Eco-Friendly Travel Tips Part 1 | Wanderers Collection
Updated: Dec 11, 2018
Travel For Change asked Jessie 5 key Eco-Friendly Travel Questions to help encourage our readers to explore what it means to be a responsible traveller. Jessie is currently living and working as a teacher in Canada and has done so in destinations such as London, Uganda and Bangkok. Jessie has also studied abroad in Australia and has spent her time backpacking so many amazing places on a budget. Check out her take on Eco-friendly travel and follow some of her simple ideas.
In your own words what does Eco-friendly travel mean to you?
Eco-friendly travel means being as sustainable as possible; for me that means making some important choices. I mindfully make choices that will be better for the environment and the community. Whether it be going without plastic bags when I shop or simply packing a #reusable straw; Eco-friendly travel is unique and different for each person. My advice is that you must do what works for you without any stress. You can enjoy the process of living a more minimalist lifestyle and it will soon become second nature.
I am constantly learning as I visit new places which products work best for me and the location I am in. I am currently based in #Canada but often take short trips to both domestic and international destinations so I try to plan sustainable strategies to reduce my negative impact on the environment during my trip.
What Eco-friendly travel trends have you embraced on your own travels? Any reason why you decided to make this change?
There is no doubt that single-use-plastics are one of the biggest #issues impacting the planet today. Sadly, it will be an ongoing battle for future generations to alleviate the damage done to the oceans and because of this our plastic consumption must change! I aim to use as many Eco-friendly travel #trends as possible and I find these ones are simple and effective:
Menstrual Cup: I use the Diva Cup during my menstrual cycle. Did you know that the average woman uses roughly 11,000 tampons in her lifetime?! I am an advocate for menstrual cups so I encourage all women to at least try them out to reduce their environmental waste! This purchase will save you money in the long run and they are good for the earth. If you want to learn more about this topic you can check out an article featured on 1 Million Women here!
Reusable Straw: To say I bring a reusable straw on every trip would be a lie, but I am becoming more conscious about using it daily. If you don't pack a reusable straw you can easily say No Thank You to plastic straws. These short term use plastic straws make their way to the oceans and this is bad news; they often end up getting stuck in the airways of turtles and never breakdown. Straws serve us very briefly and yet last a lifetime.
Natural Toiletries: I love a good natural or organic deodorant because it has less chemicals than most of the mainstream cosmetic options. I use my simple homemade lotions which I refill into the same reusable container. I have reusable rubber travel tubes for all my liquid toiletries and they are great for carry-on luggage and easy to use! This was initially a travel hack to save money (as a travel size is often just under half the price of a full bottle) but I continue to do it as I feel it is more sustainable.
Did you know that on average only 1 in 5 people recycle items from the bathroom with large amounts of plastics from the shower going into landfill each day? Finding options that are practical is a must to help improve this, so, if you prefer to travel without liquids and plastics all together than you can check out some of the shampoo and soap bars. You can see some of the most popular ones that are available in compact size tins made by LUSH.
Buying Local: I try to buy local when I travel because it supports the community and ensures that the products are from within a reasonable distance to the town. Markets will often sell what is in season which is better for the environment because it usually comes from the near by farms. I aim to use fresh produce from the market including fruit, tea leaves and spices. I will purchase sustainable artisan crafts and support the individuals making the products directly whenever I can.
It is very rewarding to know where your shopping comes from and who supplied it. There is a large disconnect back home to our food source and visiting places in Southeast Asia has shown me new insight into this issue. If you find a place you like, revisit, the store holder will surely appreciate you.
Do you prefer to use a reusable water bottle, or do you purchase one time use plastic water bottles on your travels? Or both?
I prefer to use a reusable water bottle but there are times when I am travelling that I can't find clean refillable drinking water or I simply run out of my water very quickly. The best way to alleviate this (depending on if you’re backpacking or in one spot) is by purchasing a big 4-6 litre bottle of water and using that to refill your reusable bottle.
Purchasing one large plastic bottle and then aiming to recycle it is better than using lots of smaller ones that get thrown away. You can also ask your hotel or guesthouse not to supply you with daily bottled water or just leave the small bottles in the fridge. Hotels use a huge number of plastic water bottles each day so reducing the demand may help encourage change.
Do you have any plastic free travel essentials that you would recommend to other travellers; such as Eco bags, bamboo toiletries or Eco coffee cups?
I recently purchased some #biodegradable toothbrushes and I keep one in my gym bag and one in my day bag. I always bring three reusable plastic zip bags for snacks, so I can still have my “on-the-go” lifestyle without having to buy as many one-time use plastic bags. Otherwise, I just use what I already have (plastic bottles, reusable plastic bags) and once those are no longer available I plan to buy new Eco-friendly items. I would also like to try #sustainable plastic wrap which is made from beeswax and can be used for covering produce in the fridge in replace of plastic wrap and bags.
Lastly, which convenient plastic items do you find the hardest to swap for Eco-friendly versions when you’re travelling?
I prefer to pack light so when I travel I only take what I need as part of living a minimalist lifestyle. Taking only one #backpack and packing enough reusable containers, toiletries and other items is hard when you don’t travel with much luggage. This is something I look forward to embracing in the future to ensure I always have reusable bottles, cups and straws! Straws and #plastic cups when purchasing take-away drinks is something I do want to try and improve on reducing so I think its great to have a clear goal in mind.
If you have any tips on recommended brands please share in the comments below!
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Travel For Change encourages you to make Eco-friendly choices which are kind to the planet and all living beings when you travel. It is important to be the change in the travelling community and be creative to reduce your footprint on the earth. Take care of the ocean, the air, the animals and one another and please share your inspirational ideas with us here in the comments.