Top Tips For Remembering Your Reusables

Reusable Nation - zero waste, reusable produce bags

We all jog our memories in different ways, but here are our tips for remembering your reusables and the tricks that we use to make sure that our waste reduction tools are by our sides when we need them. 

There is nothing worse than getting to your destination and suddenly remembering you’ve forgotten your reusables. Your travel cup, reusable shopping bag, water bottle, cutlery pack and/or recycled containers are sitting on the table at home and you’re at the cafe, grocery store, or festival or have already arrived in the city for work.

Heartbreaking. Especially when you’re trying your hardest to do the right thing.

Don’t beat yourself up about it too hard. It has happened/happens to all of us zero wasters!

We all jog our memories in different ways, but here are our tips for remembering your reusables and the tricks that we use to make sure that our waste reduction tools are by our sides when we need them. 

Keep them near the door

Place them where you will see them before you leave – on the side table next to the door where you keep your keys, or hanging on a coat rack by the door or even on the door handle or on the back of the door itself.

Treat them like other items you can’t ever forget and usually grab on the way out, such as house keys and your wallet or handbag, and put them in the same place.

Keep them in your car

Always keep a few reusable shopping bags and containers in your car boot or glove box. This way, if you forget the ones you meant to bring at home, you have backups in your car ready to be pulled out.

You can also keep a spare travel cup in the car for those caffeine emergencies.

Keep them in your bag

If you don’t drive and rely on public transport or walking, keep at least one reusable shopping bag in your bag at all times so you have it on you all the time. You can expand this reusables survival kit to include cutlery, a straw and napkin (which you can keep in a pouch like one of these), and produce bags.

I also always have my water bottle on me, sitting in my backpack's side pocket.

See what we have in our survival kit here…

Place notes on the fridge or where you’ll see them on your way out

Leave yourself notes reminding you to take your reusable items until it becomes a habit and you no longer need to prompt yourself. You can leave these on the fridge, with your keys, on a blackboard hanging in the hall, or anywhere your gaze will fall as you head for the door.

Do a mental check before going out

Because I am a scatterbrain, I have always done this mental check before walking out my door: “keys, wallet, cell phone”. Else I was likely to forget at least one! Now, my mental check has expanded (quite a lot!) to include any reusables I may need, depending on where I am going and what I am doing: “water bottle, travel cup, shopping bag, tiffin, cutlery kit, glass jar or plastic containers”.

Just give yourself time to think about what you might need before dashing out for the day.

It also helps to keep all your reusables in one spot so you can see everything you might need. This'll help jog your memory about that one item you might not remember and help you find everything easily when you’re in a rush.

Remembering will become much easier after you have been consciously removing waste from your life for a while. Once you hit your stride, grabbing your reusables before you head out the door becomes a habit.

And, habits really don’t take long to form so you’ll be on easy street in no time. Don’t get despondent and give up! Living a waste free life will soon become second nature!

 

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