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Putting Together a Zero-Waste Kit (Super Cheap and Easy!)

One of my goals has been to get in the habit of bringing some waste-reducing items with me when I leave the house.

I remember reusable shopping bags most of the time, a water bottle half the time, and typically nothing else.

I want to come up with a small set of items that I can easily grab on the way out of the house, so that's what I'm doing today.

Here's my list:

lightweight bag to hold all of the things

shopping bag


mason jar

utensils for eating

holder for eating utensils

bulk bag

reusable napkin

1. Bag to hold all of the things-

I want my kit to be easy to grab on my way out the door, and ready to toss into whatever bag I have with me.

I made this t-shirt bag out of one of my husband's old shirts. I made a whole Pinterest board of different DIY bags if you want to make your own. You can also check thrift stores or use any old bag you have.

2. Shopping Bag-

Again, any old lightweight bag. Even though I can stash stuff in my 'bag to hold all of the things,' it's nice to have a separate shopping bag, and a good backup if you end up with more than a bags load of stuff. I got this bag secondhand.

3. Waterbottle-

Save money and the planet by bringing your own bottle. You can refill it all over the place for free. Don't worry about buying some fancy water bottle, anything that you already have will do just fine. The one I have here is actually an old coffee bottle. I also use mason jars (that used to hold pasta sauce) to carry my drinks.

4. Mason jar-

Actually, it doesn't have to be a mason jar. Use whatever container you have. This can be used for leftovers, bulk shopping, etc. I'm using a glass pasta sauce jar. Here, I have it in a cozy I crocheted, which enables me to carry warm soup or get coffee or tea or anything else while on the go, without having to buy a travel mug. (You can order a custom cozy from me by sending me a message on I mainly use secondhand and thrifted yarn, even better for the planet!)

5. Utensils for Eating-

Say no to disposable cutlery. It's cheap and flimsy anyway so you will be a lot happier with actual silverware. You don't have to go out and buy portable utensils right now. Take a set from your kitchen, or thrift them. If you want, you can also get a reusable straw. I found my stainless steel ones at a health food store for a couple dollars. Remember to ask for no straw when you go out to eat!

6. Holder for Eating Utensils-

You'll want something to keep the things you're putting in your mouth away from everything else, and then keep the dirty silverware from getting everything else gross. Find something washable, and I'd recommend getting more than one so you don't have to wait for one to be washed. You can make a pouch, thrift something, a pencil case, anything that your utensils fit in that can also be washed.

I'm using these drawstring bags that we have laying around the house from the cookware we bought.

7. Bulk Bag-

Perfect for grabbing a snack from the bulk bins, holding leftovers, or a snack from home.

There are tutorials for making your own bulk bags on Pinterest, or you can buy them. My favorite bulk bags come from Kootsac on Etsy.

8. Reusable napkin-