Sustainable Every Day Carry Items

Sustainable Every Day Carry Items
Photo by Sahej Brar / Unsplash

You may have heard the term “EDC“ on popular platforms such as YouTube or websites selling accessories, bags and more. However, this term often encourages consumerism, with different YouTubers recommending different products, often with affiliate links. Furthermore, there are very few examples of Everyday Carry that focus on the environment at the heart of it.

Personally I prefer using my sling when venturing outside, therefore I want to keep my setup lightweight and optimal. Despite this I have included a few products that might fit a use case you have, that I do not currently have.

It is important to decide what items might be beneficial when travelling, to work or simply taking a trip to the cinema. But first, what is EDC?

Transparency: I own all the items unless stated otherwise, which have been bought with my own money. While not all of the items are sold with environmental credentials, I have tried to focus on reusability as well. All the images used within this blog are taken from the retailers product page.

What Exactly is EDC?

EDC otherwise known as “Every Day Carry” refers to the everyday items carried in our pockets or bag daily. Without these items our progress through the day might be affected. Keys, a wallet/purse and our phone are critical to travelling safely, purchasing and accessing our home. These items must sit in certain pockets of my coat or jeans otherwise I find myself panicking; making sure that I have brought them.

Alongside our phone, keys and wallet/purse there are plenty of gadgets that can help us function when out of the house. In this blog, I will be showcasing some items I like to keep close by.

Do you enjoy reading these stories? Please consider subscribing, donating one time via Stripe, Ko-fi or Liberapay.

Roka Canfield C - Graphite Rucksack (Medium)

Diamond Ripstop Lite Sling Black. Photograph: Bellroy

I own a few bags and will decide which one to use based on how much I am carrying.

This sling has two zipped pockets, a front one with two divided pockets and a key leash, the second zip is the main compartment with a further internal zip. I often use this sling when going out for a short while and have been able to pack quite a lot inside it. While not every item fits in the sling that I have listed in this blog, I have included them as you might choose a larger bag or prioritise certain items above others based on your use case. However it is important to use a bag that works for you, and even better if you already own it as this is the most sustainable option.

For larger quantities of items I use Roka's Canfield C which has been discontinued. The brand recently announced Bayswater which takes inspiration from the Canfield and features a dedicated sleeve for a full sized umbrella that they sell. Roka's bags are durable due to their triple coated weather-resistant recycled nylon. Some of their bags have the zip covered by extra material which is held in place by magnets which will avoid water seeping in. I have been caught in some heavy downpours and the contents have been kept dry which has been reassuring.


Syllucid USB-C to USB-C Cable . Photograph: Syllucid

Item I do not currently own

Keeping your technology charged is important especially when our phones might carry our bus ticket or means of buying items. Therefore carrying a cable allows flexibility to charge your devices, if paired with a plug or powerbank. However, Syllucid cables are built with the environment at the forefront. The company sources Fairtrade gold (fair pay and safe working conditions) conflict-free and carbon neutral tin solder. On top of these commitments origin cables are made with 100% certified recycled plastics (PET, nylon, TPE), and 30-50% certified recycled aluminium. The brand offers a travel cable with magnetic ends which can be swapped out to charge USB-C, Lightning and micro USB.

Soap Powder

We have all been there, you go to wash your hands and there is no soap. This is why I carry around soap powder. Secondly I have found that my hands can become irritated when I use certain soaps in public or the workplace; carrying my own hand soap in a powdered form can avoid this.

Inclusev offer a range of powdered alternatives to liquid products such as shampoo and handwash. Their vegan formula and transparency of what ingredients are used gives you peace of mind when washing your hands.

Street Food Box

Item I do not currently own

Many of us are already using re-usable coffee cups (more on that later), and are aware that food packaging is inconvenient and bulky. While some eateries are moving away from plastic or polystyrene packaging, grease stained cardboard cannot be recycled. Introduce Street Food Box, a company who has designed a box which can be folded flat, making it small enough to fit in a handbag or rucksack. The box also features a reusable knife, fork, spoon and chopsticks. After use, just pop it into its durable, waterproof and washable pouch and once back home, give it a wash and it's ready to use again. If you find yourself buying lots of street food or food on a university campus this compact box might be for you. Alternatively a reusable metal container might do the trick.

Reusable Cutlery Set

If the street food box is not for you perhaps reusable cutlery is. Reusable cutlery is widely available online and available in materials such as bamboo, metal and plastic. However you could take an extra fork, spoon and knife from your draw to save you some money and buying a new product. Make sure you keep them clean and close by so you have them next time you want to share a cake or eat some pasta.

Travel Deodorant

Thunderstorm scent travel deodorant. Photograph: Wild

Wether you are travelling away for a few days or a regular gym attender carrying deodorant is one way in helping us stay fresh. Personally I use Wild deodorant, who are the UK's first refillable deodorant and the UK's number 1 natural deodorant. Wild publishes a yearly impact report analysing the waste its recyclable packaging has saved and sets new targets for the year ahed. The company recently published their 2023 data and what changes they are starting based on people's feedback.

Wild offers miniature travel sized versions of their popular scents as well as limited edition ones, which are perfect for putting in a bag or pocket.

Lip Balm

Lip balm is better for colder weather which may cause your lips to dry out and crack. Many brands are swapping hardshell plastic casings for a durable recyclable cardboard, alternatively some brands use mini tins which could be reused at a later date. Personally I am yet to settle on a brand which I can recommend.

Reusable Coffee Mug

Moon Reusable Cup. Photograph: Moon

Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, whatever your drink of choice is (herbal tea for me) a reusable mug can help you save money and keep your drink warmer for longer. Personally I have two reusable coffee cups, both serving different purposes.

The first cup is a Hunu cup, which I have carried around the university campus. I found this perfect for days where I was unsure if I wanted a hot drink and didn't want to carry a larger cup. The Hunu cup features a heat proof sleeve which is required to protect your hand from the heat transfer through silicone. However, using a silicone cup requires you to not flex the material to heavily, which is not a problem with stainless steel cups.

The Moon cup pictured above I use when in the workspace where sturdiness is essential. The cup features a 360* pour angle and smooth base avoiding any scratches. While I don't have a hot drink when driving the brand assures this mug should fit standard cup holders. Moon offers the cup in two colours; black or white.

Produce Bags

Produce bags could be an essential item to stow away should you find yourself buying loose items regularly. Produce bags can be made from cotton or plastic with some featuring a weight label for you to take into account the weight of the bag itself.

Reusable Bag(s)

Sea Creature Shopping Bag. Photograph: Eco Chic

You never know when you’re going to need to run an errand or stop at the store; keeping a reusable bag can avoid purchasing one. I keep a reusable bag in the car and in my bag of choice such as the sling bag. Shopping bags made from polyester can compact into a small shape. Personally I have one bag from Ecochic (pictured above) which stays in my car, with the bag from Orbitkey in my bag of choice. I do use a couple of jute and cotton bags when buying groceries however I grab these when needed due to their packability.

Water bottle

Water is essential when studying, learning or speaking and with choices of how much we carry opens the gateway to more packable solutions. Personally I carry 500ml of water in my bag to work and when travelling for the day however, smaller 200ml bottles are available to reduce the weight and space they take up in a bag. Carrying a reusable bottle reduces the likelihood of purchasing a commodity which costs between 500 to 1000 times more, than tap water.

Sandwich Wrappers

Boc' n'roll bag. Photograph: Boc' n'roll

These sandwich wrappers are a reusable alternative to cling film. They are quick and easy to use, perfect for the morning rush. After you have made the sandwich, just wrap it up and secure with the Velcro strap. They’re easy to clean as well as the plastic side can be wiped down with a damp cloth or pop them in the washing machine. These wrappers come in loads of different colours and patterns, which makes them a lot more interesting than just plain cling-film.

Snack Bags

Snack'n'Go bag. Photograph: Boc' n'roll

Sandwich wrappers sometimes just won’t do for the smaller foods, so I suggest these reusable snack bags. These are perfect for foods such as nuts and biscuits. And when you’re finished with them, just turn them inside out and wipe them with a damp cloth. These are the perfect alternative for single use plastic bags.

Final Words

As with any guide it is important to only purchase what fits in with your daily life, this is why I have not bought some items such as the street food box. I love the concept however I do not buy street food because it is not accessible where I live, likewise takeaways are a rare occurrence. This blog builds on a previous blog where I delved into my bag and technology with a few crossovers between the two. If you want to read that blog, you can do so here.