It’s the middle of the week and I got take away for lunch at work. Like most other weeks I had the best intentions of bringing food in from home. Once again I haven’t quite lived up to my aspirations.
I look down in front of me only to discover my old enemy packaging has surrounded me. Paper coffee cups, empty plastic containers of the type that don’t seal properly, disposable cutlery, napkins and plastic bags lay spoiled in front of me. I pick through the pile for anything that can be re-used, aghast at the excess of it all.
When I am in the comfort of my own environment it is particularly easy to be conscientious and consistent, continuing this in changing circumstances can be a lot more difficult.
I have always been a bit of a Mary Poppins bag lady, out come the Band Aids, safety pins or tissues at a moments notice. Lately, I have made a much greater effort to reduce waist when I am out and about.
My top five products that you should always keep with you.
1. Fold up bags
Be rid of plastic bags forever, fold up bags are one of the easiest and lightest items you can carry with you. You can buy fold up reusable bags just about everywhere you go. I recently got a new one from the Diggers shop in Adelaide by the brand Loqi in a vibrant watermelon print. It only weighs 55g and can hold up to 20kg. It also comes in a zip pouch that can double as a coin purse.
2. Reusable coffee cups
Throwing away coffee cups is done on an epic scale in Melbourne. We love our coffee, we love our cafes and we love to be on the move. Fortunately, none of these things need to be sacrificed in the pursuit of waste reduction. There are reusable coffee cups in any colour or size your heart desires. I’m a bit of a traditionalist and I just adore the KeepCup Brew Cork Edition. I prefer to drink from glass and the cork band looks and feels great.
3. Reusable water bottle
Another item that is often overlooked is the humble water bottle. Apart from the ridiculous fact that we will spend $4 on a bottle of water when we have drinkable water in every tap, is the constant throwing away of plastic bottles. When you reflect on the growing Pacific trash vortex and other similar oceans of debris it puts buying a reusable water bottle into perspective.
There are a lot of concerns that standard water bottles are not safe to drink from, the type of plastic your water bottle is made from is important, read more here.
I prefer to use a stainless steel or glass bottle for taste as much as anything.
You already have cutlery in your house, it doesn’t weigh much and it saves more waste going to the landfill.
5. Fabric Napkins
Another easy on to overlook, just keep one fabric napkin you bad and you can wash it with your clothes later on. An alternative is the good old fashioned handkerchief, I bet you haven’t seen one in a while but not so long ago everyone was using them.
Taking these few little steps will help reduce unnecessary waste and in time we may be able to get to Erin Rhaods’ level of commitment.
Let me know if you have any other tips and tricks for reducing waste when you’re journeying about.