What's in our bags?
A few days ago, we gave you a little introduction to a topic that has become of big importance to us personally: (plastic) waste. It’s been great getting so much feedback from you; may it be by asking questions or mentioning points we haven’t talked about yet. We definitely plan on giving this topic regular attention and even made a one-week challenge to find out if we are capable of going completely zero waste, but you’ll hear more about that in a few days.
An important thing when talking about waste are our bags. We tend to produce a lot of waste when we leave the house unprepared and forget to bring certain things with us. That’s why today, we want to show you what we carry around with us (nearly) all of the time. Not only concerning reducing waste, but also to give you a chance to get to know us a bit better.
First things first: I don’t really carry a handbag with me, I rather use my Fjalraven Kanken backpack. I feel like it’s just a lot more comfortable than a normal bag, it’s a lot more organized, and it fits more than any of the handbags I own. Speaking of organized, I am going to put the things I keep in my bag into three different categories: zero waste related, life and Uni related, and weird stuff.
Zero Waste Items: I like being prepared, so things I always bring with me are at least one tote bag, and fruit and vegetable bags, in case I think of something I need to buy. This way, I can avoid plastic bags really easily. I also carry a set of cutleries with me. Mine is from the brand Monbento; it comes with a metal fork, spoon and knife, and fits perfectly into one of the side pockets of my backpack, or also inside the matching Monbento lunchbox I have. Besides cutlery, I sometimes find myself in need of a straw (I hate when I order a drink and it comes with hundreds of ice cubes or slices of fresh fruit inside and I can’t take a sip without nearly choking to death). This is why I bring a stainless-steel straw with me everywhere I go, because, let’s be honest, this doesn’t take a lot of space in your bag or backpack. I also have a refillable water bottle and a reusable coffee cup.
Life and Uni related Items: As I have already mentioned, I like to be prepared. This is why I always bring a small first aid kit, some emergency medication (like a few painkillers, pills helping against an allergic reaction, eye drops, etc.), lip balm and blotting paper for when my forehead is getting super shiny, hand sanitiser, tissues, and an umbrella (because living in Innsbruck means you can easily experience all four seasons in less than an hour). I also like having my planner, some pens, my wallet, my laptop and the paperwork I need for Uni that day (which is usually a mixture of Russian grammar and vocab sheets, and a notepad to take notes for when I am interpreting) with me.
Weird stuff: One thing which is always in my bag are two 3D-glasses for the cinema; one is a small size, and the other a medium one. Here is why: I love going to the cinema which is why I go there a lot. I am not the biggest fan of 3D-films, however, sometimes, it can’t be avoided. Unfortunately, I have a rather small head and it happened quite a few times that the glasses they gave me there were way too big and that made watching the film really annoying. This is why, as soon as I found some pairs that fit me, I bring them with me every time I go to the cinema so I know I have fitting glasses and can avoid the stupid situation of readjusting them every 5 seconds. Also: this way I produce a lot less plastic waste, so win win for everyone!
Like Sophie, I use a backpack for my everyday life. I used to carry handbags with me all the time a few years back, but then my back started complaining and I realized backpacks are way more comfortable. The outside of my backpack is pretty similar to Sophie’s, in fact, it’s the same model, just in a different colour. Even though my bags inside is very different to hers, I’ll use the same categories she used.
Zero Waste Items: We’ll start right away with a big difference to Sophie’s bag, but there are some reasons for that. While you noticed that she carries cutlery with her, I do not. The reason being: I live about 3 minutes from university. Therefore, I do not buy a lot of take-away food (to be honest I buy it rarely, if ever) and even if I buy it, there’s no reason for me to take single-use cutlery, as it takes me only a minute or so to get home and eat it in my flat (where I obviously do have cutlery myself). Also, when buying take-away, I found that quite a lot of restaurants use bamboo plates or paper to wrap the food. My glass water bottle has become a steady companion that seems to be by my side nearly every time I leave the house, also because it’s way cheaper than buying something to drink at university. My coffee mug, instead, stays at home most of the time as I do not drink hot beverages when leaving the house – somehow, I enjoy them way more in my warm bed with the TV on. Every time I leave, I carry a tote bag with me and most of the time inside that tote bag there’s at least one little bag for fruits or vegetables. I guess that’s most of what I carry around with me that somehow is about the environment.
Life and Uni related Items: Still, there are some things I take with me nearly every day, besides my laptop and wallet, which I obviously need. So now let’s talk about the rest that I always carry with me. I do not carry a first aid kit (if I need something I do not carry with me, one of my friends surely has it) but one essential for me: headache tablets. A few years ago, I had to take about 4 a day as I had constant headache, but in the last couple of years, this has gotten better and better. One thing I noticed was that as soon as I carried some with me, there was no need for them, but even now, I can guarantee you I need them if I forget them at home. The rest I carry with me is pretty basic. Of course, I own a planner where I keep track of all my exams and deadlines and the one I use this year I even made by myself, which was great fun and very relaxing. Also, I turned out to like it way more than the common ones you can buy, I use it more regularly and, since I own various notebooks, I found a great way to use one where I previously only used 4 pages. Also, I carry headphones and a cute umbrella I bough in asia (besides on days I know there’s only sunshine for sure), with the umbrella there seems to be the same logic as is with my headache tablets: if I carry it with me, there’s no need for it, if I do not, it’s raining cats and dogs.
Weird stuff: What I definitely need to mention here: my lens cleaning cloth. Recently, I started wearing my glasses nearly all the time and there’s something that annoys me to death. How come I have to clean my sunglasses once every month and my normal glasses have to get cleaned every 5 minutes? I swear, I have to clean them multiple times a day. One funny thing to know about me: I never carry chewing gum with me. I seem to be the only person on earth that hates chewing gum, which I have to explain endless times if someone offers me some.
Hopefully you got to know us a little bit better and maybe some of the parts were even entertaining for you. Do you too have some weird things you carry around all the time and where other people don’t get the reason why? We’d love to hear about that.