What’s in My Bag? Sustainable Essentials:
I was never technically a Boy Scout but I do hardcore believe in the classic motto: Be prepared. I keep essential items in my bag at all times. It makes it effortless to be environmentally conscious. Stay ready so you don't have to get ready, ya know?
1. Reusable Bag. My little bag rolls into a tiny ball, snaps secure and has saved the day more times than I can count. Once I get home, I make a habit of folding it back up and storing it in my purse so I can forget about it until I’m out and need it. This step is key to success. No one needs a hundred plastic bags stuffed into one larger plastic bag under their sink. My reusable bag is Loqi but I’m also a big fan of the brand Baggu.
2. Mini Water Bottle. It’s my most prized possession. One time, I was kicked out of a Czech club because I refused to throw away my empty Mini Nalgene. This baby holds 16oz of water and it the absolute perfect size. It makes it easy to stay hydrated but I don’t have to carry around a heavy, bulky water bottle. I love it so much I once brought my roommate this one because she was actively using mine.
3. Coffee Mug. Coffee is a reoccurring theme in my life so I keep a Hydroflask Coffee Flask on me. This means no more single use cups. Less garbage makes me closer to my zero waste lifestyle goal. Cafes don’t mind if I ask to use my own mug and it’s becoming popular to give a discount for doing so; just make sure it’s clean. (Starbucks will give you a whopping ten cents off of your order for brining one- frick yeah!)
4. Reusable Cutlery. Fork, knife, spoon, and chopsticks are always on hand with my little Bamboo Utensil Set. Honestly, the only issue is that sometimes I forget to wash them after use. It is very handy to have though, I am always prepared for whatever food comes my way.
5. Diva Cup. My diva cup doesn’t live in my bag like the other stuff does until my period tracker app alerts me that my period is coming. I’m never caught off guard and I haven’t thrown out underwear in about a year. Also haven’t thrown out menstrual products in forever thanks to that cup.
6. Lip Balm. The natural state of my lips is chapped so I keep multiple lip balms with me. I love using Lush's Lip Balms and supporting a business that makes vegetarian and vegan skin/hair care with zero waste packaging that’s ethically sourced. Their containers are recyclable and if you bring in five empty used ones, you get a free face mask. Heck yes.
7. Reusable Straw. If you are a vain Jane who prefers to add a piece of garbage to the oceans to save a lipstick application, consider purchasing a Final Straw. Its easily attached to your keychain, and lets you never leave your house without it. Unless you commonly lose your keys, in which case just sip from the damn glass, ladies!
7. Portable Charger. Okay so not the typical sustainable item but hear me out. It allows me to charge my phone on the go instead of buying a drink at whatever place is around so I can use an outlet. That means not purchasing things out of desperation so I can make thoughtful, sustainable choices about where I want to spend my hard-earned money.
8. A vegan snack. A bag of nuts or a Pro Bar will curb any immediate craving you experience that might weaken your disposition to eating fast food. Staying strong against these highly processed “food” stores that are strategically distributed on your drive home will do wonders for your energy levels and overall health.
I’ve heard of people carrying around handkerchiefs in place of paper napkins and mini spray bottles of vodka for disinfectant. Do you have other sustainable essentials you keep in your bag?
Written by Jewels O’Brien & Margaret Cyr
Edited by Margaret Cyr