A Zero Waste Kit

February 23, 2021

A Zero Waste Kit

Making reusables just as convenient to use as disposables is the solution to the plastic that litters our daily lives.  We use the plastic bags at the checkout and take our coffee to go in a disposable cup because it's there and we've forgotten to bring our own. New habits take a while to form and, if we have to go hunting around our homes collecting items before we leave the house, those habits sometimes never stick.

Creating a zero waste kit with all the things you need to cut ties with single-use plastics is an easy way to eliminate unnecessary waste. The plastic bags can be skipped if you bring your own, your morning coffee can be poured into a cup you reuse, and the lunch you made at home can be taken to and from work in a lunch tin. Put together the kit you need and keep it in a place you can grab it as you head out the door.



My Zero Waste Kit

This is my zero waste kit, including a reusable cup, tote bag, lunchbox, cutlery, and napkin, with some tips on reducing waste when you're on the go.  I pulled it together using items I already owned: cutlery from the kitchen drawer, a napkin made from scrap fabric, and who doesn't have a stack of tote bags? When putting together your own kit, include only what you need and will use. If you find you need something you don't have, ask friends or family before thrifting a suitable option. Buying new should be a last resort.

Plastic-Free Water Bottle. This is the most used item in my zero waste kit and essential for everybody. Filling stations are becoming more common and most cafes, bars, and restaurants will fill your bottle for free so there's really no need to be buying bottled water anymore (if where you live has access to clean tap water).

Reusable Hot Drinks Cup. I don't often buy hot drinks to go when I'm out but I do take them with me to my studio. I've tried a few and my preference is for the insultated ones. They'll keep your hot drinks hot and your cold ones cold. You'll find plenty of second-hand but never used reusable cups online and in charity shops.

Lunch Box and Snack Tins. One of my wasteful downfalls was getting hungry and stuck for snacks while I was away from home. Now I make lunch or pack a snack in a lunch box, snack tin or pouch. Plastic tubs and glass jars are just as good, you don't need anything special. If it can hold your food without spilling then use it.

Utensils. Mine are spares found in my kitchen drawer. I include a knife, fork, spoon, chopsticks, and straw in my zero waste kit. They're all either silver or stainless steel. Charity shops have baskets full of cheap old cutlery, or you can simply pinch them from your own home.

Grocery Bags. I'm pretty sure everyone has enough tote bags and if you don't, ask your friends and families because they certainly do. Fabric or plastic, it doesn't matter. Whatever bags you've got or can get: use them until they wear out and fall apart (and then turn them into cleaning rags!)

Produce Bags. These aren't a must-have in your zero waste kit by any means. I live near a couple of bulk stores and find produce bags easier than larger totes. If you don't have access to bulk bins, you won't need them. Fruit and vegetables can be weighed, paid for, and carried home loose in your shopping bags.

Napkins. I have one I pinched from the linen cupboard and another made from an old shirt. Napkins are useful to have but totally unnecessary to buy. Either borrow one from your dining table set, buy second-hand, or make your own from scrap fabric.




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