My life has been non-stop travelling for the last 3 months and sometimes it can be difficult to keep on top of the eco warrior lifestyle while travelling. There’s just so much to think about, that eco-friendly travelling and being conscious of your impact on the environment, can be the last thing you want to worry about.
I’ve put together my list of things that you CAN do to stay eco-friendly while travelling. These are really simple and practical tips and remember you don’t have to do all of these, start small. Every little change you make in your life has an impact on the future of our planet. (PS. This post has very much been inspired by Will McCallum’s new book How to Give Up Plastic. It’s a great practical guide on how you can start to make a difference in your life by giving up plastica dn I’ll be referring to it a lot in my upcoming blogs as well. You can buy it on Amazon here).
Eco-Friendly Travelling Hand Luggage
- Bring your own pair of socks – this way you don’t use the ones they give you on the plane which means no need to throw away after use or for you to wash and plastic fibres that end up in your washing water (and later the ocean).
- Decant your toiletries into small glass bottles – spray bottles for deodorant (why not opt for a body mist which is more environmentally friendly to produce and doesn’t come in an aerosol can), screw top bottles for shampoos and body wash. You can find some great ones on Amazon.
- Pack a soft face cloth – what’s better than washing your face after a very uncomfortable 10 hours of pretending to sleep? But, drying your face with the paper hand towels in the airplane bathrooms are not that great. Not only is it rough on your skin, something you definitely don’t want to add to tired travelling skin, but it also means a lot of trash. Pack a soft face cloth that you can use instead. It saves on paper and is that little bit of luxury you can give yourself on the plane.
- Pack your own eco-friendly face/hand wipes – After every meal the airhostess come by and hand out wipes that are not only non-biodegradable but are also packaged in plastic wrapping. Why not rather bring your own, bio-degradable, small pack of wipes. Keep these after you used them as well and make sure you dispose of them correctly.
- Use your spoon you get for your dessert to stir your coffee or tea – this might seem so logical, but when a cup of tea or coffee with a plastic stirrer is offered to you, you don’t think twice about taking it. Just like straws, say no to plastic stirrers on planes, and opt for your spoon or back of your fork. It might take the airhostess by surprise, but you could teach her a thing or two about being resourceful.
- Invest in a reusable see-through bag with a zip for toiletries – Unfortunately, there’s no getting around the use of plastic bags here, but you can make sure that you only buy one plastic toiletry bag for all your travels. Invest in a strong plastic one with a zip. There are a lot of really nice options available on Amazon and at your local chemist.
- Pack your own travel toothbrush and small travel size toothpaste – These can stay in your travel kit and will save you from using the disposable toothbrush they give you on the plane and the tiny toothpaste that will also be thrown away as soon as you’ve squeezed the one drop it contains from it. Plastic toothbrushes are a huge plastic polluter and just cause you’re travelling it doesn’t exempt bamboo-toothbrush-wielding-you from now using one, think about it.
Other eco-friendly travelling tips
- Save your boarding pass on your phone – This is not always possible but if the airline you are flying with offers this service, use it. It saves on single use paper which will ultimately just get thrown away. If the airline you are travelling does not offer a digital boarding pass option, ask why not. Use social media to ask these companies how they can make a difference to helping to protect the environment.
- Pack an empty reusable water bottle and coffee mug – You can’t take fluids on the plane, but we all know the craving for some water or a good coffee/chai tea as soon as you step outside the airport. Make sure to pack your reusable water bottle and coffee mug in your hand luggage or easy to reach luggage so you can stay eco-friendly, and even save a few bucks as you start off your travels.
- Remember your reusable straws – A lot of exploring and walking means you need to take in a lot of fluids and those sometimes require a straw. Remember to pack your reusable straws and take them with on your daily outings. You might get strange looks, especially from street vendors, when you refuse their straw and whip out your own, but you will be helping to keep the place you’re visiting clean.