What are you carrying in your bag? This is a question I am often asked. As a mom, it is not easy to carry everything that you might need for your kids and for yourself. Of course if you want to live a zero waste life there are a few necessities that you should carry in your bag to help you. As I said before, it is all about celebrating your small successes and planning ahead. So please don’t get discouraged. What has helped me, is to incorporate a change every three to four weeks, to make it a habit and then add one more thing to my routine. I will share with you the six things I (do my best) to carry since Andre my son was born (almost 5 years ago). Try to use what you have already, look around your kitchen and you might have some things that could be taken with you without the need to purchase new products.
- Stainless steel utensils and a straw
- Collapsible container
- Reusable water bottle
- Reusable containers with snacks
- Cloth napkins
- Reusable foldable bag
Stainless steel utensils and straw: We LOVE camping. So we had stainless utensils and straws for our camping trips. 5 years ago, both tools became an everyday item. These utensils and straws we take with us everywhere are not heavy, they are easy to carry and easy to clean when we are out and about. Andre is still 4 years old, so ice cream and lemonade are still his favorite treats when we are out. That means that I would save a straw and a plastic spoon from the landfills every time he gets a treat. That is good enough for me.
Collapsible container: Now a days, there are tons of collapsible containers being sold. We have 3 different sizes and we take them all out. We use them to pack any left over food when we have food at a restaurant. These containers are so light that they are easy to add to your bag and are very handy!
Water bottle: I am not a coffee person. I do not drink coffee, but I own two coffee mugs that I use for my water. I find them easy to carry, perfect size to fill them up with water or a lemonade that you might want to purchase when I am not at home.
Reusable containers with snacks inside: Our kids get hungry often enough for us to carry snacks with us. Try to swap the plastic zip lock bags to a reusable container that could last longer and also produces less trash.
Cloth napkins: This is NEW for me. In the past, I have had paper napkin in my bag or wipes. Because Andre is older, now I can carry a cloth napkin and use some of my drinking water to wet a corner to clean his face and hands when needed. You can then wash it by hand when every is needed.
Reusable foldable bag: This bag was a Christmas gift long, long, long time ago, it is so light and small that it is very easy to carry everywhere I go. It is always there in my bag in case I needed it, last minute shopping or just to carry the shells, rocks, branches and leaves that Andre wants to bring back from the streets to do creative projects at home.
I hope these tips inspire you to start adding some sustainable items to your bag. Remember to not feel overwhelmed start with one reusable item. Think about what you use most often when you are out that creates the most waste. Perhaps that item would best item to start with.
Share with us your celebrations and steps towards a zero waste lifestyle.