I love to travel. Pretty much everyone I know loves to travel. Travel brings great opportunities and insights, gives you a more rounded view of the world, and in many cases, it’s absolutely necessary to meet up with loved ones. Sustainability and travel do not really go hand in hand, but the important thing is to try and do it better. So with that in mind, and with half-term almost upon us, here’s out top tips for travelling with zero waste (or as close to it as we can)….
Take a reusable water bottle
It’s such a simple one but taking a water bottle which you can fill up as you travel wherever you are, is not only good for your pocket, but it’s so good for the environment.
And a reusable straw, too!
A recent UN study stated that over 800 marine species are now endangered due to an excess of plastic waste, and I’m sure we all saw that video of the turtle with a straw up his nose – it makes me want to cry, and that’s before we even get started on how long it takes for plastics to break down.
There’s rarely a reason to use paper tickets these days. There are apps for everything. Check to see what’s available for all travel as well as events etc.
Bring your own headphones for inflight entertainment
Inflight headsets are cheap and nasty; they’re not built to last. Take your own and ditch the throw-away attitude.
Just say no!
On that note, say no to disposable items. So much we’re offered when we’re travelling is just to use and then ditch, or worse still – not use and still ditch – and these disposal items often come back wrapped in plastic too. Gah! You don’t need that toothbrush, or those samples.
Ditch Trinket Souvenirs
My kids love a magnet, cheap braided bracelet and other tat-based souvenirs that are so very needed at that moment, but fast-forward 24 hours and they’re forgotten about. Buy locally produced and locally sourced items that serve a purpose or will bring joy for years. In our house, wherever we go in the world, we always buy something for our Christmas tree. That’s it. Memory-making and used forever.
Return Tourist Info
Grabbed a leaflet, map or other printed item to have a quick read or help you find your way ? Return them once you’ve finished with them. We normally grab some to read over breakfast and pop them back in the stand on the way out. Simple.
Remember your reusable bag
After all, plastic bags are so 2000! There really is no excuse these days.
Don’t check a bag in.
I know this can be tricky if you’re away with the family for a while, but hold luggage can be enough if you travel light. The problem with checking in luggage is that it will cause waste as they put the stickers on it, and they cannot be recycled.
I know many of us like to give to those more in need when we’re travelling, but it’s much better to give to reputable local programmes and their international partners. A really good site is Pack for a Purpose who will show you who needs what in the area you’re travelling in.
I know it’s hard to be zero waste, I have talked about that before, but if we’re all a little more conscious of what we’re doing, we will make a difference.