What I Keep In My Bag – Sustainable Handbag Essentials

bag tote

This is a sponsored post.

Even before the kids were born I always used to be the woman with the oversized bags. Not necessarily filling my bag, I just never stood small handbags. Maybe for going out for a party – yes, but otherwise? Anyway, then the kids came along and I swapped the handbags for changing bags and backpacks for a few years, to carry all their snacks, changing clothes an nappies when we were out and about. I’m now back to my oversize tote bags – the latest one is a lovely, golden Figleaves tote I picked up from a local charity shop a few weeks ago to share with you my sustainable handbag essentials.

bag tote

But what do I carry? Well, as someone who preaches reusables: I carry lots of reusables. And some other essentials.

Water bottle

I never leave without my reusable water bottle. My favourite yellow, stainless steel water bottle is 2 years old and still going strong! I could never do without it. It’s not only better for the environment and the water is kept cool in the stainless steel but I also avoid the plastic particles that shed into the water from the plastic bottle (especially if the plastic is exposed to heat and the sun). So hopefully I digest a little less plastic with this. Saves a lot of money too, since I can refill my bottle at a lot of places.

water bottle

Coffee cup

The other standard reusable item: mine is a glass cup with silicone lid and sleeve that is BPA free. Coffee tastes the best from glass or china. Plus, of course it saves a lot of single use coffee cups to go to landfill. The “paper cups” that you get in coffee shops are not actually paper. Well not ONLY paper anyway, because there is a plastic lining added to the cups to avoid leaking. Unfortunately, this also makes them impossible to recycle so they end up in the incinerator. Not good.

Reusable pads

I always keep one or two of my reusable period pads in my bag (and a wetbag) in my bag, just in case. Like every person who menstruates – nothing special here!

reusable pad

Lip balm 

I get chapped lips at any time of the year, regardless of the weather so I keep a natural lip balm in my bag all the time. 


When it comes to painkillers I like to rely on Paingone One. It is drug-free, portable and provides fast-acting relief. Especially when travelling – it is super handy for those suffering with chronic or acute pain. Like a little pen, fits into most handbags.

Reusable shopping bag

Sometimes I do forget, but I pop a reusable shopping bag into my handbag every morning – just in case. Most of the time it gets used! Just popping into the supermarket for bread or something I just realised I need – the bag is there, no need to buy another one. 

reusable shopping bag


Again – this is probably a standard item for many people, less effective than washing hands, but sometimes you just don’t have the chance. I do get it refilled though – did you know a lot of refill and zero waste shops stock hand gel disinfectants as well? 

A piece of fruit

Yeah, I always pop an apple or a banana in my bag before I leave for the day or head to work. I just do – one of those odd things. Stops me buying not so healthy snacks. 

How about you? What’s in your handbag? And what are your sustainable handbag essentials?

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Update Required Flash plugin