Zero Waste Tools – A Review of My Reusables

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These are a few of my reusables. I often get asked about them and where I got them, so here’s my review and a short story behind each one.

Starting on the top left and going clockwise.

  1. Three- In-One Giant from ECOlunchbox
    Late 2015 I was getting ready to travel around southeast Asia without disposable plastics and was shopping around for a reusable container. I was looking for something lightweight and big enough for two people and after looking on multiple websites and visiting multiple stores and finally decided to get this lunch box. The only downside? It’s $45! So I wrote the company and told them about my plastic free travels and how I was on a very limited budget but really wanted their product and they offered me a 30% discount! I’ve now had it for a year and a half and have used it so many times in so many different countries.
    Pros:
    -Big enough for two meals

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    Getting takeout without the trash in Penang, Malaysia

    -lightweight
    -durable
    -recyclable
    Cons:
    -Leaks if there are liquids
    -Bulky
    -Not local (made in India)

  2. Camping Tray from ECOlunchbox
    I found this camping tray at a thrift shop for just $1! Although I don’t necessarily need it, at $1, I just couldn’t leave it behind. Now I use it for picnics, camping, and work events.
    Pros: 
    -Lightweight
    -3 sections
    -Recyclable
    -Durable
    Cons: 
    – A little pricey for a camping plate
    -Not local (made in India)
  3. Titanium Spork from Snow Peak
    I got this spork right before leaving to travel as well. My bamboo utensil set was incomplete and I wanted something lightweight and durable. Although I think it’s a great spork, I often regret buying it. At $9.95, it’s expensive, and since it’s so small and lightweight, I’m always worried I’ll lose it. Not only because of the cost but because I’d hate for something that’s made from mined titanium to accidentally get thrown in the trash. Ideally, I should have just gotten a fork and spoon at a thrift shop.
    Pros: 
    -Lightweight
    -Multi-functional (Fork, spoon, knife)
    -Recyclable
    -Extremely durable
    Cons:
    -Expensive
    -Not local (made in Japan)
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  4. Bamboo Fork from To Go Ware
    This fork came in a set with a spoon and knife. This was one of the very first zero waste tools I bought over 3 years ago. Unfortunately, I lost the spoon, and the knife is misplaced. I gifted my sister the same kit, she lost her fork, so I just gave her my fork to complete her set.
    Pros:
    -Made from renewable materials (bamboo)
    -Compostable
    -Lightweight
    Cons: 
    -Not local
    -Fork ends are not very sharp
  5. Stainless Steel Straw
    I’m not sure what brand this is, but I bought it at the OB Peoples Market, specifically so I could fit it with my EcoJarz lid.
    Pros:
    -Smaller diameter that fits into straw holes
    -Lightweight
    -Recyclable
    Con: 
    -Requires a straw cleaner
  6. Glass Dharma Straw
    Four years ago on my birthday, I received a set of four glass straws from my ex-boyfriend. To this day I still have all 4 although a few of them have chipped ends. Between the stainless steel straw and the glass one, I prefer glass because the touch is softer.
    Pros: 
    -Somewhat local for me (Made in the US)
    -Lifetime guarantee (I haven’t used it, but I should)
    -Came with straw cleaner
    Cons:
    -Not recyclable (processed glass)
  7. Hydroflask Insulated 16oz Food Container
    This is my most recent reusable container. Fernando gifted this to me this year for my 31st birthday. He got it on eBay and I just went to the Hydroflask website and it looks like they don’t carry it anymore. This is very different from all our other containers because it’s leak-proof and insulated! It’s great for cold or hot food, soups, salads-pretty much anything.
    Pros:
    -Insulted, and works well
    -Doesn’t leak
    -Durable
    -Mostly recyclable
    Cons
    -Contains some plastic
    -A little bulky
  8. Steelbeegreen Box to Go
    This little tiffin was sent to me by Steel Bee Green to try out and share my experiences on my blog and Instagram. I really love it, and I’m not just saying that because I got it for free. Recently, Fernando has been using it to take his lunch to work, and I use it to pack snacks and lunches for the weekend.
    Pros: 
    -Durable
    -Lightweight
    -Has a handle, which we love (although the one online doesn’t)
    -Has 3 levels
    -Made responsibly in India
    Cons:
    -Leaks
    -Not local (made in India)

 

So there you have it, those are my reusables. If I take proper care of them, they will last me a lifetime and will help me reduce mine and Fernando’s waste significantly!

When it comes to buying reusables, choose products that are durable, made from renewable or recyclable materials, and preferably from an ethical company. Or even better, search a bit online and see if you can find them used. Either way, they’re a great way to Reuse & Reduce.
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