what's in my bag (sustainable edit)
"having fun on the inside" yellow tote bag by Woozymachinetattoo
Hope everyone has been having a lovely day. I thought it would be fun to share what I normally carry in my bag and a few tips on how to lead a more zero waste lifestyle!
oyster card, coin purse from Taiwan night market, & keys
Since coming to London, I had to switch wallets because my card holder does not fit pounds. I decided to opt for this cute coin purse I got in Taiwan several years ago. To keep my money more organized, I keep bills and one and two-pound coins in the pink pouch and smaller change in the mini yellow coin purse. And as most know my love for mice, please notice the mouse theme on my keys as well. #mouse
izo snap pouch
Since I usually use tote bags, it is always just a potpourri and hard to locate items when I need them. So, in an effort to make my bag more neat, I usually have a smaller pouch to store little items.
In here, I always have mosquito anti-itch ointment that my aunt made, emergency bubbles (for happiness), my inhaler, a small pill case with benadryl (I don't always carry around my epipen, so this is a must!), hand lotion, bandaids, and some cough drops.
I am definitely that friend that is known to have everything in her bag at all times.
yummy almond croissant I ordered to-go in my tupperware!
No matter what size bag I am carrying on a given day, I always try to bring some sort of tupperware or container to either store snacks in or just in case I want to get food to-go.
As I am abroad, my collection is not as great, but I have found ways to improvise. There are actually a great deal of containers that can be reused this way:
fage yogurt container, strawberry tupperware from Taiwan, wide mouth mason jar from home, and remeo gelato container
I usually try to buy items packaged in paper or glass, but if I do end up purchasing something involving plastic I try to choose items that have containers that are good for reusing. This is not a perfect situation, but reusing is better than nothing! Since they are low grade plastics though I try to stick to only storing dry goods in them.
klean kanteen stainless steel water bottle
Reusable water bottles are a necessity! It is important to stay hydrated, but you do not want to be buying a plastic water bottle every time you get thirsty. I know some people may think it is just one plastic water bottle and it is no harm, but think about how even if you were to only purchase one plastic water bottle a week. That would be 52 plastic bottles in a year. Imagine all those plastic bottles in a pile and think about how much plastic that is. And this is not even taking into account all the other kinds of drinks people buy all packaged in plastic as well (juices, coffees, smoothies, etc). You save so many resources just from having a reusable water bottle and it is an investment you will not regret. You save a lot of money from not having to buy water as well.
If I am carrying a bag that does not fit my water bottle, I usually try to take a small mason jar with water inside instead.
David Shrigley hankerchief
As many of you know, I also no longer use single-use napkins or paper towels. Instead, I always carry around a reusable napkin and this one is my favorite as of late. These are convenient because I just always have one in my bag and if I get them dirty then I either hand wash them or throw them in the laundry. Reusable napkins do not have to be fancy either -- most of my reusable napkins are actually old bandanas or fabric scraps that I sewed or altered slightly.
here are some that I just washed
The old fabric is from a dress I used to love as a baby. I had altered the dress into a skirt a few years ago and had extra fabric that I cut into smaller pieces to use as reusable napkins. I even wrote a post on the Geoffrey several months ago showing how to naturally dye fabric with veggies and flowers to decorate old t-shirt scraps to make reusable napkins. It really is so easy to find fabrics and make reusable napkins simply from items you can find at home.
reusable plastic straw & reusable glass pearl milk tea straw
I usually only have my plastic straw in my bag because it is light and easy to throw into a tote, but I happened to also have my bubble tea sized straw in my bag today because I knew I wanted to buy some pearl milk tea. As a girl that loves pearl milk tea, I knew I had to invest in a straw that would fit the tapioca because I did not want to be wasting so much plastic every time I drank bubble tea. As I have said many times: it is really hard for me to justify my desires if what I want wastes so many resources and is harming the earth I love.
It does take a little more planning and I cannot always be as spontaneous, but I find it extremely rewarding in the end when I do get my pearl milk tea completely zero waste. #珍珠奶茶
portable reusable silverware kit from Taiwan
Everybody eats on-the-go, whether it is a snack or meal, so it is very important for me to have this little kit. It fits in all my bags, even small wristlet purses or my fanny pack and it is super convenient. It does not have a knife but I find that I do not usually need one for to-go food. My mom bought this one for me awhile back, so I have no link to share, but there are many similar options on Amazon or at other cooking/supply stores. In fact before I had this, I would just bring around silverware I had at home that was on the smaller side wrapped in fabric or little silverware covers that I made. Either way, it saves so many resources because I no longer need disposable silverware. I even whip out this kit at Asian restaurants when they provide disposable wooden chopsticks. Again like with the water bottles, think about how many plastic spoons and forks you use in a week and then think about how much waste that is!
This was actually in my pocket, but one of my all time staples is always lip balm. I get dry lips and have a nasty habit of biting my lips, so I try to keep them smooth and hydrated at all times. I found this cruelty-free and organic lip balm made locally in London that also uses recycled plastic for packaging, score!
peach baby bagu
I try to keep reusable bags with me as well because if I need to stop by a grocery store on the way home I will have a way to transport produce and other goodies home. This baby bagu treats me well because it is very compact and cute.
All in all, there are always solutions you can easily come up with. It is just about being a little creative and if you are ever stuck, ask around because I am sure friends and family either have their own methods or can help brainstorm. I hope this was helpful and potentially inspired some to think more about their daily behaviors and how easy it is to be more eco-friendly. Let me know if it would also be helpful to make a another post with some of my tips and tricks to being more zero waste in general.