What We Have In Our Zero Waste Survival Kit

Reusable Nation - Keep Cup reusable coffee cup

To live waste free with the freedom to eat and drink as you please, a zero waste survival kit is essential.

With a waste free survival kit, you won’t have to skip that sneaky takeaway coffee, miss out on that unbelievable looking treat, or stay clear of smoothies or food trucks.

You can keep your kit small and basic, or build it into an epic backpack of paraphernalia, depending on what you’re willing to carry around and where you’re wandering.

We break down what every zero waster should be carrying around at all times as a minimum to make life livable, as well as the extra equipment that will turn your bag into the ultimate waste-free toolkit.

Basic zero waste survival kit

Although the aim is to keep new purchases to a minimum, there are some items that are worth buying as they make going zero waste so much easier and make waste-free life so much simpler and less stressful, as well as less sucky when you really want to grab that delicious-looking something without creating waste while on the go.

A basic zero waste survival kit should contain these waste-reducing items:

  • Water bottle = no more water in single-use plastic when you find yourself thirsty on a hot Thursday.

  • Reusable coffee cup = no more takeaway coffees in disposable coffee cups when you’re craving caffeine on a cold autumn afternoon.

  • Reusable straw = no more one-use straws in your summer Saturday morning iced coffee/smoothie/milkshake/fruit juice with the girls.

  • Reusable shopping bag = no more plastic shopping bags when going to the store for snacks and supplies.

Basic reusable starter packs containing these core items can be found here (US/CAN) or here (AU).

Ultimate zero waste survival kit

On most normal days, with breakfast and dinner eaten at home and a packed lunch, this is all you’ll need to be waste free. However, if you know you’re going to need to grab brekkie, lunch or dinner on the go, if you’re going to have a messy feed, or if you’re after something other than coffee, you’ll need to add some more stuff to your bag (it’s going to have to be big and stretchy!).

The ultimate zero waste survival kit includes these additional rubbish-avoidance accessories:

  • Lunchbox, reusable plastic container, or tiffin = no more Hump Day treats or Tuesday night takeaway in wasteful plastic containers.

  • Reusable cutlery and chopstick = no more plastic knives, forks or spoons or single use chopsticks when eating takeaway lunch outside on a sunny winter afternoon.

  • Fabric napkin = no more wiping your face with a disposable napkin or making do with a wipe with your hands after slurping up ramen at your fav restaurant on a Wednesday.

  • Glass jar/s = no more takeaway iced coffees/smoothies/milkshakes/fruit juices in chuckable cups on your way home from a heavy morning gym sesh.

  • Handkerchief = no more snotty tissue filled handbags when sick for weeks in mid-winter.

Going waste-free shopping kit

When going on a serious food shop or even a little stock up shop, these are the additional items that you’ll need:

  • Beeswax wraps = no more plastic-wrapped produce from the deli, leftovers, or sandwiches when preparing Thursday’s lunch on a Wednesday night.

  • Fabric bread wrap = no more bread for the week bought in throwaway plastic or paper on Sunday morning walks.

  • Produce bags = no more placing your fiddly produce like green beans and salad leaves in plastic bags during your Saturday shop.

  • More glass jars and reusable plastic containers = no more buying various foods in various forms of packaging when restocking the food cupboard at the end of the month.

  • Enough reusable shopping bags = not more running out of space to fit all your ingredients for your Friday night dinner party.

Think before take off

You definitely don’t want to carry everything with you all the time! That’s why it’s best to take the time to think about what you’re doing each day and packing only what you need before rushing out the door. Read our Top Tips for Remembering Your Reusables article for more on being organised and getting your zero waste kit ready before going out and living your best life.


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