My husband and I do what we can to decrease our carbon footprint. We both have families with young children and we are concerned about how our actions will affect their future. We want to be sure to do our part to leave the kids with as many natural resources as possible.
One of the things we have found to be useful and practical is to carry some everyday items with us, wherever we go. In many cases, the items we carried really helped us out in a pinch. There are four everyday items that we carry that have proven to be particularly useful.
One of the things we carry everywhere is a set of bamboo utensils. We love our bamboo utensils and we made sure to buy them from a company that uses bamboo from a sustainable farm. From experience, I knew that bamboo was lightweight but strong.
When I was a kid my dad had fishing poles that he made out of bamboo. When my parents moved from one house to another (26 years after Dad initially made the poles) those bamboo fishing poles looked like new poles. We have had our utensil sets for a couple of years now and they look and work as they did the day we got them.
The utensils in our set include a fork, knife, spoon, and a pair of chopsticks. On more than one occasion we have been at a restaurant where, for whatever reason, they didn’t have utensils available. Because we carry our own utensils this situation is no longer a problem for us. My spoon has also been used to feed a couple of hungry nephews when they were babies.
It occurred to us one day that we used our utensils when we ate out, but we would always take straws to go with our drinks. We were able to find a pair of stainless steel straws and now they go everywhere with us. The straws have also been helpful on several occasions when the restaurant we were at either didn’t have straws or didn’t provide straws.
Reusable Shopping Bag
I use my reusable shopping bag a lot. I love that we have some local grocery stores that give a bag credit when we bring in our own bags. The bag I carry folds up into a small pouch and can hold up to 15 pounds of items.
Oshibori (Hand Cloth)
The one item we carry that will probably be unfamiliar to people in the U.S is the oshibori. We adopted this idea from the Japanese. In Japan, many public restrooms do not provide paper towels. Instead, people carry around a little washcloth to wipe their hands after they have washed them. People also use the oshibori to cover their mouth when they cough.
I was able to find some cute, inexpensive oshibori at a local Japanese goods store. My husband, whose hands are much larger than mine, finds the Japanese oshibori too small for him to comfortably use. He prefers to just carry a washcloth with him.
Carrying these lightweight and practical reusable items allows us to do our part to keep these types of items out of the landfills and out of the waterways. Making these small changes will, hopefully, help to leave a healthier, cleaner planet for future generations.
‘Green’ Dining Restaurants on Oahu, Hawaii
Hawaii’s Newest Law to Protect Ocean May Affect Tourists
Insider Tips: Make the Most of Your National Park Visit