The whole “zero waste” concept has been (finally) gaining popularity in 2018. Living zero waste means to live in a way that all things that are consumed or used by you on a daily basis can be reused. Therefore, no trash is created. The only end products are compostable or items that can be continually reused.
Switching to a more “zero waste” lifestyle is crucial, however do not feel like you have to do it perfectly or produce zero waste. For most of us, creating zero waste is impossible – however that does not mean that we cannot try our best in the areas that we can. Living more mindfully like this is not only a more sustainable way to live but a more economical & efficient lifestyle. Some argue that living a more zero waste lifestyle is too difficult – so I made a “zero waste car kit” to show and encourage you all that living sustainably is not only quite doable but also easier than it seems. You can also take this idea and make a “zero waste bike kit” or a “zero waste purse kit”!
To create my zero waste car kit, I looked through all of the stuff that I had already and then made a list of what I still needed. Then I visited some local thrift shops to purchase anything else that I needed. Any specific item that I didn’t already have or couldn’t find while thrifting, I then researched companies that pride themselves in making sustainable products.
Almost every outing involves picking up food or drink – and with this we are usually given the item in single-use options (plastic straws, plastic cups, plastic lids, paper cups, plastic utensils, plastic water bottles, styrofoam takeaway containers… the list goes on and on). Most of these single-use items are not recyclable and the ones that are recyclable usually are thrown away or cannot be recycled due to other variables. We need to ditch this throw-away culture that we have come to accept as normal and realize that these single-use items go on to pollute the environment for centuries. When these single-use items are used then disposed of, the toxins from the plastic and other garbage continually leach into the environment. This creates a devastating effect which impacts the entire food chain (plants and animals alike).
So, how can we reduce our dependence and usage of single-use items? Bring reusables that replace them everywhere you go! Using reusables is a lot easier than it may seem, just use them and wash them then return them back into your car kit! When it comes to creating your kit, focus on creating a plastic-free kit that involves stainless steel items, glass items, or products made from natural sources.
Items to include in your kit
try to thrift these items or source them secondhand if you don’t already have them
- large stainless steel water bottle
- use to avoid buying plastic water bottles out of convenience – so many places will fill up your water bottle for you if they don’t already have a water fountain
- stainless steel tea/coffee mug
- can also be used for cold beverages
- glass mason jar
- to store left-over food or when purchasing items in bulk
- stainless steel utensils
- to replace all throw-away and single-use options
- reusable bags made from natural materials
- plastic bags kill over 100 MILLION animals each year… it is time that we take responsibility for this and switch to reusable bags
- reusable straws
- only purchase reusable straws if they are needed
- make sure that the straws you purchase come with a little brush to clean out your straws
- cotton/linen cloths
- use to replace napkins and wrap your clean utensils & glass jars in
Here is the easiest thing to switch to, reusable bags! Reusable bags need to be washed frequently. Since these bags need to be washed often, choose bags composed of a natural material, so when they are washed they do not release harmful microfibres into our waterways.
Now, here are some important items to keep in your car that might not be all that zero waste, but safety and health are arguably just as important, so do not deny yourself a first aid kit! Since I live in Saskatchewan and we experience incredibly cold winters, I have a large blanket, survival candle and matches as well. I also have a multi-tool in case of emergencies.
I hope this posts helps to inspire you to live with less single-use items and a more sustainable lifestyle!