sustainable practices such as recycling and bringing her own grocery bags since she was young.
“I can’t think of anything hardest to do when adopting a greener lifestyle, it came naturally since I was a kid,” she said.
If you’re out stocking up on groceries, Maya advises to frequent a wet market instead of supermarkets.
“One thing I find really annoying is seeing fruits and vegetables — all these healthy ingredients — wrapped in plastic.”
She prefers going to the pasar pagi (morning market) where she can get healthy produce minus the unnecessary packaging.
“I’m quite frustrated because even when I walk to the pasar malam (night market) in Bangsar, I saw [sic] so many plastic bags and just a handful of people who brought their own bags,” she said.
Maya’s tips for a better planet
1. Always carry extra shopping bags in your car or handbag. Say no to plastic bags for the smallest of things.
2. Don’t shower too long and don’t wash your car every two days.
3. If you don’t need the light, turn it off.
“I’ve met some people who think because they paid for the hotel room feel they have the right to leave all the lights and air-conditioning on while they go out.”
4. Eat more vegetarian meals and eat less meat.
“The consumption of chicken and especially beef is very harmful to the environment and contributes a lot to CO2 emissions.”
5. Bring your own straw, refuse a straw if you can.