4 Products to Help You Create Less Waste On the Go

products to help create less waste on the go

I’ve been committed to creating less waste and caring for the environment for a number of years. But until recently, I’ve mostly been concerned with the things I use within my own home. I use cloth diapers and cloth napkins, and cook from scratch as much as possible, for example. This makes sense, because I spend most of my time at home.

Recently, however, I realized how much unnecessary waste I was creating during those times when I am out of the house.  How often when I cleaned out the family car wasn’t I tossing out paper cups, plastic straws and lids, and even plastic cutlery? I think I’d always just kind of felt like this stuff was inevitable when you left the house, especially with kids.

I think I started to become more aware of what I was doing when I began following some fantastic Zero Waste gurus on Instagram.

One of my favourites is Be Zero. She shares inspiration, information, and practical tips to reduce waste. You should definitely go follow her right now.

But anyway, through her posts, I realized that in order to create less waste, I probably needed to be intentional in buying a few quality products to take the place of disposable products.

The most common form of waste found around the world is single-use plastics,” she explains in a recent post. “BPA-free plastic or not, plastics still pose risks to our health – both body & ecosystems.

One of the easiest steps anyone can take to disengage from our disposable culture,” she argues, “is to bring your own – cup, utensil, napkin, bag, straw, or container.”

Reusable water bottles and bags are pretty obvious and becoming more mainstream, which is awesome. I’ve been doing both for years, and you probably have, too. But some of the other stuff takes a little extra thought and creativity.

So I recently used some of my Amazon commission earnings to purchase some carefully-selected items to help me reduce my waste when I’m on the go. Here’s what I bought, how I use them, and why I love them.

Note: this post contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy something, I make a small commission. Otherwise, no one is paying me to review these items. I just bought them and enjoyed them, and wanted to share!

Beeswax Wrap

abeego beeswax wrap -- great for picnics

I’ve been wanting to give beeswax wrap a try for years, and finally used up some of my Amazon gift card money to buy one.

It’s just cotton fabric coated with beeswax. it’s foldable and slightly tacky, so it stays in place when you wrap it around your food.

I bought a “giant”-sized Abeego to try out, and now I plan on buying several more in smaller sizes. (Or maybe I’ll buy another large one and cut it to smaller sizes. I haven’t decided yet.) I absolutely love it!

First of all, it keeps things wonderfully moist and fresh, a lot like plastic wrap. But it also happens to be beautiful to look at, it’s reusable, it’s safe for food, and it smells amazing. Everyone in the family loves catching a wiff of that lovely honey smell when it’s covering something out on the counter.

The giant size is good for covering half a watermelon, a casserole dish, or a loaf of artisanal bread. I’ve also used it to wrap sandwiches for a picnic (as in the photo above).

beeswax wrap for cut watermelon

I still want some smaller sizes to cover things like halved avocadoes and tomatoes in the fridge, and for snacks and individual sandwiches on the go.

After using it, just wipe it off with a damp washcloth, let it dry, fold it up, and stick it back in a drawer for use. I love how compact it is when not in use.

(P.S. I’m not exclusively loyal to Abeego or anything. There are lots of great options out there. BUT, if you’re in Canada, you can order direct from their site and get free shipping! That’s not an affiliate link, I’m just excited!)

Collapsible Silicone Container

collapsible silicone container

I hate to waste leftovers. But I also hate taking food home in styrofoam. This posed a problem every time I ate out and wanted to take home my leftovers.

Other zero-waste gurus advocate taking along containers made of steel or glass when you eat out, but that just seemed impractical and bulky to me. Plus, I can’t be trusted to always remember to grab something like that before heading out to a restaurant. I’m usually already carrying a diaper bag and whatnot else. And sometimes we eat out on the fly after appointments in the city.

I decided I wanted a container that I could keep in my purse at all times, so that it was always ready for the job. Something lightweight and collapsible would be ideal.

I found just the thing available on Amazon.

This set of three Kuuk containers allows me to keep one in my purse, one in our car and one in Ben’s work van. For $13! Now we never have an excuse to use styrofoam.

(The one in my purse holds my straw and spork when not in use. More on them below.)

zero-waste solutions on the go

I love how slim it is when collapsed. (Roughly the size of a thin hardcover book, but lighter.) And there’s more than enough room to hold a generous portion of leftovers when opened up.

I recently used my container to take home some delicious chicken shawarma after a night out with Ben. I was so glad to have the container ready!

It may not be as eco-friendly as steel or glass, but it’s a huge step up from single-use styrofoam!

Metal Spork

stainless steel spork - make less waste

A reusable spork is handy because it’s able to serve you, whether you’re chowing soup, noodles, rice, or salad!

I happened to get this titanium one for $10, which comes with a bottle opener. It’s probably overkill.  There are lots of more economical options.

Stainless Steel Straw

stainless steel straw

Single-use plastic straws are so completely dumb when you think about it. What a waste of plastic!

Technically, you usually don’t even need to use a straw. People drink straight out of cups all the time. But I understand that they’re helpful if you’re drinking while in a vehicle or otherwise on the move.

So in the those cases, a stainless steel straw is a great solution.

When you’re in a restaurant, you probably don’t need a straw at all. You could just ask your server not to give you a straw, and drink from your cup the old-fashioned way. I’ve done this lots of times.

But having a reusable straw with you even in a restaurant can be nice for two reasons: (1) so your server can physically see that you don’t need a straw (because s/he might otherwise forget your request), and (2) it makes everything you drink feel fancy. See? Being eco-friendly doesn’t have to make you feel deprived!

I got a set of a bunch of stainless steel straws of varying size and shape. Most will stay home and be used by the family.

But I have one tucked in my collapsible container to be used when I’m out and about, and another in the family car, for spur-of-the moment drive-thru iced coffees. (Confession: I have yet to work up the nerve to ask if they’ll put it in a reusable cup. Usually I just make my own and take it along in a jar.)

Other Great Items to Bring With You

Just a reminder that you can take the following things with you when you go out to reduce the waste you create:

These reusable products have all been a pleasure to use. I hope you find some awesome zero-waste solutions, too!

Any additional suggestions/recommendations?

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Comments

  1. awesome. I hope to be much less wasteful. We don’t use paper towels or paper napkins or straws and I have bought a few products that are suggested by you from a website called reuseit. Really great post here by the way!!
    Victoria the Justice Pirate recently posted..Movie Suggestion Post 117My Profile

  2. I have those same straws and I make my own beeswax wraps! I feel like I would never ever remember to tuck our dishes back into my purse, heck I forget my purse most days😬. I feel like I’m the opposite of a lot of my friends, I was super aware and zero waste for ages but then I felt so tired and overwhelmed with everything I had to keep up with😬 that I’ve kind of swung the other way and totally get why people love the conveniences. Last year I bought a roll of paper towel for the first time in 15 years and I couldn’t believe how amazing that stuff was at cleaning up messes!!!
    Marissa recently posted..New Babies on the FarmMy Profile

    • Hi Marissa! So far it hasn’t been too hard to remember to put the containers back — I know they don’t belong in my kitchen, so after it’s been washed and I’m putting away all the dishes, I just tuck that one back into my purse.

      I know what you mean, though — sometimes I give in and take the convenient route, and I’m like, OMG THIS IS SO AWESOME, I UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE DO THIS!! So I think we’re allowed to cut ourselves some slack sometimes. :) You went 15 years without buying paper towels? That’s really impressive!

      • Yup! But now I’m on the paper towel train, we use it to wash the cow’s udder and it’s so much better than the cloths that we’ve always used. I also hadn’t bought Kleenex (we used flannel cloths) in the girls lifetime and so the first time I bought both items, my eight year old said in shock and concern, “what has happened to you?”.😂

  3. These are GREAT solutions. I’ve always felt a pang of guilt when eating out and taking home a doggy bag of future landfill material. Love the collapsible idea especially.

    Has the beeswax wrap absorbed odors at all? (Should one avoid, say, onions?)

    • Right? And yeah, I would avoid really strong-smelling stuff with the beeswax wrap. I haven’t noticed yet, but I’m sure they absorb odour. (I personally have a container specifically for halved onions.)

  4. Can you share specifically how you dry your beeswax wrap? I would love to try one to cover casserole dishes and such rather than use plastic wrap, but I can’t think of anywhere in my kitchen to put something that large to dry.

    • Oh, I just drape it over something — usually the kitchen faucet, or over other dishes drying in the rack. Even the dividing piece between the sinks. If it gets in the way while it’s still damp I’ll transfer it to rest over a chair back. Honestly, I’ve just been really casual about it so I hope that’s helpful. :)

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