I have found that when life is being busy and you're on and about it is very easy to get into situations where you have to buy something in packaging. And without realising you have a plastic fork, serviettes and plastic packaging in your hands. Now if you are reading this and you know me, you will know how madly disorganised I am. So when going on this zero waste journey, I kept finding myself in situations like this, and it made me stop and think about how I can make it easier for myself to avoid waste on the go. So here is what I do. It will vary for each individual but I thought I share with you whats in my handbag.
To start with, I keep everything in a large drawstring bag. This makes it easier for me to find my other things in my handbag, as well as making changing handbags quickly possible.
I used to carry 2 reusable drinking containers. A keep cup and a water bottle. I have since started to use this insulated stainless steel bottle. Because it is multifunctional it actually does everything I need. I like to drink really cold drinks. So I fill it up with water and a few ice cubes, and it stays really really cold for hours, sometimes the cubes don't even melt. And if I want a coffee on the go, I drink up my water or water a plant and then get it filled up with my coffee. The bottle also keeps it warm for a long time too. When finished I rinse the bottle and fill it up with water again. Much easier than having to have both a coffee mug and water bottle in my handbag.
To avoid waste on the go it is all about being prepared. And it isn't actually as hard as it seams. It helps me to have everything in one bag. And after that it is really just about restocking your bag with clean stuff.
You can suit your bag to your own needs.
And I am also sure that the content will change with the seasons too. My bag is definitely filled with more stuff now then it was in summer. Needing things like handkerchiefs and helpful things for a cold.
Now what is actually in the bag?
1. See through produce bags
These are a key item for me personally. As I mentioned earlier I am very unorganised. Which results in me not having lunch or dinner prepared when I am outside the house. So I often have to buy something when I suddenly realise I am hungry and need to eat. This is why I end up in supermarkets and their bakery area or fruit stand. Most shops want you to put the produce into small disposable plastic bags that they provide. The reason for that is the shop assistants want to see what is inside the bag. Many shops have troubles with shoplifting, and will say something if you use cotton bags that aren't see through. Which is why I made these bags. They are made from recycled materials and you can see what is inside them at all times. I have not had any issues using them in shops, and actually get many encouraging comments at the checkout. They are available here.
2. Cold management
I am super sensitive to cold weather and get colds very quickly. When I am not home I want to be able to manage my symptoms with as little waste as possible. Now from blowing my nose a lot, I get sensitive around my nose. The healing salve is completely natural and takes care of my irritated and damaged skin. It is also a great lip balm when your lips get all dry and cracked from the cold. Available in the winter kit.
I also carry with my some eucalyptus oil. I put some on my fingertip and rub it just underneath my nose. It helps me breath naturally without having to take any chemical nose spray.
I don’t know about you, but I personally actually never liked disposable tissues. Because if you have a really bad cold they can become useless pretty quickly by becoming wet and unstable. Sorry if that’s too much information, but its true. Going old fashioned with a hanky is my solution to reduce waste. They can also be used as little serviettes.
You can find handkerchiefs here.
4. Handkerchiefs bag
Just a practicality for me personally. I like having them in a small bag protected from everything else ensuring they are fresh and clean for when I need them, and this way they dont get confused with used ones.
You can find them here.
This is really more of a personal preference. I just believe if there is a reusable option, then why use a disposable one. I try to remember to use them to dry my hands or to wipe my mouth after eating. I simply use my reusable kitchen roll for this purpose. To make paper towels trees have to die and it isn't really worth it. Even if they are recycled, a lot of energy and water will have gone into the process. By using my reusable alternative I am trying to contribute less to this sort of waste.
To be perfectly honest, I very rarely use my cutlery. Mainly because I don't really buy much that requires it, but if I do I am prepared for it and don't have to use disposable plastic ones that are provided by many shops. Now it is a whole other story with my reusable straw. I LOVE drinking out of a straw. I personally prefer the stainless steel straws because they keep the drink really cold. but I always carry more than one in my bag. Most of the time if I use it I am meeting with a friend for a drink. Most of them don't have their own. So I keep some bamboo straws ready for them to use. At the end I propose they keep it for their next drink. I love giving gifts and this is a little one helping the environment as well.