These aren’t in any particular order, just things I’m so happy I bought last year, that will keep me from buying/using disposable versions this year:
1. Kiva Keychain Tote. I bought mine in a grey/purple leopard print pattern that’s no longer available. I keep this in my purse at all times so I always have it on hand for stopping by the drug store, grocery store, clothing store, or library on my way home from work–or for carrying my coat and my son’s coat when we’re at a museum or other indoor activity in winter.
2. Collapsible Storage Bowls. When empty, it’s easy to stick one in your bag when going out to eat, so you can bring home leftovers waste-free; I admit I’m always worried that the bowl will leak though I haven’t had any problems yet. More often, I bring the middle-sized one with me on work mornings if I’m going to get a bagel from the coffee shop. The baristas think it’s great!
3. Mesh Sponge. I’ve only been using this for a couple of weeks but it’s held up better than disposable sponges and really holds the soap well when washing dishes.
4. Misto Sprayer. After 8 months of daily use, it finally clogged up–probably I should have been cleaning it more regularly. Now, after a good clean, it’s back in business, making it easy to spray the waffle iron or frying pan for a fraction of the cost (and none of the chemicals) of commercial oil sprayers.
5. Preserve Plates. Last spring I looked everywhere for dessert-size reusable party plates, and finally found these on a site called Greenfeet.com. Now, they’re available at Reuseit.com, Amazon.com, and my local QFC grocery store. I used them for my son’s birthday party and a holiday cookie party.
Still looking for: Small towels (for wiping up kitchen spills) that are actually absorbent. All the kitchen towels I’ve tried seem to just move the water/coffee/etc. around the counter rather than soaking it up.
What are your favorite reusable items?