Zero Waste On The Go

Zero Waste On The Go

As someone who is trying to reduce their waste, I’ve discovered it can be a lot trickier when you’re away from home. When you’re hungry or thirsty it can be tempting to grab takeaway food that’s wrapped in plastic and comes with disposable cutlery. The waste really adds up on a daily basis!

A little planning and most of that waste can be avoided. I’ve created a ‘zero waste kit’ that I take with me when I’m on the go. It’s taken a few weeks of trial and error before the habit shift set in so don’t worry if you forget to take things with you or have to grab a packaged snack while you’re out. Mistakes happen (I certainly still make them!), what’s important is we keep inching towards change.

Zero Waste On The Go

I’m still feeling my way when it comes to living a low waste lifestyle although, slow and steady, these habits are becoming just another part of my daily routine. I wanted to share what I’ve learned about making zero waste easier when you’re on the go.

Bring Your Own Reusable Tools

The simplest way to avoid waste while you’re outside of the home is to bring the tools that make it easier. The basic ‘zero waste kit’ includes a water bottle or reusable cup, some cutlery (I don’t see any point buying anything new; just take some from home), a cloth napkin, a lunchbox, tiffin, or jar, a steel straw, and a tote bag. You could also pack small cloth bags if you have a tendency to pick up fresh snacks bypassing the need for a paper bag or napkin.

Opt To Sit In

If you don’t have your reusable tools with you (especially a thermos or cup) it’s best to request your order to “eat/drink in.” It can be frustrating, when you want to keep moving and have forgotten to pack your zero waste kit; but sitting in doesn’t take much longer than ordering to go (you’re going to have to stop to drink/eat anyway!) and it avoids the terrible waste that comes with disposable cups and plastic packaging.

Refuse Straws, Napkins, and Cutlery

Times are changing... but slowly. You’re still likely to be served a drink with a straw, extra napkins, and disposable cutlery unless you ask for your order without them. This requires a bit of a habit shift and relies on us remembering to ask before our drink or food is served, otherwise you might find you end up with all three. If you have the option of a receipt, a freebie, a business card - whatever it is you don't need - get into the habit of saying, "no thank you".

Take Home Your Recycling

As hard as we might try, waste is sometimes unavoidable. If you do end up with packaging on your hands, take it home and recycle it. We have a personal responsibility to deal with the waste we cause and pocketing any paper, cardboard, or plastic we accumulate throughout the day isn’t that inconvenient to carry home with us.

What are your tips for reducing waste when you're on the go?
Let me know in the comments!

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Zero Waste On The Go