A close up shot in which you can see a red water bottle, mesh bag and an off white drawstring bag on top of a navy duvet.
eco-friendly, personal

What’s in my backpack? – eco-friendly edition

I’m going to start off this post by disclaiming that, realistically, I often forget to pack all of these things in my bag. Depending on what I’m doing in the day sometimes I forget to pack things because of rushing. Through this blog post, I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite eco-friendly products that you can take around with you easily and that can be used on a daily basis!

Upon a navy duvet lies a large backpack that has a black buckle. The main pattern of the backpack is dark blue and white flowers.

So my current favourite backpack that I use almost every day is my Cath Kidston Crescent Rose Buckle Backpack. If you know the brand Cath Kidston, you’ll be able to guess it wasn’t the cheapest of backpacks setting me back about £50 originally. The straps are incredibly sturdy and comfortable and there is even a pocket inside the main compartment for a small laptop (it’s a shame my current laptop is a bit too big for it but could fit a 13″ laptop.), after using it pretty much everyday for a year it’s still in fantastic condition so I can see it lasting me a good few years.

Also I have my little Harley Quinn pop vinyl (originally from Forbidden Planet) on the zip to give it some personality!

A close up shot of the zip on the bottom pocket of my backpack. Attached to the zip is a keychain that has a version of DC's Harley Quinn in which her head is bigger than her body. She is wearing her original costume which involves the red and black pattern and she is carrying a mini mallet.

So let’s have a look at what’s usually inside my bag…

A wide shot of everything I keep inside my backpack.
  1. 2019 Bee Diary from WHSmith
  2. Accessorize Chester Chubby Bird Wallet in Blue
  3. Curved Rainbow Steel Straw from Bare Kind Straw Set
  4. Burt’s Bees Vanilla Bean Lip Balm
  5. Skullcandy Uproar Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
  6. Paddington Bear Stainless Steel Water Bottle
  7. Purple Tangle Teezer Brush
  8. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
  9. Hearing aids and case
  10. Glasses in a pink case
  11. Medium Cotton Mesh Produce Bag

Before I focus on the main ‘eco-friendly’ products, I’ll quickly go over the rest of my bag.

My hearing aid case, purse and glasses case are pretty self-explanatory. I also often carry a small pencil case and put my spare hearing aid batteries inside there in case either of my hearing aid’s battery dies. I really love this 2019 diary I bought from WHSmith as it has a full page for every day of the year meaning I can write in detail and journal, which is beneficial for expressing emotions, keeping track of how I’m feeling and also just making a note of any good days and memories. My current read is Radio Silence by Alice Oseman which I actually bought used through AbeBooks!

Other mini things that almost go unnoticed in the photo but aren’t incredibly important: the lip balm I use is the Burt’s Bees Vanilla Bean. Honestly, I swear by this lip balm, tastes lovely and keeps lips hydrated. 10/10.

So, what do I have in my bag to encourage an eco-friendly routine?

A top shot of 5 products. There is a canvas bag folded up with a pair of black headphones on top. A red long stainless steel water bottle with the words 'Paddington Bear' on. A white mesh bag folded up and an off-white narrow drawstring bag that holds metal straws.

My water bottle

Another self-explanatory one. I bought this Paddington edition one in the Childhood Museum in Edinburgh. I have also seen it available in the Paddington Bear shop located, of course, in Paddington Station! But you can also get it online. The only problem I’m having with this bottle at the moment is that the inside can have a bit of a strange metallic smell after a while but otherwise it’s perfect for work, fitness and travelling. The Paddington one was a treat to myself and set me back about £16 but it makes me smile seeing my favourite childhood bear every time I have some water. Plus the stainless steel means no questionable chemicals attached to it!

Cotton mesh bag

I can’t remember the exact shop or brand I got this bag from but it’s perfect for buying loose fruit and vegetables in a grocery shop. It did wonders during my student shops when I’d only need one or two individual vegetables meaning I wouldn’t have to buy a bulk pack wrapped in plastic that has a chance of going spoilt and causing food waste. One of my favourite UK-based, zero waste online stores called Brighton Frog sell them in 3 different sizes the largest being only £3.

Stainless steel rainbow straw

I’ll admit I’m incredibly guilty of forgetting to pack these but thankfully it’s very rare now that I need to use a straw. These stainless steel straws from the brand Bare Kind have been perfect when I have gotten round to using them. The set I bought from Bright Frog comes with 4 straws and a straw cleaner for only £6.50 which I think is a fantastic deal.

A spare shopping bag

This one does not have to be a particular brand or design but the one in the picture is a lovely small tote bag gifted to me from my sister. When I can, I like to fold up a tote/shopping bag just in case I buy anything whilst I’m out. Carrying a spare reusable bag is essential for planned shopping trips.

Wireless headphones

It’s a bit of a stretch to add this to the eco-friendly list but I include it because of this – wired earphones never last long with me. I have so many broken, unusable wired earphones stuffed in a drawer somewhere because I feel guilty about chucking them out (if anyone knows a way of recycling them please let me know!) Eventually, I read that a lot of the time problems with earphones breaking quickly is down to the wire cord being damaged by constant twisting, bending, pulling and exposure to moisture. By investing in wireless headphones I’ve got a headset with a longer lifespan and it means I’ll be buying fewer earphones over time which also means less breaking and going to landfill. I might actually not be making any difference in terms of environmental impact but the quality in these headphones have not faltered at all over the time I have owned them. This pair is the Skullcandy Bluetooth Uproar Wireless Headphones that set me back £30.

A close up shot of some of my more 'eco-friendly' products I carry in my bag. From the top of the image downwards we can see a pair of black wireless headphones, a folded up beige canvas bag with the words 'Hamburg' written on them in red, the top of my red stainless steel water bottle which has a copper lid, a white mesh bag and an off-white drawstring bag that has a label attached to it that says 'Thank you for saving the turtles!' this bag holds my resuable straws.

Obviously everyone’s day-to-day routines are different and this post is just a bit of fun showing you what eco-friendly products I like to use and is in no way me saying everyone should be carrying similar products. I recognise that not everyone can even use stainless steel water bottles or reusable straws due to disabilities, so if I was to give any advice at all on this post it would be to take as many steps as you can within your range, safety and happiness. If for health reasons you can’t even carry so much stuff as I do, don’t force yourself too. However, if you’re an able-bodied person who carries a massive gym bag every day with no problem why not invest in a reusable water bottle to reduce plastic waste? If you frequently go out shopping and return home with 7+ plastic shopping bags, why not pack a couple of reusable ones beforehand and minimise the number of bags you need? It’s all about recognising what you can do within your comfort and safety. Nobody should be excluded, ridiculed or guilt-tripped in the environmental movement.

But yes, I hope you had fun looking at what I carry along everyday, and maybe it has helped you source some products you may have been looking for in a while. If you want any recommendations for products, feel free to ask in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

Signature: Helena

 

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