5 things to Keep in your Handbag for Low-waste Living
Updated: Aug 5
It is often the way that the minute we leave our home and venture out into the busy world, our best intentions and ideals can get left behind too. We’ve all been there- on the go, late for school, unprepared for our 9am meeting. It’s impossible to maintain the best version of ourselves in every situation, but there are small things we can at least try to get into the habit of doing, that will help us along the way. Here’s a list of five simple things you can try to keep in your bag/car that make it as easy as possible to maintain a low-waste and eco-friendly life, even when you’re out and about.
I always keep a clean coffee cup in my car and try to keep a separate on in my bag too. Once you get in the habit of doing this then you’ll feel lost without one. I use the bamboo type coffee cups as they’re really light. When you’ve finished with it, just rinse it out with a bit of water and dry it with a reusable kitchen wipe and pop it back in your bag- simple. I tend to keep a glass one in my car as I do think coffee tastes better out of the glass variety but obviously they are slightly heavier.
I never leave the house now without my stainless-steel water bottle complete with 500ml of ice cold water. It’s such an easy and obvious change to make. I look back and can’t believe how many plastic bottles of water I have wasted over the years (not to mention how much money I must have spent on something that comes out of a tap for free). I have also got over the uneasiness of asking for a refill in a café/restaurant or even a shop. I see it as an opportunity to educate others about the ridiculous WASTE around buying plastic bottles of water. I have noticed that it’s become more acceptable to ask for a refill and I notice more and more places making water stations easily available. If you can go for an insulated bottle it is worth it as they keep your water ice cold for hours.
I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s had to battle a toddler over the necessity of a plaster for the tiniest little graze. There’s nothing that bugs me more than having to use a PLASTIC plaster, especially for a cut that really doesn’t warrant a plaster in the first place (sometimes it isn’t worth the fight- there’s no reasoning with a two-year-old).
Little squares of towelling that are absorbent and so much better at cleaning than the plastic disposable variety. No matter your situation I’m sure that at some point in daily life you can find yourself in need of a wipe for something. It’s useful also to keep a wet-bag along with them so that when you’ve used a wipe you can easily (and cleanly) pop it back in your handbag. Eco-friendly, reusable, sustainable and no waste.
5. Snack pots
This is another area that takes a bit of getting used to, but once in the habit of keeping snacks with you in reusable tubs, you realise just how much easier it is- no more queuing with a hangry toddler. I even keep snacks for myself if I’m out and about now (I’ve been known to get a bit hangry too sometimes). Easier, cheaper, and so much more environmentally friendly. Only replace existing containers with new ones if you absolutely need to and if you do then it’s a good idea to invest in something that will last too, like the elephant box snack tubs- they are designed to last a lifetime- buy once, buy better, make it last.
When you make a note of all the disposable things that you can get through during just one trip out and about, it’s easy to see why these eco-friendly alternatives can make a huge difference. It’s about forming new habits, getting used to a slightly different way of thinking, and perhaps just being a bit more organised and thinking ahead. Living a sustainable life doesn’t have to mean a dramatic change to the way you live, far better to work out how you can make subtle changes that enable you to play your part on a daily basis and work towards creating less waste by living in a way that is kinder to the planet.