AE - Simple Zero Waste Travel Carry-On Kit

Simple Zero Waste Travel Carry-On Kit

“To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – that is to have succeeded.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Simple Zero Waste Travel Carry-On Kit

Traveling shouldn't require you to add more carbon footprints. Zero waste travel saves Mama Globe and adds the jingle to our pockets. How can you go wrong? If you've been meaning to dip your toes in the world of zero waste travel, I've come up with a simple zero waste travel carry-on kit. Remember we want to use what we have first before buying anything.

Reusable Bag(s)

To start your zero waste travel carry-on kit, you'll need to start with a bag. There is no need to go and buy one. You may even have one where you haul groceries week in and week out, which is fantastic because then you know it can handle some weight. Just make sure to use one that can fold up easily. If you need to buy one, though, check the bargain bins at stores like Target. You can sometimes find small cotton tote bags for under $5. Or better yet, make one out of an old t-shirt!

Water Bottle

I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to have a water bottle with you. For home, work, and travel, it just saves money and paper/plastic waste. Don't ever pay for bottled water at the airport (or anywhere) again! I have a Kleen Kanteen Stainless Steel Insulated Wide Mouth 20 oz. with a carabiner to clip on my backpack or crossbody bag while sightseeing. It also doubles as a coffee tumbler as it can also keep things hot. My second water bottle is a BKR Glass Water Bottle with Silicone Sleeve 500ml in Naked.


Cutlery Set

Unless you're okay with eating with your hands, it would be best if you brought a cutlery set with you. Have you ever noticed how many times you've gone through plastic utensils while traveling? I remember Norwegian had a biodegradable spoon which is now used to measure coffee grounds. I used that sucker the entire time I was out in Germany and the Netherlands. It felt great not making more trash than necessary.

There are many to choose from just by doing a quick search. If I had to do it all over again, I would get a bamboo set. The fancy ones usually have a set of chopsticks and a metal straw with a cleaning brush. Mine is plastic (please don't throw tomatoes) that is part of an old bento box set. I figured it's best to use until, well I can't use it anymore. You won't have to splurge on this either though. Grab a butter knife, fork, and spoon from your kitchen drawer and call it a day!

UPDATE: My last utensil set finally died. I went ahead and purchased a bamboo set. Mine is similar to this one. It comes with a toothbrush, too!


Don't worry, we are not going to reenact a scene from West Side Story or Grease! You just want to carry one (or two) that can be used as a napkin, a simple scarf, hankie, or headwrap. Just make sure you don't use one as all four. EW!

Feeling Tupac-ish.

Food Vessel/Container

A container for food is a must. If you are more likely to eat sandwiches or wraps, you can use reusable sandwich bags or beeswax wraps. Bandanas can also save the day! I don't want to have to think too hard, so I opt for a container with a lid. That way, I can use it in various ways.  I prefer a stainless steel container with a lid that can hold a sandwich, soup, or salad. The one I use is the New Wave Enviro 26 oz Stainless Steel Food Container. If I want to bring a sandwich: Lunchskins Reusable Zippered Sandwich Bag. For snacks: Lunchskins Reusable Zippered Snack Bag.

Allez Elizabeth - Elizabeth's Simple Zero Waste Travel Carry-On Kit
Can you spot my Wu-Tang style?

Honorable Mentions

Bee's Wraps Reusable Beeswax Wraps – I bought the ones at Trader Joe's (pictured above), but it's hit or miss to find them so I'm giving you a suitable substitute recommended by a good friend.

IKEA KNALLA Shopping Bag – Look, I'd rather you make one from an old t-shirt, but if you want to buy one, I suggest this one since it folds up easily which means you can take it with you EVERYWHERE!!


It will take some getting used to for sure, but I promise you it will be worth it! I'm trying to go through my packing lists to see if there are other zero-waste alternatives. I'll make sure to post them for you here as I find them. As always, if you found this helpful please share it with a friend to help spread the word!

*Hey, this page contains affiliate links. There’s no extra cost to you, but I receive a small commission when you decide to use them. They help me keep this party going.



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