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Everyday sustainability in a throw away society 

  • Writer's pictureBrittany Ainsworth

Zero Waste Kit

Avoiding waste can be as simple as bringing along a couple of reusable items with you everyday.

zero waste kit
This is my Travel Zero Waste Kit (slightly different to my everyday essentials at home)

A Zero Waste kit allows you to evade trash ‘on the go’ and to pick up any Zero Waste goods you find on your way without surrendering to plastic packaging.

Everyday Items

  1. Reusable Water Bottle: The one thing I carry at all times is my big Klean Kanteen water bottle. I try to drink two liters of water a day so having a big water bottle and only refilling it once gets me to my daily water goal. Keeping a water bottle on you not only keeps you hydrated and looking fresh but also saves you money and the earth from another bloody plastic water bottle

  2. Reusable Carry Bag: I have reusable carry bags stashed in my car and each handbag I own! You can either make your own from an old shirt or you could get one which folds into a tiny square and virtually takes up no space in your bag

  3. Cutlery: Stash a knife and fork from your kitchen drawer in your bag. You could even grab a cutlery set or just a spork to save room

  4. Cloth Napkin: My favourite cloth napkins are ones I’ve gotten at op shops, each with their own personality! You can use them to clean your hands, wrap up some snacks on the go or even just to cover your dirty utensils in when you’re done with them.

  5. Reusable Straw: Plastic straws suck. They are used for one drink then end up in the ocean to be one of the most picked up item at beach clean ups. So you could either go without or get a metal or wooden straw

zero waste kit
My at home essentials

Eating Out

  • Reusable Container: A reusable container takes up a bit of space in my bag so I’ll only really bring my stainless steel lunch box along if I know there’s going to be food involved such as leftovers or yummy treats to bring home

  • Reusable Coffee Cup: If you drink a takeaway coffee five days a week on the way to work, that’s 260 coffee cups thrown in the trash every year by one individual! If you’re a big coffee or tea drinker you better get yourself a reusable takeaway cup right away.

zero waste kit
Upcycled glass jars and reusable produce bags

Shopping / Market Items

  • Reusable Produce Bags: One trip to the supermarket can result in a handful of plastic bags used to wrap up your fruit and veggies. Instead you can go without and juggle everything in your arms, or get some reusable produce bags which are lightweight and won’t add to your total tally. Onya creates reusable produce bags out of recycled plastic water bottles, so not only do you save a plastic bag when you shop but a couple plastic water bottles from the ocean too.

  • Glass Jars: Whether you wash out an old tomato sauce jar or buy some pretty ones for the occasion, glass jars are a great way to show off in your pantry and have a visual of how much of everything you have left. You can take your empty jars to your closest bulk store (see Brisbane Zero Waste resources) and to buy your bulk goods

  • Cloth Produce Bags: If you can’t be bothered carting your glass jars around get yourself some cloth produce bags to then fill your jars at home

You don’t have to cart all of these items with you every day but a little forward planning goes a long way in trying to achieve Zero Waste.

What are your go-to Zero Waste items?

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