Building a Zero Waste Car Kit

I find that I find it a lot easier to find green / eco-conscious fixes at home than it is when I’m on the go. Creating a zero waste car kit has been one way I’m trying to pre-plan for scenarios where I don’t want to use disposable packaging. I really liked this image that I found on The Well Essentials blog:

This really hit home for me – I don’t *need* to use plastic or disposable items, but it is what is regularly provided in restaurants and when I don’t plan ahead, I end up using them because I like the convenience factor.

I brought my own reusable container to a coffee shop the other morning when I knew I was going to be too lazy to cook my own pick up breakfast and the owner actually took the time to share a little personal story with me. She had recently watched a documentary about plastic waste and had been looking into more eco-friendly packaging for her coffee shop. She shared though, that the cost of more eco-conscious packaging was 3-4x what she already spends on her current line of packaging. She felt that her customers would balk at that price being passed onto them. She said “I will always gladly fill your own reusable mug or pack your food to-go in your own container – I think people just don’t understand the cost to the restaurant industry of more green packaging”. She’s spot on. Not only is it costly for the restaurant, it begs the question of whether it’s really fair for us as consumers to expect our prices to stay flat and to have restaurants provide more expensive packaging for us. Anyways, I’m not a saint, I just brought my own Tupperware to a coffee shop once, but I’m serious about trying to make it a regular habit.

I was inspired by a few posts I found on Pinterest and Instagram to put together my zero waste car kit and I was able to put it all together with items I already have. Most of them are related to items you might need if you are grabbing a bite to eat at a restaurant, coffee shop or store or are taking food to-go. So what do I carry with me in my Zero Waste car kit?

1. Reusable Coffee Mug
2. Reusable Water Bottle
3. Lunchskins Reusable Sandwich Bags
4. Reusable Straws (I like the ones with the silicone tips, they don’t hurt your teeth!)
5. Reusable mesh bags (for produce or bulk items)
6. Cloth napkins
7. Plastic to-go containers in a variety of sizes for leftovers
8. Some leftover silverware from an old set, I don’t have a cool carrying case for them though!
9. Fiberglass chopsticks (I can’t believe how many restaurants only have disposable ones!)

I fit all of these items in a cute reusable bag and keep it behind my seat so that I always have all of these items easily accessible. If I realize that I’m missing items as I go, I’ll continue to add new items.

What are some low cost ways that you can make your day to day routine more eco-conscious?

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