If you are reading this post, you probably are interested in reducing your waste. Today, I want to share with you my zero waste essentials. These are my “can’t leave the house without” items. Most of these items you can already find in your house. You’ll start to notice that once you arm yourself with these zero waste essentials, you’re preventing a lot of trash being made. For a more comprehensive list of zero waste alternatives for everyday life, you can go to the tab under Zero Waste.
Insulated Water Bottle or Mason Jar
For me, I really like to plan ahead. So on some days if I’m just heading to work, school, or the library, a stainless steel, insulated water bottle is all I need. They are great because they keep your cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. Sometimes, I carry a mason jar around if I know I will be going to a coffee shop or getting a bite to eat. Coffee shops are usually super great with accomodating me by putting my coffee in my mason jar. I crocheted a cozy so my mason jar is always comfortable to hold. When I get a quick bite to eat and need a place to store my leftovers, I toss them in my mason jar. Or if I am eating and I end up with some compostables, I toss it in my mason jar to compost at home.
You don’t need anything fancy, just something soft and made from cotton. Cotton hankerchiefs will feel great when you need to blow your nose. I also use them if I go to a bakery and want a pastry, I ask them to grab it with my hankerchief. I typically like to carry 2 with me, so I don’t cross-contaminate them. I inherited most of my hankerchiefs from my grandmother. You’d be surprised how popular they were a few generations back!
You don’t need a super sturdy tote bag. For me, the tote bag I carry with me everyday is for emergencies and those spur-of-the-moment shopping trips. So to lessen how much I carry, I pack a thin cotton tote that fold up really small. For my weekly grocery trips, I pack sturdy canvas totes.
I use a foldable stainless steel spork when I am on-the-go. Disposable cutlery is rarely recycled, so I prefer to carry around a spork with me. These are great to use, and you can carry them on the plane with no problem. You can typically find these in camping/outdoor sports stores. But you can just bring one of your utensils from home!
Some people prefer glass straws, but I prefer stainless steel as I like the look of them better. When I go out to eat at restaurants, the first thing I tell the waiter is “I brought my own straw!” They are usually quite fascinated by my stainless steel straw, and are more than happy to bring me my drink of choice without a plastic straw.
There you have it! These are my zero waste essentials. If you arm yourself with these, I guarantee you that you will be surprised how much waste you are reducing. Good luck!