zero waste

How to make a zero waste kit

My zero waste bag essentials - Green Indy Blog header

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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.

Shoot, staying zero waste on a casual outing with friends can be almost impossible at times!

Luckily I’ve come to find that packing a good zero waste bag can really mitigate a lot of potential pitfalls. Honestly, the most underrated piece of advice about going zero waste is this: be prepared. If you’re not prepared, you’re going to fail and waste (especially disposables) are going to start haunting you!

Having said that, here’s a peek at the goods I usually stuff into my bag of choice on any given work day:

My zero waste kit essentials

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. These are especially good as visual aids for refusing a straw – waiters/bartenders are much more likely to remember you don’t need a straw when you already have one!
  • A fork – no fancy set-up here, just a fork I snagged from our kitchen and left inside my purse forever. (Light travel cutlery does exist but I can’t imagine a time where I’d really notice the difference.) 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.

My zero waste kit essentials - Green Indy Blog

The containers

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! How would you create your own zero waste kit – what would it include?

Zero Waste Bag Essentials - Green Indy Blog

11 thoughts on “How to make a zero waste kit”

  1. This is a great post! I need to start using reusable napkins! I didn’t even know they made metal straws! I always bite my straws though (Anton gets so mad at me), and I can already feel it hurting my teeth! I can’t wait to read more! You are inspiring me!

  2. I just use my insulated Klean Kanteen for water as well as any other hot or cold beverages. One less item.

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