1. Take notice
The first thing that happened when I first started becoming interested in the less waste lifestyle was that I became more conscious. I was more aware of everything I bought, the packaging, how recyclable it was. As I realised I had more choices than just price and quality, more decisions were added to my grocery shopping – shall I get the slightly yummier, more expensive olives in the plastic tub or the homebrand olives in the glass jar. That one was easy and I’m eating them right now – the homebrand olives were not only better for my pocket but also means I can re-purpose or recycle the jar. And they’re still delicious.
2. Use what you already own
If you don’t already own a reusable water bottle, just refill a plastic one you already have! It’s exactly what I’m doing while I save up to buy a good quality bottle I can use as both for water but also double as a thermos that I can ask to be filled when getting takeaway coffee or juice. Alternatively you could use a jar.
If you don’t want to invest in a fancy portable bamboo cutlery set just yet, just nab some from your own kitchen and chuck them in your bag. If you can’t do that or you don’t have a kitchen, hit up your local charity/op-shop for some single knives and forks.
Tupperware / Takeout Boxes
I already had one Tupperware box that I now just chuck in my backpack with my fork in case I need something on the go. I just hand it over and ask if they can use it instead of wasting a plastic/paper container – it’s a win win really. Alternatively, you can just eat where ever you’re buying food from – just remember to tell them so they use real plates etc.
You can always reuse old takeout boxes as well although I tend to stick to using these in the fridge for leftovers because I don’t trust them in my bag.
Jars are another good thing to re-purpose to put leftovers in, anything to cut down on clingfilm!
Lots of houses have a plastic bag drawer stuffed to the brim but it wouldn’t need to be so stuffed if anyone actually ever reused them. Just keep a couple in the bag you already use and carry around or in your car – reusing just a couple is better than reusing none.
3. Small investments
I always used to take my day-to-day backpack with me when food shopping, simply because it’s comfier than lugging finger-cutting plastic bags home. Now I’ve invested ($2) in a canvas charity bag that I pop in my backpack in case of over flow.
One piece of take-out-box sized Tupperware is probably the first thing you’ll need to get hold of if you don’t already own one. Check out charity shops for lightly used Tupperware if spending $5 on a plastic box seems like a sad expense to you. And remember if you’re travelling, you can always pack socks, wires, tightly rolled shirts inside of them to minimize room in your pack.
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