I learned what to take on a daily basis and how to pack light for longer trips away. I formed a habit of taking snacks, a handkerchief, and a bottle while on the go. I realised that zero waste is about minimalism and simplicity.
Day to day
A handbag audit could be helpful at this stage. Think about all the items you use on a daily basis and add a handkerchief and small shopping bag to the set.
Essentially, all I need is my wallet, phone, keys and a handkerchief. Everything else depends on where I’m going and whether a bag is necessary. Here’s the full extent of what I take:
- Bailey Nelson glasses for seeing way off into the future
- Small cheesecloth bag that fits in my pocket
- My favourite handkerchief: To use as a scarf, to hold bakery treats, napkin, tissue …only ever in that order Snotzilla always comes last
- Lush lipstick (only if I want to feel fancy)
- Mr Simple wallet: Moving to a “men’s wallet” was the first step to not needing a handbag at all – I just throw coins in my pocket now
- Multi-purpose balm in a Lush sample container: For lips, hair, nails, moisturiser and general spruce up
- Cough lollies: If I have singing practice. I buy these in glass jars to avoid individually wrapped plastic packaging.
- T2 water bottle: Usually just for singing or long walks. This doubles as a thermos and keeps tea nice and warm for hours.
Snacks, handkerchief & bottle
If travelling for an extended period of time, take snacks to avoid impulse purchases, a drink bottle that can be refilled, and a handkerchief for take away sandwiches, baked goods, etc. If you’re more of a sushi fan, a small container is helpful too.
I now have an airport survival kit: Snacks, handkerchief, and water bottle. These three items ensure a package-free trip from Melbourne to Katoomba. That’s a 1.5hr flight plus 2.5hr train ride with loads of waiting time in between. The salty macadamias and chocolate covered almonds prevented me from buying McDonalds Chicken McNuggets at the airport and Pringles on the plane. The water bottle prevented me from guzzling down lemonade and then throwing away the vessel. The handkerchief was used to wrap a toasted cheese and tomato croissant to take away. I also bought an apple for a zero waste snack.
While in transition, take the labels off certain products as a reminder to keep the container and bulk buy / DIY once it runs out.
I’m getting the hang of zero waste travel and learning how to pack light. This is what’s in my toiletries bag for a 3 day trip. This works pretty well for me. We went to New York for 8 days and I took a similar set of items, and it was perfect. If we were camping, we would have tea tree oil and Castile soap – and the blush would be the first thing to go.
- Fine brush
- Eyebrow pencil
- Blush powder: I’m working my way through the last of my make up. This powder can easily be made with beetroot powder and cornstarch.
- Home made toothpowder
- Rose hip oil or Argan Oil
- Multi-purpose balm in a tiny jam jar: For hair, lips, nails, feet, etc
- Bamboo toothbrush: I recommend Uppercut Delux toothbrush
- Reusable make up wipes: Made from my old bath robe
- Home made face powder in a Lush tin
- Large makeup brush
Pack a capsule wardrobe
Get comfortable wearing pants, jumpers, and jackets a couple of times before washing. Packing light takes practice so it helps to take more holidays (you know it!). This is also great practice for a longer term capsule wardrobe.
All the clothes, accessories and shoes I brought for 4 days away: Tracksuit pants, 2 x Jeans, 4 x undies, 2 x Socks, 1 x Bra, Scarf, Beanie, Leather jacket, Hoodie, Glasses, Sunnies, Cardigan, 4 x T-shirts, Gloves and Boots.