Zero Waste Must Haves

Atlanta Zero Waste

I've got to admit, my zero waste life has awarded me with some really neat belongings. I mean they're functional, made of sustainable materials, with lifetime or extended warranties, and they look cool AF.

In my year and 11 month journey as a zero waster, I have figured out the perfect list of zero waste must haves in order to stay trash free in your everyday life, and be hot stuff while doing it.

Some are items I've had prior to becoming a zero waster, and others are really neat items I've researched intensely and purchased after knowing they would alleviate my life a bit.

My TimBuk2 Bookbag
It's partial camper, partial city walker just like me.  A modern bookbag with cargo interior including a sleeve for my laptop and a pocket to hold stones, chargers, foraged pecans. I purchased it because Timbuk2 practices a circular economy meaning, the bags are made of 100% recycled material and when your bag is at the end of it's life, they will repair or recycle. There a lifetime warranty on the bag, LIFETIME WARRANTY PEOPLE!

Panda Sunglasses
I wanted these glasses because looking through the dark lenses, I could see the future, and let me just tell you, it's lit! Panda Sunglasses are made of sustainably-sourced bamboo. I lucked up last year and copped them at a consignment shop for the low.

To Go Ware Tiffin
My lunch box, my snack box, my plate at networking events, My tiffin allows me to take lunch, grab snacks in bulk and avoid disposable foodware while out and about. It's made of sustainable material, which can be recycled when I die.

Reusable Cup
I'm always carrying a reusable cup, and typically it's a Mason jar. I've tried a few other cups, but they don't quite fit the bill with the needs of a zero water. Listen, we're on the move and stuff, we need a cup that won't spill. When we go to juice bars, we need a cup that can confirm 20 ounces of juice has been poured.

Yall can have the fancy camping sporks, I will take my house spoon any day. Stay ready.

Fort Negrita Cloth Napkin
Skip the paper napkins, because let's be real, there horrible anyways. You get a half of a wipe before they're falling apart. Carry a cloth napkin, I always have my own, which can be bought from my online store.

Pearl Sponge
My menstrual cycle angel, comes in the form of a egg shaped sponge salvaged from the ocean. It's comfortable and absorbent. I can rinse it and pop it back in, in a single day, preventing my need to carry additional menstrual products in my bag. I can get a couple of years of use out of these, then cut up and compost, when there lifespan is over.

Fort Negrita Sanitary Napkin
A great alternative for when my sponge is cleaning is reusable cloth pads. These are a great alternative to disposable feminine products. I wrote a whole article about how zero waste feminine products is a clap back for feminism, capitalism and health issues. Check them out on my online store.

Fort Negrita Bulk Bags
My bulk bags are perfect for grocery store trips; from dry goods to Brussels sprouts, there's so much that can fit in these bags. There made of salvaged coffee beans bags, which I bought from a local roaster. Check them out on my online store.

A Trash Jar

A trash jar isn't just a way to tout your ability to refuse waste, it's a measurement tool to help you see how much trash your are eliminating on a monthly, annual basis. It will make for a great analysis one day.

Breeze Card

Getting around the A without a car isn't hard with Marta. Many complain about the public transit, but there's always early adopters and the late majority. Early adopters been riding Marta since conception, because of conception, not trendy downtown appeal.

Last, but definitely not least, is my bike. Being a bicycle rider covers several sectors in my zero waste work. One, I don't contribute to the extraction of natural, non-renewable resources. Two, I don't contribute to wars, which waste resources, cities and human lives. Three, my existence on a bike inspires others to ride their bike. Fourth, I change wind patterns. :-)

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  • Francesca on

    Hi, my local coffee roasters gave me so many burlap bags for free. Did you use a certain pattern to make the drawstring bags that you sell in your store? I’m a very inexperienced sewer and don’t know how to go about making the big bags more usable.

  • Shirley J Anderson on

    I also read about your work in this month’s Essence magazine. I’ve been using tote bags, cloth diapers, compost bins, etc for over 40 years, but I need to concentrate on refusing trash at point of purchase. Thanks for the encouragement! (Central Wisconsin reader)

  • Kenya on

    I am living in Augusta. I read about you in this month’s Essence. I have been reading about zero waste. I have been reading about zero waste for awhile. I am currently paying attention to my trash production. Augusta does not lend itself to a lot of bulk shopping but I have read a lot of your blog Post and got some ideas for zero waste.

  • Malia on

    Hey Anyabwile I found it here:

  • Anyabwile on

    Thank you for this. My wife and I are moving closer to the center of zero waste. Quick question. Love the bag, which type is it? I checked their website couldn’t find the style. Thanks

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