Zero Waste Everyday Kit – Live an Eco Friendly Life with these essentials

The key items in a Zero Waste Everyday Kit is an eco friendly drink bottle, reusable coffee cup, eco friendly straw, reusable shopping bag and a wash cloth. All of these zero waste items will help to save waste like takeaway coffee cups, napkins and plastic straws. Living zero waste can be easy if you prepare beforehand.

Having a small kit of zero waste essentials can set up up for a easy way to make less trash.

When you are out and about a little forward thinking and having a few essentials on hand will help you to avoid the waste. Single use plastics are everywhere so we really have to plan ahead to avoid them. 

I want to focus on the essentials you will need to keep your life eco friendly while you are out and about. I have found in my own experience that it can be challenging to avoid waste when you are away from home without thinking about these things.

I want to make it super easy for you to have a ready to go bag with all of the essentials.  Here is quick list of the key things to have with you while on the go. These are my Top 5 things to bring with you to avoid waste.

Once you have these essentials you can always add to them but I would call this a great starters kit.

Eco friendly drink bottle

After starting this blog I have been made incredibly aware of the amount of plastic drink bottles that are being used on a weekly basis.  In Australia alone we are using 25 million per week, which is almost 1 per week for every person in Australia.

Swapping to an eco friendly bottle is a must but which one should I choose. I have two kids and I have tried many drink bottles to see which would last the longest  After much research and trial I am now shifting my whole family over to stainless steel drink bottles.  These last for a long time, the one I have at the moment around 3 years old and still going strong. Other than one small dent where I dropped it from epic heights onto a concrete floor it still looks brand new.

For my kids I have also had great success with the Camelbak drink bottles. If you want to choose a bottle that is a bit lighter weight then this is fantastic.  There is a huge range of colours and sizes to suit any aged child.

This one decision alone could save hundreds of plastic bottles from entering the planet.  

Eco Friendly Coffee Cup

Another essential item in your zero waste kit is an eco friendly coffee cup. If you are a regular drinker of takeaway coffees or even if you only do so on occasions it will only take around 11 uses of a reusable coffee cup to equate to the energy and waste savings of takeaway cups.

Reusable coffee cups can be used many more times than this and will save enormous amount of non recyclable waste from heading to landfill or into our oceans.  

At the moment I am testing out a range of coffee cups that are available. From glass, stainless steel or biodegradable bamboo, any of these choices are better than a non recyclable coffee cup.  I will be uploading my review soon and will let you know everything about the different types of coffee cups available and the benefits of each.

At the moment the coffee cup that has been going for the longest in our house and is shared around the family is the Joco.  This is a glass cup which has survived two kids and both my husband and I using it daily (we had been alternating days until I went out and bought another cup for myself).

The new cup I am in the process of trying is the Frank Green.  It is stainless steel and feels super hardy.  With my aim to shift over to stainless steel wherever I can (basically because it is so long lasting) I am keen to see how good this one is on a daily basis.

Eco Friendly Straws

I am so glad that there has been a spotlight put on the use of plastic straws. I think this item has been mindlessly used for many years without a second thought about what happens after we use them.  Plastic straws are a quick, single use item. With five minutes on the lips and forever in the tips it is an item with a simple solution.

An easy choice is a metal straw.  These are made from stainless steel and can be used endlessly.  Stainless steel is a hardly material with a long life. They can be easily thrown in your bag and will stay there until you need them.  

If you have kids you might be familiar with the upset that can be caused by not having a straw to drink their milkshakes.  I have banned the use of any plastic straw while we are out so my kids have been going without.

An important point with metal straws to remember is to give them a wash after using them.  When you buy them they should come with a tiny scrubbing brush which helps to clean them thoroughly.  

Eco Friendly shopping bag

It seems that no matter how much food I buy on my weekly shop I seem to always need extra bits and pieces to finish off meals.  On my way home from work I find myself dropping into the grocery store coming out with a handful of items to go with that nights’ dinner.  As I refuse to use plastic, I end up awkwardly carrying multiple items, carefully balancing the leaning tower of groceries to the car.

A better solution is to carry an eco friendly shopping bag.  These bags can be kept in your car or pram, you can put all of your essentials in them and grab them out when you need.  

The other option is a handy fold up shopping bag.  You can put these in your handbag and they will be ready for you to spontaneously grab any extra ingredients when you are out.

An Eco Friendly washcloth

I have fond memories of my grandparents.  I remember that hankies were commonplace in their house as they lived through the great generation where disposables were not the norm.  There were not brought up using tissues or serviettes so would regularly use a hankie or material napkin instead of something you throw away.

I have not gotten on the hankie bandwagon but what i do pack is one of my babies washcloths.  This serves to wipe the endlessly runny noses that seem to exist in my house. It also comes in handy to wipe up spills, wipe faces or anything else you need.  I just replace it with a clean one after it has been used and throw it in the wash. Choosing a good quality washcloth will mean that it will last endless washes and it will be a long time before it wears out.

So that is my list of essential eco friendly items you need for a waste free outing.  whether you have kids or not, all of these items will help you avoid waste when you are visiting cafes, going to the grocery store or heading to work.  Keep these five essential items with you and help the planet become a cleaner, and greener place.

What does it mean to be zero waste?

I think that for a zero waste life we need to reconsider all of those single use items that we use once and put into landfill.  To be zero waste is to eliminate as best you can those items in your life. When I made the change to be more mindful of the waste my family and I were making, my first priority was to reduce or remove the amount of single use plastics going through our lives.

I found that the place that single use plastics were common was when we were out of the house. Making the changes I spoke about above has eliminated the use of the items that fill our landfills like coffee cups, plastic bottles, plastic bags and straws. If you want to head toward a zero waste lifestyle, then starting with these items is a great idea.   I guarantee that when you start becoming aware of those items that head into your bin, you will think more and more about alternatives.

Well done to everyone who is already on the journey to an eco friendly life. I hope those on the journey can find support in this blog as I share my family’s story towards a minimal waste, mindful life.

How can I live an eco friendly life?

I think living an eco friendly life starts with becoming mindful of our everyday actions.  As we engage more and more with the daily actions that we take and become more aware of the habits we have developed over time.  This awareness is the first step to taking steps to living an eco friendly life.

Even if you take one step towards reducing waste you are heading towards the path of living an eco friendly life.  Don’t get stuck on being perfect, start with one small, sustainable change and work from there.

How to start an eco friendly life

So where do you start.  Like I said if you are just starting this journey, pick one thing that you can change.  Whether you grab an eco friendly coffee cup or an eco friendly shopping bag and throw it in your handbag, that one step could save tons of single use plastics.  

If you are already well down the path of living an eco friendly life, then inspire others by demonstrating a mindful life.  I have found that just by demonstrating eco friendly choices, those around you will be influenced by your positivity and actions.

There are so many amazing role models who are demonstrating these changes.  I hope you have found some inspiration from this article and can think of one change you can make towards living an eco friendly life with your family.