Here in London, Lockdown 2.0 has ended and the majority of us are bundled up at home, a place which has now become our office, workout studio, and school for those with children. As we slowly meander through the final days of this tumultuous albeit memorable year, there’s one main topic on a lot of our minds…a holiday.
The dates may still be a little unclear and the destination yet to be decided on, but while you hash out the details, we are sharing some achievable ways to make your escape – when it eventually comes – one which is as low-waste as possible.
An upcoming holiday often makes us want to buy shiny new things to take with us. Then there’s the airport duty-free lounge, where ‘travel minis’ and ‘handbag-sized’ beauty products and toiletries seem convenient and attractive, but the vast majority of these products are made from single-use plastic and are non-recyclable.
Around 150 million tons of disposable plastics are produced each year yet less than 12% actually gets recycled. The rest of it ends up in landfill, eventually breaking down into microplastics which make their way to our oceans and leach toxic chemicals. The most efficient way to prevent this on a personal scale is to limit or completely avoid the use of single use plastics. So the next time you’re packing a suitcase for a trip, you may want to consider these simple solutions to not-so-sustainable travel essentials and try out reusable items which are hardwearing and more cost-efficient in the long run. Whether you’re an over-packer or a less is more explorer, the simple swaps below will help you adopt sustainable travel habits and many can be applied to everyday life too.
Aside from what you pack, there are many ways to make the way you travel more sustainable and planet-friendly. From choosing your destination and accommodation to your mode of transport and offsetting your carbon footprint once you’re back home, some habits may take a little extra work, but it’s a worthwhile endeavour. Keep a look out for future articles sharing our insights on this!
One thing’s for sure as we move into 2021; we want the trips we take to leave more of an impact on us than we do on the planet. The way I see it, if we don’t travel consciously now, our future generations may not be afforded the luxury of travelling at all, because the beauty and nature of this planet will not have been preserved.
Look after your oral health while caring for the planet by swapping a plastic toothbrush for The Humble Co’s 100% biodegradable, sustainably-grown bamboo one and plastic-encased dental floss and interdental brushes for their floss picks made from corn starch and plastic-free floss. Switch out regular toothpaste for a recyclable metal tube of David’s toothpaste and plastic bottles of mouthwash for Georganics mouthwash tablets.
Ditch the travel minis and use good old fashioned bars of soap that would make your grandmother proud. Aesop’s body cleansing slab is great for everyday use and Chrisophe Robin has a great shampoo bar. Not only do these products help the environment, but they also save you a lot of hassle when you’re travelling with hand-luggage only as you needn’t worry about your liquid allowance.
Another option is to decant your preferred body wash, shampoo and conditioner from home into portable containers, like these stackable magnetic ones by Cadence. They’re also great for storing other essentials like supplements and jewellery.
Choose a reusable metal razor instead of a disposable plastic one.
Plastic-free deodorant can come in the form of a bar, a pot like these from The Natural Deodorant Co, or roll-on. Avoid aerosol sprays and give this convenient and refillable one from Wild a go. It’s made from zero-waste packaging and is free of ingredients that may be harmful to you.
Regular suncream often has chemicals in it that harms coral reefs. The main culprits are two ingredients which act as preservatives and block UV rays, oxybenzone and octinoxate. Oxybenzone in particular has been shown to cause coral bleaching, disrupt coral reproduction and damage its DNA. Instead, try a tanning lotion that’s reef-friendly as well as good for your skin such as the sport stick from Coola or any of the Green People range.
Face wipes are often non-biodegradable making them as bad for the planet as they are for your skin (just ask a dermatologist!). Reusable cotton pads on the other hand, are kinder on the skin and cleanse far better than disposable ones.
The majority of these everyday essentials are things you may already utilise regularly, but don’t leave them behind when you go on holiday. Stay sustainable while you travel and always have a reusable water bottle and hot drinks cup to hand, like the sustainable steel bottle from Drink Big and a handily collapsible coffee cup by Stojo.
A reusable cutlery set which includes a straw and straw cleaner will always come in handy, especially on long journeys when you need snacks to keep you going. Having a tupperware container like this one by Wearth in your bag is also useful for when you’re picking up a bite on the go, or if you want to keep restaurant leftovers in a spill-free container as opposed to using their single-use packaging. Beeswrap reusable food wraps are also great for storing food.
A reusable tote bag to avoid using plastic bags is a no-brainer and essential for wherever you are, home or abroad. We love this one by Turtle Bags.