TOP TIPS TO AVOID WASTE WHILST TRAVELLING
For some people, just like diets, waste free living seems to be thrown out of the window the day the holiday begins, so here are my top tips to try to break that cycle.
- The first step starts with a little bit of prep work when you’re packing your suitcase (or when writing your ‘what to pack’ list). Simply put, take as many of your reusable goodies that you can fit. Throw out that fifth pair of sandals or third pair of jeans (that you most likely will not wear), and put in as many of the following…
- PRODUCE AND TOTE BAGS!! These here will be the biggest game changer!! Think of how many bags you have now said no to when going to the local grocery store. Then think of how many times you will be going into a store when away. If you’re anything like me, you will be cringing every time you find yourself using a plastic bag, so prevent this from happening. They don’t take up much space, are super lightweight, and you’ll only ever need a couple, so maybe you can still fit the jeans..
- COFFEE MUGS! An absolute essential, just like the coffee itself. Wrap it inside of a t-shirt or towel to protect it, and away you go! And your reusable WATER BOTTLE, you use this only a daily basis, so you cannot leave without it! Did you know there are filter taps at most airports! As long as your bottle is empty when you go through security, you can refill it on the other side before you board the plane!
- CONTAINERS/SILICONE BAGS + CUTLERY! I’ll get back to these further on, but these are something I found myself using on a daily basis when last on holidays! Besides the obvious uses, silicone bags were great for storing any toiletries which have a tendency to leak! Preventing that moisturiser from seeping through all of your clothes.
- Other essentials on my packing list are my SHAMPOO BAR (great to save space and again, any worries of leaks), SAFETY RAZOR, MENSTRUAL CUP/CLOTH PADS and a small amount of my laundry detergent (saves buying a whole tub of a chemical ridden detergent and having no use for it all).
- Take a bag/tote designated for dirty washing. I remember always packing my bags for school camp and one of the items that was always on the list of ‘what to pack’ was garbage bags. Huge, wasteful, plastic, garbage bags. There are so many alternatives! I have a large cotton tote that is my designated dirty clothe collector. And at the end of holiday, I simply throw it into the wash with my dirty clothes.
- Take food with you on flights. For somebody that enjoys food so much, I definitely do not enjoy aeroplane food, nor the 100 pieces of plastic wrapped items it includes. So take whatever you want with you!! Make it before you go, use one of your handy reusable containers or bags – that you will continue to use throughout your holiday - and take your cutlery with you (best not to take a steak knife but you will have no issues taking stainless forks or spoons in flight with you). Some of the flight companies are claiming to be reducing waste, however speaking from experience, I could not say it appears that way, so I prefer to take something much more delicious with me that is not having a dreadful impact on the environment.
- Shop for snacks at market stalls! Now that you’re armed with your produce and grocery bags, head to the local markets. Not only do you experience something special by interacting with locals, you will also find the best of the seasonal and local produce, all whilst limiting your use of plastic!! Dependant on where you travel to, you may get some funny looks or some adamant plastic bag givers, which makes your actions even more purposeful. These people may also say no to plastic the next time they’re offered. Be a trend setter ;)
- Prep some snacks or lunches by using what you’ve purchased at the markets and your storage bags or containers. This will give you more flexibility whilst you travel. You can set up and have a picnic on the beach, whilst admiring a historic site or on the top of a mountain. Anywhere! This saves time spent inside restaurants or cafes, and more time soaking up the scenery.
If you have any hot tips that you like to implement on holidays, I’d love to hear them so that I too can rely less and less on disposable items. Now to planning the next holiday…