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Smarter EDC: This Small DIY Kit Solves a Big Issue
We’re lucky to have an exceptionally passionate community who know their stuff and are always seeking better ways to carry. And that includes constantly researching, tweaking and honing their daily setups. Enter Edwin Kuo, an EDC enthusiast who was determined to tackle the widespread problem of single-use plastic with a dialed-in DIY kit…
If you haven’t noticed, we are drowning in single-use plastic – shopping bags, cutlery, straws and cups – and it’s affecting the world and wildlife around us. For the sake of the planet and all its inhabitants I thought it was vital that I do something to combat this problem. But recycling alone isn’t enough. I needed to take steps towards removing single-use plastics from my life. But, let’s be honest, using single-use plastic is convenient. And that convenience is hard to resist.
And so my ‘Reusable Kit Challenge’ was born, and the editors at Carryology asked me to share it with you all.
I wanted to put together an EDC pouch setup that made it easy for me to carry reusable products when I was out and about: cups, straws, cutlery, all reusable. So I wouldn’t be forced to collect any more plastic that’ll end up in landfill, streets or our waterways.
I narrowed it down to the HYDAWAY and the HydraPak Stash because of how flat they compressed and how easy they were to clean. Choosing products that were easy to clean was essential to my process.
The Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Straws were selected because their colorful and removable silicone flex tips made them easier to clean after use.
I also recently backed the Rain Straw on Kickstarter. These are straws that split apart into two interlocking pieces. These might work better, but as of this writing, the campaign has not ended yet.
Finding the right pack and straw pouch were the hardest part of assembling the kit. I wanted to find unique pieces but still keep within a reasonable budget. The straw pouch came from an Etsy shop, ForTheLoveOfApronsCo. The shop offers an excellent range of colorful styles, and the pouch is well made. Plus it comes with a nice zipper opening and a waterproof lining. This helps keep any liquid on the straws in the pouch.
Choosing the main pouch was the most challenging aspect. The sweet spot was finding one that’s wide enough for the straws and tall enough for the cup/bottle, but small enough that it’s not a burden to carry. My wife and I usually carry a tote with other children’s entertainment stuff or a backpack, so it would be added to those bags.
The first choice was a Dopp kit by Dapper & Done. This piece that I found on Amazon ultimately didn’t work out. Its triangular shape made it too tall to fit in our tote bag comfortably.
I tried a few other pouches, one from WaterField Designs, an older Timbuk2 pouch and one from tomtoc. I also researched and created a long list of other Dopps, pouches, and pencil cases, but none brought on the Goldilocks moment.
That moment came when an eBay algorithm directed me to someone making pouches from X-PAC and LiteSkin. Finally the perfect size pouch, made from great material to boot. And the pouch loop was an added bonus, allowing it to hang by the door.
This was a unique EDC challenge and journey. This process pushed me to solve a different, but unavoidable, EDC problem. It can help reduce our single-use plastic and I hope inspire others to make their own Reusable Kit.