April 29, 2021 4 min read

"INFO: The team previously at hannahpad Canada launched their own new brand, illum! These blog posts have been written when we used to run hannahpad Canada. All information is still relevant and everything is the same! We simply changed the brand that we offer. :slightly_smiling_face: "


How to build a zero-waste kit 

Introducing a zero-waste kit into your everyday lifestyle is one of the most simple and effective ways you can cut down your harm to the environment. There are a wide variety of products you can include in your kit in order to reduce the amount of waste you’re creating. This can include reusable utensils, straws, bags, and even washable cloth pads!

Keep reading to find out what you should include in your own zero-waste kit in order to make the biggest difference.


Probably one of the easiest ways you can avoid single-use plastics is to ensure that your zero-waste kit includes reusable utensils. There are pre-made portable utensil packages that come in a variety of different materials for you to choose from, such as stainless steel and bamboo. These typically include everything you would need on a day-to-day basis while you’re out and about, including a fork, knife, spoon, and even chopsticks.

Travel Mug

Did you know that the majority of disposable coffee cups can’t be recycled? While they are made from cardboard—a completely recyclable material—they are also lined with a thin plastic coating, which is how they keep liquids from seeping through. Due to this, only some municipalities within North America accept coffee cups in their recycling programs, as it can be extremely difficult to separate the polyethylene lining from the cardboard.

Some coffee cups are lined with wax instead of plastic… but how can you really tell the difference? Despite your best efforts to recycle your coffee cups (wax lining or otherwise), it can actually just result in contaminating an entire load of recyclable material—meaning it’ll all end up in a landfill. Your best bet to avoid this particular is to throw in a reusable travel mug when building your zero-waste kit.

Water Bottle

Not only is having a reusable water bottle on hand at all times extremelybeneficial to your overall health and hydration, but it can also help the environment by reducing your waste. The World Health Organization (WHO) found that micro-plastics were found in 93% of the most popular bottled water brands. Single-use plastic water bottles no more! Invest in a reusable one to fill while you’re on the go. You can even opt for a stainless steel version to keep your drinks cold for hours.

Reusable Straws

Single-use plastic straws have become a symbol of the zero-waste movement in recent months. It’s estimated that as many as8.3 billion plastic straws pollute Earth’s beaches. In response, many environmental activists are urging corporations and small businesses alike to make a change. You can too by adding a straw made from reusable plastic, metal, or bamboo to your zero-waste kit.

Alternatively, you can skip including reusable straws—further saving the environment for manufacturing pollution and saving your wallet as well. #SaveTheTurtles and join the movement!

Washable Cloth Pads

Want to take your zero-waste kit to the next level? Consider including sustainable period products such as a washable cloth pad! 

More and more people are moving away from disposable menstrual products such as tampons due to their negative impact on the environment andpotential health risks. In the United States alone, roughly19 billion disposable menstrual products are thrown out every year. Including reusable and washable cloth pads in your zero-waste kit can save up to 300 pounds of waste in your lifetime.

Luckily, there are a lot of options out there when it comes to sustainable period products. If you’re looking for a washable cloth pad that stands out from the crowd, consider illum Cloth Pads! 

Reusable Bags

Additionally, another way you can amp up your zero-waste game is to include reusable bags within your kit. On average, we only recycleone plastic bag for every 200 that we use. Those numbers add up even more when you take into consideration the fact that we use up to a trillion plastic bags a year worldwide. 

You can argue that the main contributor to this problem is convenience. It is a lot easier—not to mention time-efficient—to stop by the grocery store on your way home from work and use a plastic bag then it would be to go home, grab a reusable bag, and then head back out to the store. After all, how many people carry reusable bags with them on a daily basis? 

Well, now you can if you include a reusable bag or two in your zero-waste kit! That way, if you’re ever out and about, you’ll always be prepared.

Personalizing Your Zero-Waste Kit

From metal straws to washable cloth pads, there are a wide variety of items you can include in your own zero-waste kit. There is no right answer when it comes to what you put in yours; you can completely tailor your kit to your individual needs.

So, if you’re not a coffee drinker, no need to include a travel mug. Don’t menstruate? You probably won’t need a reusable menstrual pad. But if you do, you can check out illum’s wide selection of completely washable cloth pads that are not only good for you but the environment too. Find out more about illum byclicking here.

Let us know how you’re personalizing your own zero-waste kit in the comments below!

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