One alarming discovery I’ve had after doing a series of decluttering is this: I contribute a lot of harm to our environment in the form of waste—plastic waste, in particular. My desire to remedy this frustration led me to learn more about the zero waste movement, and I have since challenged myself to exert conscious effort in lowering my environmental impact, starting with my lunch kit.
Here are just some of the items included in my zero waste lunch kit:
1. Reusable Straw
I try to avoid using a straw as much as possible, but there are occasions when it’s much more practical to use one than avoid it. When inside a moving vehicle, for example, using a straw when enjoying your drink can help prevent spills. Plus, switching from plastic to a reusable straw is one of the easiest zero waste swaps that anyone can do.
I got my stainless steel straws from Sip.ph as part of a set that included bamboo cutlery, and I also have a couple from GoZero. Between the two, GoZero offers a more affordable option but Sip.ph provides a range of colors to choose from (mine is in rose gold). I also have bamboo and glass straw but, so far, I like the stainless steel ones better.
2. Bamboo Cutlery
Before I switched to bamboo cutlery, I used to bring metal ones that I have at home. However, I’ve recently become curious about bamboo products and came across these ones from Sip.ph.
This bamboo cutlery is very lightweight and just the right size. The spoon has a good bowl as well, which is exactly how I like it. This came in a set with other reusable products such as the stainless steel straw as mentioned above—a good steal, if you ask me!
3. Canvas Pouch
I use this canvas pouch for storing the utensils I bring with me in my lunch kit, so that they don’t shuffle randomly inside. I got this when I bought a set of reusable straws.
While placing my utensils in a canvas pouch is a practical idea, I’m still trying to figure out how to store the items once they’re already used. I don’t always have access to a dishwashing station, nor do I bring dishwashing products with me when I’m out and about. I also don’t want to store them in the canvas pouch together with the unused ones, or just randomly stuff the used utensils inside my lunch kit—that’s so unsanitary!
Right now, I’m trying to make my own pouch where I can place my used utensils. I want to make one using a different type of fabric, just to make my lunch kit more organized. Having two similar canvas pouches in my lunch kit might confuse me. 😁
4. Medicine Kit
I like including some medicine in my lunch kit, just in case I need to nurse a migraine, colds, cramps, or what have you. I used to store them before in a plastic bag, but I’ve recently unearthed a few small plastic containers that are not being used. So now, one of them has been repurposed as an additional item for my zero waste lunch kit!
5. Reusable Water Jug
I’ve had this water jug for a couple of years now, and while it’s made of plastic, I don’t intend on replacing it as of yet. It’s reusable, still in pretty good condition, and gets the job done!
Ideally, my water jug would be made from a material that’s more environmentally friendly. But those ones tend to be on the pricier side. As someone who has already misplaced a few water jugs in the past, I don’t think it would be smart for me to burn some cash for something that I am most likely going to lose. 😬
At least not right now, though. When the day comes that this reusable water jug bites the dust, only then will I replace it with perhaps a stainless steel one.
6. Reusable Food Container
Ah, another one made of plastic. Similar to my reusable water jug, this food container I use is still in pretty good condition and gets the job done. But, other than it being made of plastic, I’ve been bothered by how it cannot keep the food warm for a longer time and how it doesn’t have compartments. I only keep on using this for now because this is a better option than single use containers.
I’ve been meaning to replace this one with a stainless steel bento box with compartments, but I couldn’t find a good one yet. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!
When putting up your zero waste lunch kit, use what you already have! Sure, there are a lot of eco-friendly shops with very aesthetically pleasing products that have recently emerged online, but you don’t need to buy new products if you already have ones at home that you can use.
Also, don’t buy zero waste items if your sole reason for doing so is to hop on the bandwagon. The products may all look pretty and instagrammable, but ask yourself first: do you really need that item? In my case, I had to resist the urge of buying beeswax wrappers for the sandwich I bring daily to work. They may be eco-friendly and all, but they’re quite expensive for something that wears out over time. Instead, I use a food container that’s just the perfect size for my sandwich. Granted, it’s made of plastic, but it’s reusable and doesn’t wear out as quickly as beeswax wrappers do.
On that note, if your lunch kit is not yet 100% zero waste, don’t worry! Take small steps, and believe me, those small steps really do matter. The important thing is you are doing your part in saving the planet. I know mine isn’t 100% zero waste either, but I’m confident that refusing single use plastic products is already a big step to the right direction.
What is in your zero waste lunch kit?