Craft Market season is fast approaching, which means it’s time for me to dig out my trusty checklist and start planning stock!
As well as ensuring I have everything I need for my stall such as a float, packaging, bags, stationery, business cards etc I always plan what I’m going to take with me for the day.
The biggest thing I see when working markets is the amount of rubbish left over, not only by visitors but by stallholders themselves. Plastic water bottles, non-recyclable coffee cups, and food wrappings to name but a few! Obviously we know the impact plastic has on our environment, but needless to say it doesn’t look great either to visit a market and see rubbish everywhere.
So I thought I’d share these essentials that I pack with me for every market I work to help reduce my environmental impact and save a few pounds in the process!
1 / Tuppaware Snacks
I love snacks. And I love packing myself my own little trail mix of nuts, seeds and raisins. Genuinely keeps me going for longer, and I like that I can choose which nuts I want to put into it compared to shop bought versions (goodbye walnuts!). Should I feel extra naughty some chocolate drops or yoghurt covered raisins sneak in too … but best of all are these cute little food storage clip lid pots that are perfect for all my snacking needs! They came in a pack with other different sized pots, so you can use the others for your lunch, or granola and yoghurt, or apple slices….did I mention I like snacks? And should you wish to keep your plastic footprint at an even lower rate, find your nearest zero waste shop and have your snacks filled into your tuppaware without any packaging – I love to visit Shop Zero Nottingham, they have the most delicious chocolate covered almonds!
2 / Bamboo Cutlery Roll
This has been a life saver for many a reason! For the homemade pasta I’ve brought with me, or the off the cuff cake purchase I’ve made that I want to slice up and share, I’ve used every piece in this set, bar the chopsticks (it’s my mission to use these next just to say I did!). I love that it also comes with a bamboo straw, because as awesome as it is that some places offer paper straws they disintegrate in a matter of minutes, and no one wants soggy paper in their lemonade. When I get home I then wash the cutlery in the sink and the roll goes straight in the washing machine (I can guarantee there will be left over food trapped in it…). Not a piece of plastic cutlery used, and it looks cute too! This particular set was purchased through Amazon but there’s nothing to stop you taking your own cutlery from home wrapped in a tea towel.
3 / Backpack
This backpack has been my staple wardrobe piece since I bought it 3 years ago and it’s travelled far and wide with me! I love that it zips open all the way round so I can pack as much as I can in, with pockets on the sides for water bottles.
4 / Water Bottle
If there is one swap you ever do, it’s to ditch the single use plastic water bottles and invest in a decent refillable water bottle. I’ve had many different ones over the years, from glass (bad idea) to BPA plastic (always go for BPA free!) but I have to say this metal one by Smash Enterprises has been my best ever purchase. A great seal, with a carry handle on the lid, my water stays so nice and cold for a long time! I couldn’t find this exact one online as I purchased it years ago from good old Homesense, but genuinely you can’t go in any homeware shop without seeing an array of amazing water bottles in all different colours, sizes, and styles. Most cafes and restaurants are happy to refill your bottle for you, but the Refill App is perfect when you’re in a city you don’t know and you need to find somewhere refill friendly.
5 / Bamboo Lunch Box
I love this bamboo lunch box from John Lewis and Partners – It’s the perfect size for sandwiches, homemade pesto pasta, rice cakes, you name it. Although it does have a silicone band to keep the lid on (so it isn’t the most eco friendly product) it’s definitely better than buying lunch from a supermarket packaged in 100% plastic that can’t be recycled. And let’s face it, you save so much more money bringing your own lunch. (N.B this particular lunch box is no longer for sale, but we also use these Elephant Box stainless steel boxes and they are AMAZING.)
6 / Collapsible Travel Cup
We have some gorgeous travel cups that we use regularly (big shout out to Keep Cup!) but this collapsible version by Stojo is perfect for working markets. As it can collapse, it doesn’t take up as much space in your bag as normal bamboo or glass travel cups, which is a lifesaver when you have so much to take with you! You simply pull it open, slip the heat protection sleeve round it, and you’re good to go. Oh, and they come in loads of lovely colours too!
What ways do you reduce your environmental footprint when you’re travelling or working away from home? I’d love to hear your ideas and tips so feel free to drop them in the comments section below!