My car often feels less like a mode of transportation and more like a mobile home that occasionally brings me back to the non-mobile home. If you think of the things that you do in the car, well I, for one, have done just about everything that doesn’t involve a toilet from the comfort of my car. In our very mobile society, we spend an inordinate amount of time in our vehicles every day. It’s unfortunate that we are still so dependent on transportation based on fossil fuels, but I digress. My car is still a major part of my life so I do my best to keep it clean and organized. That means making it part of my plastic free life as well.

I started by just having my reusable bags in the car in one of the reusable bags, but then I realized that this was not adequate at all. There are so many things that could use sustainability that launch directly from Daphne (my car’s name - don’t judge me - she’s cute but simple, ya know?) Consider a coffee run, or take out, or a hike… Too long didn’t read - I tried a bunch of things that I had with less than satisfactory results and ended up with using an insulated lunch tote for my takeout game. So now let’s move on to the important stuff; what should you keep in your car to keep you living plastic free?

My “picnic” container is always at the ready now. First, and foremost, a hydrated lady stays calm so there’s my full stainless steel water bottle ready for a walk, a trip to the gym, or anything else life may bring. Next, is my reusable coffee cup. In iced coffee season this is a pint mason jar with a bamboo lid; hot coffee needs one of my many insulated cups many which have been gifted or thrifted over the years. And finally there’s my reusable straw and cutlery set, naturally. Take out is tricky if it’s for a crowd but if it’s just me, another wide mouth pint mason jar with a bamboo lid will get me soup, pad Thai, or pasta salad from the co-op and I have a washed plastic container from takeout past in there as well.

Mason Jar lid

Behind the driver’s seat is reserved for shopping needs - market bags, produce bags, and bulk bags. So lovely that they nestle together inside one another. Tip of the day - if you ever find yourself in the store and your market bags are still in your car, just have the cashier pack your groceries back into your cart and you can bag them up when you get back to the car. A wise woman, bless her heart, told me that once after I left my bags carside for the eleventeen hundredth time.

bulk bags

To summarize, you can’t use your reusables if you don’t have them with you. Find a way that works for you. The real trick, of course, is returning things back to the car once they’ve made their way to the house. It takes a little practice to create a new habit. But we’re working toward progress, not perfection. Let us know in the comments if you’ve found some magical new way to stay plastic free. As for me and Daphne, we’re getting this down.

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