What’s in my Bag? as an Environmental Consultant

In preparation for my return to “in person” client meetings and support as well as on-site delivery, I am reviewing “What’s in my bag” for 2021 after almost a year of my rucksack sitting on the shelf in my home-office.

What will I see as the priority items for my bag as an environmental consultant?

This article looks at the important items that I consider necessary for my role as an environmental and sustainability consultant as I start to consider a return, or near return, to the delivery of my services directly to my clients through “in person” interactions, such as on-site meetings, training and audits, that have been restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the past year (and yes, it has been 12 months since the UK first declared its COVID-19 lockdown), my delivery to my clients as followed a remote or virtual delivery model, primarily with conference platforms, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Skype, to support my clients.

This virtual model has worked well for the delivery of client mentoring and coaching, training sessions & remote audits but less so, for pollution incidents, where there is so much interaction required that I attended these events directly with the relevant social distancing, PPE and other relevant bio-secure working practices.

Now, that the UK Prime Minister and Government, have signalled a roadmap for the lifting of restrictions & greater client interest in re-energising their environmental and sustainability commitments, the time is right for preparing for greater “in person” engagement with my clients.

My Bag
My bag is a Samsonite bag has a clean finish with no visible external pockets to look smart in most situations and with three zippered compartments, is security conscious with all the valuable contents sealed inside the bag.

The bag can be worn on both shoulders to distribute the weight or carried using its handle on the top of the bag depending on the travel requirements.

The front compartment is a space for carrying pens, business cards, public transport cards, credit cards and small accessories.

The middle compartment offers a generous space for storage and the rear compartment is padded on all sides for a laptop up to 15 inches.

So, what have I selected as the important items for my bag…

First up, is my COVID-19 pack with sanitiser, glovers and several face masks including my preferred mask with KN95 CE with the important CE marking to differentiate it from cheap copies that may not fully meet the relevant conformity requirements.

After my COVID protection, I have a 13-inch Dell laptop, which both, lightweight at 1.31 kilogrammes and a powerful computer with a fast Intel i7 processor and mobile graphics, a 1TB Solid State Drive (SSD) for faster read and writing of my documents and data & 16 Gigabytes of RAM memory for intensive tasks. A special feature of this laptop is the fingerprint recognition as an added security feature.

A bonus tip is to specify that your laptop has Windows 10 Pro installed to benefit from Bitlocker security, which will encrypt the contents of your internal drive to ensure that the files can not be read by anyone else, either on your laptop or if they remove the internal drive from the laptop.

My laptop has the Microsoft 365 Suite covering Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint & OneDrive. With each software application performing important aspects of my environmental consultancy for writing client proposals and reports using Word, keeping up to date with my e-mails and appointments with Outlook, using Excel for recording energy and carbon data for analysis, proposal presentations and training slide decks in PowerPoint and OneDrive to ensure that my important documents are synconised into the cloud and acting as a short-term backup.

The laptop charger and an extra long 3 metre cable allows me to use my laptop in most rooms, even if the power socket is not close to my working area.

A dongle allows for the connection of USB devices, such as USB Drives, SD Memory Cards and HDMI for presentations to remain backward compatible with client PCs and other devices.

Usually, I take an Apple iPad Pro as a separate device for viewing ISO Standards, legislation, and guidance. This Apple device is complemented by a Keyboard and Pencil to allow it to be used as a backup computer should my primary laptop fail. Not a likely situation, but it gives me confidence that I can continue to work in most situations.

A Tech-Pouch keeps all my computer and phone leads together in one place as well as smaller devices.

In the pouch, I store a Samsung 2 TB Solid State Drive, which is light weight and portable, for keeping on-site backups & a battery power bank for keeping my Smartphone or iPad fully charged even when I am unable to connect to the mains electricity.

Next up is my Jabra in-ear headphones, which offer great sound quality and can last up to four hours on a charge, enough for even the longest Zoom meeting or listening to music on a long train journey. A key feature of these headphone is that they can be charged in their case, which means they are always ready for use.

I, always, carry a small and lightweight Sony camera, which allows me to take higher resolution photos and video to supplement my on-site notes & to add content to our YouTube Channel.

An important consideration is how I remain hydrated during your working day, so I carry a small, insulated bottle with cold water, so that I can complete most journeys or meetings without having to stop and buy a less-sustainable plastic water bottle.

Smaller but no less important items are an anti-static cleaning cloth for cleaning my laptop or Pad screen & a cloth shopping bag, in case, I need to carry additional items, such as files back from my meetings.

So, that is the contents of my bag as an environmental consultant in 2021 covering my immediate needs under the current COVID-19 pandemic as well as being light-weight and able to carry all the equipment that I need for my main client lead meetings.

Samsonite Bag£ 150+Samsonite Backpacks: Buy now | Samsonite UK
Dell XPS 13″ Laptop£ 1,169 – 2,199+Dell Search
USB-C Hub£ 15+Amazon.co.uk : USB-Hub
Microsoft 365£ 3.80 – 15.10+Microsoft 365 | Secure, Integrated Office 365 Apps + Teams
iPad Pro 12.9″£ 699 – 1,619+iPad Pro – Apple (UK)
Samsung 2TB T5 Drive£ 300+Amazon.co.uk : samsung t5 2tb
Battery Bank£ 20 – 30+Amazon.co.uk : batery bank
Jabra 65t Headphones£ 70+Jabra Elite Active 65t Earbuds – Passive Noise: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics
Sony Camera£ 352+Sony DSC-HX95 Compact Digital 18.2 MP Camera with: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo
Chilly’s Bottle£ 30+Reusable Water Bottles | Reusable Coffee Cups | Chilly’s Bottles UK
Anti-Static Cloth£ 6+Amazon.co.uk : antistatic cloth

Share your comments on the contents of my bag and whether I missed anything off my list that you carry for your work in the Comments Box below & please “like” this episode, if this episode has help you.

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