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What’s in a zero waster’s bag!?

Sustainable Fashion

Last Updated on January 23, 2024

What do zero waster’s carry in their bag? Depending on the day this can drastically change, but this is what you’ll find in my bag 90% of the time. 

I go to work Monday-Friday, so this is the best look at what I have on me. Specifically on Tuesdays, because sometimes I’ll stop at the store on the way home from work. There’s a teeny-tiny bulk section full of all the necessities… like rice, oats, quinoa, and chocolate! 

what's in a zero waster's bag from #zerowaste #gogreen #whatsinmybag

This post was sponsored by Pela Case. I received a compostable phone case to try for free. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Please see my full disclosure for more information. 

the bag itself: 

I’ve had this bag a long time! In fact, when I first started blogging I wrote a tag post about it. It was a lot of fun. 

This isn’t the most fashionable bag in the world. I would love to find one that would function as a bag in all/most situations. One that’s not as casual. I’ve been looking for a year, but I’ve yet to find anything. 

One thing I’ve learned in this zero waste journey is to settle for nothing. Always wait for the perfect item to come along. It’s out there somewhere. 

cloth napkin and cloth bulk bags: 

Cloth napkins have so many uses. I wrote a great post about how waste can be prevented in almost every situation with a cloth napkin and a 16oz mason jar. 

I always keep a cloth napkin in my bag for work. I typically eat a snack and lunch while there. I don’t keep cloth napkins at work, but I do keep other reusables like forks, plates, and mugs etc. 

I really like these organic cloth draw string bags. They’re small, but the perfect size to bring home veggies or large bulk items like chocolate covered almonds or just regular almonds. 

a 16 oz mason jar: 

This item is so versatile. I typically tote a green smoothie in one for breakfast. I’ll wash it at work and drink water out of it throughout the day. If I’m going out with friends after work I can get drinks, coffee, or tea to go.  

a wallet: 

I don’t know of many people that don’t carry a wallet around with them. This is mine. It was a present a couple of years ago from my grandmother, and I love it. 

Before I went off to my first professional acting gig in PA, she gave me this tiny card with an angel pin on it. She said it was my guardian angel. I keep it with me to remind me of her. She is definitely one of my personal heroes. I’ll try not to get too sappy, but I love her very much. 

I also keep compostable business cards with me. You can see from the back, it says to plant them. There are also all sorts of ideas to reduce your trash and waste on the back of each one. Business cards aren’t perfect, but sometimes necessary. 

cell phone: 

I am on my cell phone far too often for social media purposes. But, I do love getting to keep in touch with all of my followers. If you aren’t following me on twitter, insta, youtube, pinterest, or facebook you totally should! I write new content on each platform. 

I was struggling to find an eco case for my phone. Especially because my phone is old! I have a 5c from almost 5 years ago. I’m so thankful Pela Case reached out to me, and didn’t give me a hard time for having a dinosaur of a phone.

I plan on keeping this phone as long as possible. Keeping true to that zero waste mentality. Pela is an awesome company! I drop my phone a lot. A LOT so having a sturdy phone case is must for me! 

Not only are their cases super sturdy, they’re made from a waste by-product. They’re made with flax straw waste. They’re compostable when they’re at the end of their life. But, before that, you can send the phone cases back where they’ll turn them into yoga mats or flip flops! Which is so awesome!

We need more companies to think about the full lifespan of their product in every stage of it’s life. And, I really want one of their yoga mats. If you’re in the market for a new phone case, I would definitely give Pela a look. 


My favorite part of the day! Lunch, lunch, lunch. If you want to know how to pack a zero waste lunch or looking for some quick easy zero waste lunch ideas check out this post

Today I have veggie stir fry in a two-tiered tiffin. These tiffins are the perfect size! 

This is what I normally keep in my bag on a daily basis! What do you keep in your bag that helps you fight waste? 

*This post may contain affiliate linking you can read more on my disclosure page.

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  1. "One thing I’ve learned in this zero waste journey is to settle for nothing. Always wait for the perfect item to come along. It’s out there somewhere."

    Often true! Half of the clothes in my closet are things that were Almost Right. I should have held out for what I wanted, and now it’ll take ages to wear everything out. Live and learn.

    Neat! I always have bags and hankies, sometimes remember my water bottle, and often wish I’d remembered to bring a container…

    That IS a cool phone case.

  2. I saw that you could buy ‘socks’ for your phone, so I decided to make one myself with my sewing machine and spare cloth around the house. In case your case breaks and you don’t want to buy another one. šŸ™‚

  3. Hi Kathryn, wanted to say I absolutely love your blog, so many practical tips and suggestions. You are good at showing how easy going zero waste can actually be. I was wondering if you have a recommendation for reusable travel utensils? Thanks for all you do!

    1. Thanks! Under the shop tab on the blog links to a to-go ware set that’s really popular with zero wasters. I personally just roll up my regular cutlery in a cloth napkin. No need to buy anything new! But, if you use it really often, then it may be worth the investment.

  4. How do you reheat your lunch in the metal tin. I take my lunch each day but only a mircowave is provided so I have to bring glass (which breaks) or tupperware.

  5. Hi, I wanted to ask you if you have found the versatile bag you mentioned in your post? My constant struggle is finding a bag that would fit my water bottle, my lunch box, my laptop, my other knick knacks in the bag ~ just wondering if you have found one and would you mind doing a post about it. Love your blog!

    1. I really want one of the Nena and Co convertible day bags. They’re drool worthy. And, a little pricey…. I just dont know if i can convince myself to buy anything new while my current bag is still kickin’ though. (The zero waste runs deep. šŸ˜‰

  6. How do you pack for a small day bag? If I don’t want to carry a backpack and I’m going out all day, I’m struggling to figure out how to bring the essentials in a small bag.