Top Tips for Zero Waste Out and About
Going plastic free while out and about is all in the planning. While at home we have all our plastic free essentials at hand, but it’s easy to get caught out on day trips. It can be very tempting to grab a sandwich and a bottle of water on the run, rather than setting aside some time to get organised. We have some plastic free kit that will form your day out essentials – keep them in the back of your car or in your bag, at the ready.
Reusable bottle or coffee cup
These are an essential item in your plastic free out and about kit to keep you hydrated. The Klean Kanteen TKWide is insulated, so will keep your cold drinks cold, and hot drinks hot all day long. If you like to pick up a coffee on the way to work then bring your own refillable Ecoffee cup. Many coffee shops now also offer a discount when you bring your own cup. They are stylish, strong and lightweight, so easy to pop in your work bag. If you need to refill your water bottle the Refill app will tell you where the nearest refill station is to you.
Not just for cloth nappies, wet bags are handy when you’re out and about with the children. They are great for putting any wet or grubby cloths in, and will keep everything else in your bag clean and dry.
More and more parents are turning to reusable cloth wipes as an alternative to plastic filled single-use wipes. They needn’t be just for home use – pop a few in your bag and wet as you need them (from your reusable water bottle ?) or take some pre-wetted wipes with you in a small wetbag. Great for nappy changes, but also for mucky hands and faces. Just put them in your wet bag when you’re finished and take home to wash.
We always have a pop-in play mat in the back of the car ready for picnics and trips to the beach. They have a multitude of uses though, and make great emergency buggy footmuffs, to keep tired or wet children warm and dry and make a handy change mat. With warm, soft fleece on one side and waterproof PUL on the other, you can have a picnic on damp grass without getting damp bottoms!
Wraps and baggies
Buying sandwiches for lunch while you’re out usually comes with lots of unnecessary excess packaging. Cut down your plastic footprint and save money at the same time by making your sandwiches at home and taking them with you. We have a range of wraps and bags to keep your sandwiches fresh and secure. Keep Leaf wraps are better for bigger sandwiches, quiche or cake, and baggies are good for a standard size sandwich. We have a wrap or baggie each so each child has their own sandwich with choice of filling.
Stainless steel food canister and lunch boxes
When your existing lunchbox needs replacing, it’s worth looking at stainless steel lunchboxes and food canisters. They are plastic free and robust enough to last a lifetime if looked after. Use them to take your leftovers into work for lunch, fruit, nuts and snacks, or salads. The insulated food canister is great for liquids such as casserole or soup, will stay hot for several hours. Because it’s stainless steel it won’t retain any flavours. Again, with a little preparation, by taking your own lunch you will drastically reduce the amount of throwaway packaging produced.
Bamboo cutlery and straws
A bamboo cutlery set is a great piece of plastic free kit to have in your bag. Being small and light weight, you’ll hardly know you’ve got it with you. Great for street food, parties, barbecues and picnics, you’ll always have them with you – so no need for single use cutlery items.
These are our must have plastic free out and about items – have you got anything to add to the list? Enjoying days out doesn’t need to be a reason to resort to lots of plastic packaging. With a little planning and some key plastic free items you will be set up for any adventures ahead.