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How To Make A Zero-Waste Starter Kit And Go Trash-Free

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As a lifelong tree hugger, deciding to go zero waste (i.e. creating as little trash as possible) was a no-brainer for me. So many resources are put into the products we consume, only to be destined to live forever in a landfill. When I embarked on my zero-waste journey (#trashfreeinla), I realized most of my trash came from eating out and single-use disposables like coffee cups, straws, utensils, and napkins. Not only are these items used for mere minutes, but also an alarming amount end up polluting our oceans. According to a recent World Economic Forum report, scientists predict that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish(!!). But with a little foresight and the right reusable staples (I take mine with me everywhere), it’s easy to eliminate lots of trash. Here’s all you need to make a zero-waste kit of your own, and though I’ve included purchase suggestions, you could probably put one together from stuff you already have at home. 

Bag
I always have at least one Baggu bag on me. The Baby Baggu ($8, baggu.com) is perfect for picking up a loaf of bread or carrying fruit from the market. They come in lots of fun colors, and they’re a breeze to wash and dry.

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Cup and metal straw
My favorite cup is a 24-ounce mason jar ($8.65, amazon.com) with a Cuppow lid ($8.99, cuppow.com) that fits my metal straw ($3.00, lifewithoutplastic.com). The clear glass and measurement lines are helpful when using it to get your favorite green smoothie or matcha latte.

Cloth Napkin
Cloth napkins are multipurpose. Use them to dry your hands (no more paper towels!), for any wipes or spills, or for grabbing a cookie from the local bakery. Splurging on a cute one ($28 for set of 2, cottonandflax.com) will ensure its place in your kit.

Utensils
Always carry a fork and spoon—I keep mine in an Ambatalia utensil roll ($30, ambatalia.com)—because you never know when hunger will strike.

Jar
Lastly, if you know you’re going out to eat, bring a Weck jar ($4.25, lifewithoutplastic.com) for taking any leftovers home.

By Sara Tso, @matchboxkitchen

Photographed by Julia Stotz 

This article originally appeared in the April/May 2018 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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