There’s No Such Thing as Disposable: Cut Out Single-Use Items on a Daily Basis

I have something to admit. I kind of messed up.

I had a great piece planned for today that would wrap up the whole water bottle situation, ending on a positive note and showing a solution that may well be the future of portable water. I did my research, started setting up an interview with the folks I needed to talk to, and then kind of dropped the ball. Between kids, life, and a broken window screen that just didn’t want to be fixed, the time just got away from me. So, instead of rushing through what I actually think deserves a decent amount of time, I decided to postpone water bottles for a week and share a little video with you.

The piece you see below is something that I made for my site ( that seems to have gotten a fair amount of good feedback. Pretty simply put, in it, I show people what I carry on a daily basis with me so that I don’t have to use “disposable” single use items. Ironically enough, I have gotten so used to doing this that I never even thought of sharing it. It took a friend to point out that what I have in my bag is not “normal” and that others may benefit from seeing it.

So that’s what I’ve got for you today. Hopefully it’ll be of interest and maybe even change a few bags and minds out there. The only thing I’ve added recently, which is not in the video, is a Chico bag. Chico bags are lightweight, have their own built in pouch and clip, and are not much bigger than a tin of mints, so I never get stuck without a bag anymore.

If anyone else has any suggestions as to what they carry, I’d love to hear them.


Dave Chameides is an environmental educator and freelance filmmaker. He writes alternative fuel articles for and maintains the blogs 365 Days of Trash and Achieving Sustainability. While he is presently saving all of his trash for a year to better understand his environmental impact, his main focus is sustainability through education and believes that with knowledge all things are possible.


Sharon Rigazio
Natalie S8 years ago

I always have two or three ACME Bags Workhorses in my bag. They fold into a pouch attached to the bag, so not only do I never forget my shopping bags, but I never lose the pouch either. Plus, the company that makes them,, donates 1% of their sales to environmental causes so it's a win-win.

I also try to remember my SIGG cutlery set so I don't need plastic when I get lunch to go and my Klean Kanteen of water so I can avoid buying disposable bottles.

Leah Fairchild
Leah Fairchild8 years ago

Thanks for showing how simple and easy this not only is adults but how parents should start implementing this to their packed lunches. They will be the ones to carry all these cool tid bits to the future!

Black Wolf
Roxanne Andrews8 years ago

I am spreading the word. I do alot of this already and tell my friends about what I learn. Thanks for the tip about HP. I will pass that one on too.

Wayne Q.
Wayne Q8 years ago

Have had a similar set-up to Dave's for many years as a kit in the car-boot, and also in the carry-rack of my bicycle. Can't find the bowl in Oz yet, but have added Katrina's "wipes" to the kits, and my kits also include a multi-tool ( like the Swiss Army knife) .
Never thought about carrying a bag on my person, but thanks for the idea, Dave

Sabrina Model-Carlberg
Sabrina M8 years ago

Chico bags are cool, but I prefer the reisenthel bags because of their long handles. Same concept- bag within a bag with a little mini clip. Divine. I carry a BUNCH in my bag. I even have a couple in my desk. I love the fun festive colors they come in. Yay for reusable bags

Susan Walker
Susan Walker8 years ago

Thanks for the info on the collapsible bowl. I do pretty much the same thing with my backpack and am cognizant of styrofoam when I eat out.

Sustainable Dave
Dave Chameides8 years ago

Didn't know that about HP.


Sustainable Dave
Dave Chameides8 years ago

Cool, glad you liked the ideas. Yeah, Chico bags are pretty much where it's at.

Katrina Schumann
Katrina Schumann8 years ago

I love this! I carry with me in a "cosmetic" case meant for beauty products some cut up rags with hydrogen peroxide 3% on them to "wash" my hands with. The reason? Hydrogen peroxide 3% kills both bacteria & VIRUSES without harming the earth! Antibiotic soaps of any & all kinds contain toxins that make you immune to antibiotics & stay in the earth for a very long time. Using the hydrogen peroxide "wipes" that can easily be washed & reused makes it possible for me to "wipe" down the handles of grocery carts; & also after using the bathroom I have my own "earth" & "human" & animal safe bacteria & virus killing "cleaner"! (works great in the home as well!) I actually have a "set" of cosmetic bags; one carries the "wipes" and the other the used ones! (BTW, you can get them 2 for $1 at the dollar store!)

Laura Zitzelberger

What great ideas!! I also use the chico bags. I was forever going into the store and leaving the reusable bags in the car. The Chico bags fit in or on (they have a clip to attach then to things) my purse. So I am never without!