Reducing your waste around your own home is amazing, but what about when you’re out and about?

How do you avoid waste when you’re often handed it before you’ve even had a chance to think about it? It definitely takes practice and can take some time to incorporate it into your usual routine.

Sometimes in my haze of sleep deprivation or just general having a million things on my mind I don’t think when I buy something and realise when it’s too late that I’ve just accepted a straw or other item I don’t need. To get you thinking and to help you avoid those common single use items when you’re out and about here’s a few tips.

Refuse – even if it’s free

Have you ever been walking somewhere and been handed a flyer or leaflet? This happens often while people are out and about in crowded spaces or on the way to work. The flyers are generally taken politely  without a second thought.  In cases like this it pays just to say no, unless it is information you are interested in, in which case you could take a picture of the leaflet on your phone or note down important details which saves you taking the item in the first place, and then having to consider how to dispose of it afterwards.

Replace with your own

When you need something try to remember to bring your own. Have a go to kit in your bag, car and/or at work. Have a think about where you most often get given single use items. Do you pick up a coffee on your way to work, a water bottle at the gym or a takeaway on your way home or for lunch?

Eliminating the single use plastic from the above situations is as simple as having replacements available.

This could include;

* a reusable coffee cup or drink bottle

* your own cutlery set including a straw and a napkin

* a reusable bag for your shopping

* a Tupperware or old takeaway container for those on the go lunches

Kid specific waste

When you have kids it can be easy to go through a lot of items and utensils when you’re out. Here’s a couple of essentials to add to your nappy bag or other bag for your kids when you’re out;

* a wet bag – use this for wet clothes or cloth nappies that you need to take home

* a compostable bag for any Little & Brave nappies and wet wipes.

* a cutlery kit with straws and spoons

* take snacks from home – this will help you avoid buying packaged items when you’re out

Own it

While it’s pretty common practice to have a reusable coffee cup these days it’s a bit more unusual to bring your own container for takeaways or your own straw. When you first started pulling out your own straw you may feel a little silly but you will soon be proud of what you are doing. As well as doing your bit it sends a message to the company you’re buying from that you want them to change what they’re doing and this can lead to a bigger change.

Good luck putting together your go to kits. With a little thought and preparation you can avoid items when you’re out and about.