If you’ve started your journey to a zero waste lifestyle, you’ll have heard about the Zero Waste Kit by now! But even if you haven’t, that’s alright. You might be wondering what a Zero Waste kit is – and it’s really simple. A zero waste kit is a small collection of things that you can keep in a ready-to-go bag, or in your car, keeping you prepared for any waste or single-use plastics you might encounter! It’s great to have when you’re starting out, or when you’re well on your way to a zero waste lifestyle.
Let’s be honest, it’s really difficult to avoid waste most of the time. Whether at work, at home, or out with friends, there’s always some plastic trying to sneak its way into your life. Luckily, a simple zero waste kit can help you avoid most of them!
What Goes Into My Kit?
For the most part, it’s really up to you what you want to put into your kit. However, there are a few staples which should make up all kits. Here are a few of my favourite things to keep in mine.
Cloth Shopping Tote: Any bag or tote will do the trick. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve bought a special environmentally friendly tote, or made one yourself from an old shirt [link repurpose post]. Having a reusable bag is really key in being able to say no to plastic bags when you go shopping. It’s also great for when you visit farmer’s markets! It’s a great all round addition to any zero waste shopping trip.
Produce Bag: Produce bags are smaller than your shopping totes, and are usually more breathable. This is to keep all those delicious fruits and veggies fresh. They also eliminate the need for those horrible little plastic bags at the store. Better yet, you can even use these for carrying your snacks, or… well, a great many things!
Stainless Steel Straw: This is great to have when you’re going out. Instead of accepting plastic straws, you can use your own! There’s an added bonus, too: believe it or not, but most people are only aware of Zero Waste initiatives through straw bans. Social media, and media in general, has done a great job of creating a certain ‘hype’ about plastic straws and the damage they do. (I don’t think I’ll forget the picture of that poor turtle any time soon!). As a result, a reusable straw is a great conversation starter!
Bamboo / Reusable Cutlery: Bamboo cutlery is a really awesome alternative to disposable plastic cutlery you’re offered when you go out. It feels great to be able to say ‘No thank you!’ when they try to give me those little plastic-wrapped plastic cutlery. If you don’t have bamboo cutlery, and can’t buy any, don’t worry! You can grab any cutlery from your kitchen, and make that part of your kit!
Expanding your Kit:
Beeswax / Cloth Wraps: These are great for keeping things fresh. They are easy to use, too. Just wrap up whatever you need – from sandwiches to snacks – and they’ll keep your goodies save. You can also use beeswax cloth wraps for slightly larger items, or for things that need something a little more malleable when wrapping!
Cloth Napkin: Have you ever noticed that, when you order something, they always give you a PILE of napkins? Whether your one person or five, they seem determined to give you an entire pack of napkins to use. The worst part is that they often throw them all away, whether you’ve used them or not. A cloth napkin that you can use, and then wash at home, is a really great way to put an end to this waste.
Reusable Travel Mug: If you like to order coffee to go – or almost any drink, really – a travel mug is a great option. Instead of accepting paper cups, or worse, polystyrene, have them fill your mug instead. Besides, they tend to seal better than those paper cups, and they don’t have a tendency to burn you!
Water Bottle: We all need to stay hydrated during the day. Unfortunately, our water quality isn’t exactly top notch, so most of us turn to bottled water. Instead, get your own water bottle that you can fill up at home (I boil and filter my water), and take that with you. Much better than buying drinks as you go.
Mason Jar: I feel like this is a bit of a bonus item, but still good to have in your kit – especially if you visit supermarkets that allow bulk shopping. They’re really easy to fill up with what you need, and you’re items are ready to be stored!
Do I Need All of That In My Zero Waste Kit?
Absolutely not! Your kit is what you want it to be. It’s a great place to start, and it really helps you avoid most plastics and waste. However, you can build your kit with whatever you want, however you want. You can start small, and expand it as you go! You don’t even have to buy things for it to begin with – simple items from home can work just as well.
So, have you decided to create your own Zero Waste Kit? If you have, feel free to share your photos with me in the comments or on Facebook! I’d love to see what you’ve done.
Until next time…happy Greenish living!