We all know by now that single use plastic is bad, polluting our planet at an unsustainable rate, and either ending up in already struggling landfills, or in our seas.
While you might already be on a plastic-free journey in everyday life, where you can plan around plastic, and make more conscious decisions - what about when you go on holiday?
Whether you’re going on a weekend trip, or you’re a seasoned long-term traveller, there are easy steps to follow to reduce your plastic footprint while you’re away from home.
SWITCH TO A BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSH
Now, this one isn’t just for the travellers out there, but if you’re anything like us, you might have lost endless amounts of toothbrushes on trips, resulting in buying new ones even though it might not be necessary.
Our tip is to buy the more sustainable alternative in bamboo, and buy in bulk, so that when you get back home from your trip and realise the old one is still at the hotel room, you have a new one ready on hand!
USE REFILLABLE BOTTLES
This one is easy-peasy if your hopping around Europe where most tap water is refillable. It might be trickier however if you’re planning a longer trip to Latin America or Asia for example, where the tap water might leave you spending your trip in various bathrooms!
Luckily, there are clever people out there who have thought about this, and have made a solution. There are now refillable bottles on the market that includes a filter, such as this one, which promises "remove bacteria, viruses, water borne disease, protozoa, heavy metals such as Lead and harmful chemicals" making the water safe and drinkable from almost all sources.
CARRY A CANVAS BAG
Whether you are food shopping the local cuisine, or treating yourself with a cultural shopping spree, this is an easy one as well - all it takes is a little bit of planning, or just the habit of always keeping one folded in your handbag. With so many fashionable choices such as this one (shameless Jun-i self-promotion), there are really no excuses!
SAY NO TO STRAWS
Yes, beach cocktails don’t look as fun when they are missing the straw, but do you really need it? Nothing sums up the un-necessity of single use plastic like straws do - you very rarely need them, their lifetime is the same amount as your cocktail, and once you are done they end up in landfills and in our seas!
Still fancy one? Try a paper straw. Or bamboo. Or aluminium. Or just anything that isn’t plastic - the choices are endless!
OPT FOR A REUSABLE MENSTRUAL CUP
In many countries tampons are not as accessible as we know them to be, and you might even struggle to find them at all! So do yourself and the planet a favour (sanitary towels, being made of 90% plastic - the equivalent of 5 plastic bags in each one are even worse than tampons!) and invest in a menstrual cup!
THINK TWICE ABOUT TOILETRIES
Now, we get that mini shampoo bottles in hotels are super cute, and who can resist the smell of honeycomb and lavender? But, those tiny bottles add up on each trip and you’re better off bringing your own! Get a couple of refillable plastic bottles, suitable for carry-on and fill up as much as you need for each trip. The planet will thank you!
BE MINDFUL, AND SAY NO TO THINGS
Yes, sometimes it’s impossible to follow all the right steps. Sometimes when you travel things happen. But the most important takeaway is, to just always be mindful about your choices, try to plan where you can, and say no to certain things. Unless you have no other option, say no to plastic, and look for alternatives around you.
It’s all small steps, but joint together, all small steps can become big ones. And they will make it possible to explore our beautiful planet for much longer.