How To Create A Zero Waste Kit
A zero waste kit is made up of all the things you carry with you on a regular, day-to-day basis. You incorporate these items into your daily routine so as to always be prepared for the coffee on the go, the spontaneous decision for takeout or picking up veggies on your way home from work. Here’s what’s in my Zero Waste Kit:
- A collapsible coffee cup
- A leak proof, stainless steel container that has removable dividers
- Three lightweight veggie bags and a cloth bread bag (all of which fit into the stainless steel container)
- Cloth napkins (I picked mine up from a yard sale)
- Bamboo chopsticks (I picked mine up from a yard sale, but you can find similar ones here)
- Two stainless steel straws, one regular and one for bubble tea
- A wooden spoon and a foldable spork
- A placemat/cutlery holder, which rolls up to hold all the cutlery and napkins
- A cotton canvas tote bag (the ‘Buyerarchy of Needs’ design is by a Toronto artist!)
All of these items pack down easily and fit into my black leather tote bag that I carry with me everywhere. I never leave the house without these items. Scroll through to take a closer look:
As you assemble and begin using your Zero Waste Kit, you will discover things that need to be added. For instance, I have noticed that I need to incorporate a couple of smaller containers for when I get takeout that includes little items like spring rolls and sauces. I also want to add a collapsible water bottle. Assembling and using a Zero Waste Kit is a personal endeavour and will reflect your particular lifestyle.
While dedicating yourself to using a Zero Waste Kit is not going to solve the plastic crisis we’re facing, it does serve two fundamental purposes: it will make you more conscious of our consumption practices in the West and will spark important conversations about refusing single-use items.
Who knew that whipping out a cloth bread bag in the bakery and insisting your bread be put in it without a plastic bag could be such a jaw-dropping experience for some people?! But that is indeed what tends to happen – whether I’m getting takeout in my stainless steel container, picking up bread with my cloth bread bag or pulling up my collapsible coffee cup at the counter, people ask me questions about what I’m up to. And I very happily explain to them that I am trying to stay away from single-use items – especially plastic – because our culture of convenience is filling up our landfills at an alarming rate and suffocating our oceans.
The truth of the matter is that most people feel powerless to spark change. Carrying a Zero Waste Kit becomes a series of teachable moments that empowers people to make difference choices. And the more people get on board the zero waste train, the easier it will be to push for governments and industries to adopt much needed zero waste policies and regulations (such as the recent ban in France on plastic bags, cutlery, takeout containers and cups).
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