An introduction

Dear readers,

Carolina Bebiano has been fundamental to the creation and development of MW’s no waste shopping kit. She was the one who researched the market and found the Portuguese sustainable fabrics, made the glass containers’ orders and supervised the design and production of it all. She even painted most of the bags after getting a crash course by Sara Esteves of Mazurca Handmade, who designed our stencil!

On that note, we invited Carolina to write a MW’s Cleanse post about trying no waste shopping – being that the main goal behind creating the kit. We hope you feel inspired to go for it after you read this!


The co-operators


Be aware of your waste

More than an effort to create yet another product, which leads to one more purchase, one more cycle of production and overall more consumption, the idea behind the no waste shopping kit was that it would be a versatile and useful solution. So, while it was designed with no waste shopping in mind, we wanted the kit to give you as much joy and pleasure as we had creating it.

Therefore, those who acquire the kit will find out, quite naturally, that the big bag can be taken on your everyday errands to any street market, fair, store, minimarket, supermarket or bulk store, as well as it can be used as a carry-on for a weekend getaway, a way to carry your gear to the gym or simply as a stylish purse. As for the smaller bags – designed for vegetables, fruits, cereals and other dry bulk purchases – they turn out to be useful to carry delicate items on your luggage, to use as a necessaire, to store shoes, toys, and virtually anything that fits them! And the glass containers – meant to help you buy wet bulk products like fish and meat – can be used as jugs for flowers, carry your lunch and snacks or to take a smoothie on the go!

January Cleanse - Day 9

It completely makes sense to me to reduce waste. As for my personal attempt to reduce waste, honestly, I still have a long way to go. I choose to ride my motorcycle or bike instead of engaging on all the stress, noise and pollution a car full of no one creates; I prefer to walk or ask for a ride with a friend; I take my sister’s used clothes instead of buying everything new; I replaced paper napkins with cloth ones. Nothing extraordinary!

Taking that in consideration, I do not want to give you any particular advice or try to make a miracle list of tasks to complete this cleanse. I believe in the so-called baby steps and in each one of us taking their own pace. If one looks more to oneself and to what one does, one might desire for something more and that will lead to a small change in lifestyle. That change will probably lead to a change in those who one loves and surrounds oneself with. And so on. I don’t know your daily routine so I would not know how you can make a difference. That work of reflection belongs to you.

However, I was asked to give you a tip on how to start: learn to say ‘no’. No, thank you. No, I don’t want the receipt, the plastic bottle, the wrapping paper, the plastic toothbrush, the disposable cutlery. This simple word can be very useful when trying to reduce waste, because it allows you to take control of the waste you accept in your life just by refusing it. And sooner or later you will see how good it feels for so many other reasons.

If you are still unsure about where to start and how much each step will impact the bigger picture, try leaving the garbage you make on the kitchen counter for a week and get a look at how much waste you create on your own. Then, multiply that for seven billion.


If you want to get your own MW’s no waste shopping kit send an email to For more information on waste reduction head over to Bea Johnson’s blog Zero Waste Home. Head over to MW’s Cleanse page to check other New Year improvements suggestions and click here to download the calendar illustrated by Elsa Poderosa. No worries if you are late – no one is controlling you, we are here for support. Just start on day one at any day of the year. Feel free to leave any questions and let us know how you are doing with your cleanse in the comments section. And share your progress on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #mwcleanse. Happy New Year!