Staying zero waste when you’re out of the house for 10+ hours a day can be tricky, particularly if you work in a place – like my school – where massive amounts of waste are the norm. Luckily I’ve come to find that packing a good zero waste bag can really mitigate a lot of potential pitfalls.
Having said that, here’s a peek at the goods I usually stuff into my bag of choice on any given work day:
From top, clockwise:
- A stainless steel straw* – I went without for a while, but found I actually really liked using a straw enough to purchase a few. (Also, my mom says this will stab me, but I guess I like to live on the edge.)
- A fork – no fancy set-up here, just a fork I snagged from our kitchen and left inside my purse forever. I’m always ready to eat, so you never know when it’ll come in handy!
- FIG+YARROW Rose+Vanilla tinted lip blush* – My work space is extremely dry, and this keeps my lips happy. I love that I know all of the ingredients listed and it’s in an adorable (reusable!) metal tin.
- A beeswax and regular cloth handkerchief – When I first looked into zero waste, I was really excited by Bees Wrap; that is, until I figured out I could make it at a fraction of the price they sold it at with just a bit of beeswax. Now I always have one beeswax cloth (the white one) and one plain one with me. Best of all, these were my grandmother’s. For about a year they sat around collecting dust – now, they come with me and get to be useful every day!
Oh: instructions for making beeswax wraps here. Super easy.
AKA the big stuff that makes my zero waste bag super heavy.
My everyday necessity is the KeepCup*. For coffee, tea, or juice, it’s perfect! I have the 12 oz version which is a bit on the small size but keeps me from overindulging on anything I probably shouldn’t have a lot of.
Behind the KeepCup is my Ello water bottle. I’m really bad about remembering to drink water throughout the day, so I try to keep this one where I can see it at all times to remind me. I also like to toss in some ginger/lemon/whatever herb is rattling around in the fridge to make the Indy water a little more interesting. I think I picked it up at Target, but it’s cheaper on Amazon* now.
I also occasionally bring along the Frigoverre container* you see hiding in the background there. I like it because the glass portion can be used in the microwave and the oven – plus it’s the perfect way to take home extra food that would otherwise be trashed.
All this – along with everything else I stuff in along with it – can make quite a heavy bag! But it’s worth it to be prepared for whatever the day might throw at you! What would be your one (or two) zero waste bag items?