Katie Finch (@katiekitkatyoga) and M.J.Robertson (@alltolove) are on a mission to make a zero waste lifestyle, zenful. To that end, they designed ‘Zenful Zero Waste’, an online course to help even the most stressed environmental wannabes, reach sustainability. Busting through recycling myths, and revealing the truth about how our decisions leave a lasting impact on the planet, they have taken the impossible out of going waste free.
Below, Katie shares her top tips for going zero waste on the move:
1. Reusable bag.
Have one with you at all times as you never know when you might feel the need to shop! All To Love tote bags are made by Rapanui, a sustainable ethical fashion brand. Durable and ethical, they look super cool, too. You can find them here.
2. Reusable water bottle.
After the plastic one I had been using for years broke, I bought a stainless steel one which has a far better shelf life than any reusable plastic bottles. It has a handle which was a priority feature for me. When I am rocking a bumbag, I can just attach it. (Yep, I am that cool!) We love S’well for keeping your water cool and Jerry for the handles!
3. Reusable coffee/tea cup.
Until this was bought for me, I used to just take a mug out with me and walk slow, or just sit in for my cuppa. I now have an Ecoffee cup made from bamboo. It’s sustainable and compostable if it does break in the future, although over a year in it doesn’t look likely anytime soon. It’s totally perfect for my loose tea from Charlotte’s Cupboard.
4. Take away container.
I have an array of old plastic boxes that I use, and will use, until they break. If you have containers, use them. Don’t buy fancy metal or glass ones until your current container breaks. Most places also give discounts if you bring your own food containers, just like when you bring your own cup. #winning
I have collected plastic cutlery over the years. Meant to be single-use, I am getting as many uses as possible before I toss it. I really do believe that zero waste shouldn’t be expensive, or require you to buy more products. Yeah, the bamboo sporks are fab, but if you already have utensils, it makes sense to use them.
6. Cloth napkins.
I use scraps of old t-shirts or tea towels. You know, paper is obviously better than plastic but there is still an impact. Once soiled, paper is best composted. Other than that, it is recyclable. Still, I’d rather avoid using it altogether so the cloth is my go to option
7. Reusable straw.
This is a non-essential unless you love a good smoothie, which, by the way, can totally go into your reusable coffee cup. That way, you avoid single-use containers. You can refuse the straw and use the spoon in your bag, if needed.
I don’t always carry everything I’ve listed here. It depends what I am up to. My goal, though, is to use my containers instead of anything from a shop or restaurant. It’s not just about avoiding plastic, either. It’s about reducing waste. It’s about reducing my overall footprint.
Merely replacing one single-use item with another means there is still waste. Remember, it all has to go somewhere. Landfills end up with a lot of supposed ‘biodegradable’ materials that do not break down for years because conditions are not right for the process to happen. My advice? Bring your own.
Once you get in the habit, it is easy. Leave your bag by the front door and grab it every time you leave. You can put it in your car, or backpack if, like me, you walk everywhere. Everything in my bag is light and easy to manage. They can also be great conversation starters.
Most importantly, remember not to be too strict about all of this. Don’t be hard on yourself, or put pressure on yourself, or others. The topic of zero waste is a massive nause if you get militant and mean about it. Zenful means doing your best, and making sure you can still live your life joyfully. Otherwise, there’s no point.
If you want to get even more involved, you can find out more about the “Be the Change” online courses at