Basic Zero Waste Starter Kit

Hey Mel… Do you have a straw? Something to wipe Teghan’s face?
Maybe its the mom part of me — but I almost always have what some people would call a basic zero waste starter kit on me.

Read on for the must haves to build your own zero waste beginner kit!

Build your own Zero Waste Starter Kit

Seriously, there is no need to purchase a zero waste starter kit.
Looking around online, the pre-fabricated zero waste beginner sets seem over priced.
If you put yours together piece by piece you can customise your set based on what YOU use.

Basic Zero Waste Kit Must Haves


The starting point of any basic starter zero waste kit is the reusable straw.
The US discards 500 million straws daily.

This is where the beauty of assembling your own zero waste kit versus buying a pre-made one comes in — you can select your preferred style of straws. There are a variety of options depending on preference and need. Some options include stainless steel, silicone, stainless steel with silicone tips, glass, bamboo, and while not reusable, paper straws are better options than plastic or going without.

Do you want to stand out in the crowd?
Mermaid Straws allows you to show your style while being sustainable and eco-friendly, even down to the packaging and shipping.
The cool and unique coloured straws are a hit with my family and often a conversation starter.
They even sell a couple types of pouches to keep your straws nice and clean. I have a similar styled zippered pouch that I bought at my local bulk store.

Reusable straws basic zero waste starter kit

Reusable Shopping Bag

A good staple for your zero waste starter kit.
I still have some original style chico bags that are pushing a decade of use. The nice thing about this style is that the entire bag fits into an attached built in pouch for convenient storage. The original can hold up to 25 pounds and is machine washable. The downside? It is made of polyester.

My sister purchased this set of reusable canvas grocery bags from Amazon and says that they are still holding up pretty well.

Reusable shopping bags zero waste starter kit

Depending on how much room you have, a smaller bag might be a better choice to keep on you for those spur of the moment shopping trips or those times you run in to a store for one thing and walk out with several other things that you remember that you need.

Reusable Cutlery

This might be the best place to save your money when assembling your zero waste starter kit.
While the pretty bamboo reusable cutlery has a certain aesthetic, there is no need to buy them if you have forks, knives, and spoons in your kitchen.
When I moved back to Canada, I needed a set of cutlery and went with a cheap IKEA set, similar to the FÖRNUFT set. It is about $10 for a 20 piece flatware set, and comes with a smaller sized fork and spoon. I find that those smaller ones not only fit better in lunches, it also fits a couple of each of them into my zipper pouch that I keep my straws in.

On campus, we have a free store where I have snatched up some cutlery to add to my drawer. It also helps when the kids lose their forks and spoons between school and home.

Cloth Pads or Reusable Cup

My body does not like me anymore and I tend to start spotting at random.
Hi, my name is Melinda and I like to overshare.
In all honesty, if you are of the age where you might start bleeding – random or at a predictable time – then keeping menstruation products on hand is always a good choice to keep in your basic zero waste kit.
I prefer to keep a pad or two with me since my flow is pretty light and I am afraid of my cup managing to get dirty in my purse. I keep mine in a designated water resistant cloth sandwich bag. Essentially a mini wet bag.

Handkerchiefs or Cloth “Tissues”

I keep a couple of “hankies” on hand at all times.
Most of the time, they never actually touch my nose. They usually get used to clean the kid’s faces. I somehow ended up with a collection of bandannas, even though I’ve only bought a few actual handkerchiefs from thrift stores.

zero waste kit handkerchiefs

Water Bottle

Globally, more than a million single use plastic bottles are sold every minute!
The solution? Make a reusable water bottle part of your zero waste starter kit. If you’re a parent, be prepared to make that several water bottles.

I go everywhere with my water bottle.
It has even travelled to the US with me and back.
We seem to be partial to Contigo water bottles and tumblers at my house. They are cheap, easy to find and regularly on sale at Costco here, $25 for a three pack.

build your own zero waste starter kit

Produce or bulk bag to keep your zero waste starter kit together

The only time I find myself using produce bags is when I am buying small loose items like green beans. I usually use my canisters or jars when I visit bulk barn. I wash all of our produce so I don’t worry too much about it not being bagged in its own little bag. When my husband does the shopping, he likes to use our reusable produce bags.
I use one of these bags to keep my zero waste kit together in my bag or back pack. In a pinch, the bag can also hold random things that my kids want me to bring home… which usually ends meaning rocks for their epic rock collection.

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Mini No-Bake Energy Protein Bars

These super easy and delicious no-bake energy protein bars are always a hit at my house. These could pass for vegetarian if you you consume dairy products. I make mine with Wow Butter since I have a peanut allergy. It tastes just like the real deal. I also use super seed mix to sneak in a bit more protein and fibre.

mini no bake energy protein super seed mix bar

Mini No Bake Energy Protein Bars

  • Servings: 24-30
  • Difficulty: easy ... but sticky
  • Print

◦ 2 cups instant/quick oats
◦ 1 cup wow butter
◦ 2/3 cup honey
◦ 3/4 cup super seed mix
◦ 2 tsp vanilla
◦ 1 scoop protein powder

Mix everything in a medium to large bowl, making sure that everything is coated.
Form into bars or balls.
Refrigerate until they become slightly solid.
They will remain kind of squishy.

Keep cool.

Ingredients no bake energy protein bar super seed mix

Super Seed Mix?

I came across the super seed mix at Bulk Barn.
It is really easy to make your own as well.
Super seed mix is a combination of golden flax seed, hulled hemp seed, and chia seed. Mix it all up in a container and you’re good to go. Ratios are up to you, but even why I buy pre-made it at bulk barn, I tend to add in more hulled hemp seed.
I use it on my cereal and granola while my husband likes to add it to smoothies.

Making your own no-bake energy bars

It’s really simple:
Mix everything in a bowl, and make into bars or balls.

I prefer to use local raw honey to help boost my immune system and help it fight off local allergens.Due to the pandemic, I was a bit limited on what ingredients I could get. The one we bought was made in Quebec, but still came in a plastic container. The plan is to reuse the bottle to make squeezable paint for Teghan.

I would be considered a lacto-ovo vegetarian, as I consume some dairy and eggs — if they are baked into things. Being a picky eater so I do not consume most of the typical plant based proteins that vegetarians consume.
I buy Pure Whey by Revolution Nutrition. It is a bit more of a natural protein powder and made in Quebec (or at least I was told this when I worked at GNC Canada). I would love to find a protein that that I like that is available in bulk do avoid the plastic canisters.

The silicone mould was a recent purchase to support my cousin’s epicure venture. In the future, I think I will cut these tiny bars in half to make bite size protein energy snacks, and feel like I am eating more of them.
If you don’t have a pan or mould, simply roll a tablespoonful of the mix into a ball.

Customise your no bake energy protein bars

These no bake energy bars are so easy to customise.
Throw in some other seeds that you like.
Use peanut butter if you’re not allergic to it.
Mix in some chocolate chips.
Change up the flavour of your protein powder.

I used to make mine with chocolate chips but wanted to get the sugar and calories down a little bit. My kids never even noticed. Since I used a lot of seeds, they are crunchy.

What you would add in to your no bake protein energy bars to make them your own?

No Bake Energy Protein bars

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no bake mini protein energy bar super seed mix pin
no bake mini protein energy bar super seed mix pin
no bake mini protein energy bar super seed mix pin