Cover Claire Sancelot, Gurmit Singh, Jenn Low and Didie Nasir have a couple of things to teach us.

We can all take a couple of pointers from Claire Sancelot, Gurmit Singh, Jenn Low and Didie Nasir, who practise positive traits.

As the New Year rolls in, we read, hear or see things that are synonymous with a new awakening, a rejuvenation of the mind, body and soul plus of course, promises to inculcate healthier, better habits. It is, without a doubt, hard to form a new habit, let alone follow through with it for the rest of the year. These four amazing individuals, each with their known habits of living with zero waste, practising self love and body positivity, going green and on a digital detox, share with us their journey as well as tips to become a better version of yourself this year. 

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Aim for a zero wastage lifestyle, like Claire Sancelot

This 2017 United Nations awardee lived in Hong Kong for 10 years, where she first discovered the movement she is now fighting and living for, mainly driven by maternal instincts. “I had, in my flat then, an air purifier, water filter and all the organic baby food packaged from countries far and wide, and this is when I realised the whole system was not working anymore. This is when my husband and I decided to start by reducing our waste as much as possible. It was the best thing for our child’s future."

It all starts with 'refuse'.

1. Refuse single use items like plastic bottles, bags
and coffee cups. Ask for a reusable, or bring your

2. Have an amazing water filter at home.

3. Buy organic bulk food and local fresh vegetables as much as possible.

4. Ask yourself if the items you have binned have reusable solutions.

5. Be creative and build your wardrobe with investment pieces, instead of feeling the pressure to have the latest fashion statement.

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Reduce carbon footprint, like Gurmit Singh

Having campaigned for carbon footprint reduction for nearly half a century, Gurmit has written countless books and papers about issues pertaining to the environment. Fearlessness and passion aside, he was and still is, most famous for his 1979 feat—during which he had donned a gas mask, got on his bicycle and raced a car from Petaling Jaya all the way to Taman Titiwangsa, in a bid to raise awareness for the environment. 

Examine your current lifestyle and habits.

1. Bring your own bags when you go shopping.

2. If you have to use air conditioner, limit it to 24ºC as this could save up to 40 per cent of energy consumption.

3. Weed out excessive packaging or chemical-laced food.

4. Minimise the use of throwaways. Use solar panels if you can.

5. Switch to public transport as much as possible.

6. Carry out composting, or recycle papers and separate your waste.


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Go on digital detoxes, like Jenn Low

“I found the unplugging really healthy and decided thereafter, to consciously make the time to take a digital detox and social media sabbatical, at least one to two times a month,” Jenn divulged. “It isn’t about giving up the digital world altogether, but more about having balance and choosing to be more mindful and aware about how much it takes us away from what’s happening right in front of us, and the anxiety it can create over time.”

Stop updating your presence, and live in the present.

1. Set your charging station away from your bed, so that your phone isn’t the first
and last thing you look at every day.

2. Have your phone face down in meetings, and especially during meal times, so the new messages and updates are not distracting.

3. If it’s the weekend or a holiday, for a few hours each day, switch to airplane mode
to use the phone as a camera, and absolutely nothing else.

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Practise body positivity, like Didie Nasir

With such a sensual yet happy-go-lucky and confident air about her, one would be puzzled at the fact that Didie indeed had trouble loving herself and her body in the beginning. Alas, we are only human, and well, we are prone to such insecurities. But, Didie turned that around. “I always advise people to recognise their flaws and weaknesses, to accept them and focus on the positive aspects. It’s important to love yourself because if you don’t, you are standing in your own way. The things that we say and repeat to ourselves become our reality!”

Start your day right.

1. Positively affirm yourself, especially when you don't feel great.

2. Meditate, for at least five to 10 minutes.

3. Use an app to guide you, such as 'Headspace' or 'Calm'.

4. Reward yourself with a healthy breakfast; cheat on the weekends.

5. Exercise – even if it's for a minute.

6. Say what you are grateful for out loud at the end of the day.

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