Protecting the planet on the go – and saying no to plastics that are polluting our oceans – is possible with these eco accessories and a little bit of planning, says Harriet Whiting
Car keys? Check. Ilia paraben-free lipstick in Lucy’s Party? Double check. Wallet and phone? Check, check, check. Along with screwed up receipts, forgotten about sweets collecting dirt – how on earth did that get there? – a leaky pen and even toys if we’re busy mums, we should all have an arsenal of eco accessories as standard in our faux leather handbags.
It’s hard enough to make the right conscious choices, but being sustainable and environmentally friendly on the move isn’t always practical. Even the most committed eco warrior would sacrifice their standards to buy a plastic bottle of water in the face of being dangerously thirsty.
But with a little forward-planning we can eschew those oh-so-convenient plastics that are sadly filling our oceans – so much so there will be more plastic under the waves than fish by 2050. These are the planet-friendly eco accessories that should be as essential as your wallet and car keys to really keep those single-use plastics at bay…
1. Reusable Straw
We’ve all seen the shocking and upsetting image of a turtle with a straw wedged up its inflamed nostril. In America, 500 million straws are used every day. It stuns us to think of the few minutes this surplus-to-requirement object is used in comparison to the 200 years it takes to disperse (not to mention the damage it could do in that time). So, if you like straws, pack a replacement like these jolly Seraphina’s Kitchen straws £12.45, (AED60, buymeonce.com), which are BPA-free, lead-free and made from food-grade silicon. We’re sure if you watch the pain the turtle is in having the straw removed (below) you’d never use a plastic straw again.
2. Reusable Coffee Cup
Here’s a statistic to stop you in your tracks (to the cafe): two trillion cups have ended up in landfill since their invention 30 years ago. Thankfully, Ecoffee Cup, £9.95 (AED48), offers an alternative. Made from bamboo fibres, the reusable coffee cup can be popped into your bag and you can even drink your coffee in style if you get yours with an iconic William Morris pattern.
3. Water Bottle
Yuhme, (AED120) claims to be the world’s most eco-friendly, reusable water bottle with a purpose – and who are we to disagree with such an inspirational eco model? The facts are solid, too – the bottle has the lowest CO2 footprint on the market. It’s made from renewable sugarcane and, even better, each purchase promises to give six months’ worth of clean water via charity Water for Good.
4. Portable, Reusable Cutlery
Sometimes something just feels good. And when it comes to eco accessories, it doesn’t get much better than this tactile bamboo cutlery set. Slightly rough, yet with a good grip and a strong connection to the natural world, this portable set could save countless use of plastic knives, forks and spoons when buying food on-the-go. To-Go Ware, (AED44) offers a neat, stylish pouch containing bamboo cutlery that is perfect for popping in your bag.
5. Bag For Life
Finding a replacement for plastic bags is the first thing most of us committed to – and remains one of the most important items in your list of eco accessories. There’s a wealth of options for every shade of green-lover. We like original and best eco-pioneers Eco Bags (from AED29,) whose noble mission since 1989 has been to ‘clean up the planet, one bag at a time’. Choose from a string, woven or gauze bag and be assured that all materials are environmentally and socially responsibly sourced.
6. Takeaway Food Container
Bringing your own container to a takeaway, store or deli might make you feel a bit self-conscious, but with zero-waste shops popping up everywhere, carrying your own receptacle is becoming perfectly acceptable, and it’s also a great solution for avoiding plastic and Styrofoam. Tiffin boxes, once exclusively used for transporting delicious lunch time curry in India, are now widely considered to be excellent for transporting cooked foods as it allows you to layer different items. We like To-Go Wares choice of two- or three-tier stainless steel boxes. AED97.