The Secrets of Sustainable Travel
There’s a well-known adage I try to live by whenever I travel: “Kill nothing but time; leave nothing but footprints; take nothing but pictures; keep nothing but memories.”
Over the years, our travel style has changed as my husband and I have become more comfortable with less, and less comfortable with more. As we become more aware of our impact on the environment, I’ve also changed my regular products at home, from cosmetics, apparel, cleaning, and so on. Much of the items I take with me on holiday are the same items that I use at home.
I wanted to share some of the products I love to travel with for being plastic-free and cruelty-free, and I hope that I can help more travellers to explore new countries in a sustainable way.
I absolutely love Lush’s products. I can hardly resist a visit to their stores to soak up the different aromas. The challenge is getting me out of there before I’ve spent all of my money.
Their solid products are great when you’re only taking carry-on luggage; you don’t need to worry about fitting them in with your liquids.
These are the Lush solids I use:
- Face Wash
But they offer more than this – even toothpaste tablets! Most of their products are sold by weight, so you can cut a small amount to test out first. But I’m telling you, you’ll be back for more. And if you run out, or forget any of your products while on holiday, a Lush store is usually not far away.
Travel-sized silicon tubs
These are also great when you’re only taking carry on. No one wants to change their beauty routine and swap out their favourite products, even just for a short trip. With these little tubs, you can pack your regular products without worrying about going over the 100ml restriction, or the added weight from glass containers. I love the colours; I can colour-code them to keep what’s in each container straight. I grabbed mine from Amazon.Kill nothing but time. Leave nothing but footprints. Take nothing but pictures. Keep nothing but memories. Click To Tweet
Norwex face washers
How many disposable wipes do you go through to wash your face? To apply toner? To remove makeup? What a waste. I’ve had my Norwex face cloths for almost six years, and they are still so soft! They remove makeup without any products, just water. To clean the cloth, just rub it together under water (occasionally I’ll chuck it in the wash with my towels). I also have the body cloth – it’s great for camping and any other situation where the shower facilities are not up to scratch.
Did you know that plastic toothbrushes take over 400 years to decompose? Switching to bamboo-based products was, for me, a no-brainer. I purchased bamboo toothbrushes on Amazon, but many retailers carry them these days.
The Body Shop is another one of my favourite haunts. I love their makeup range, and it’s where I purchased my bamboo hairbrush and comb when my plastic ones were in desperate need of retirement.
Plastic isn’t the only material that you can cut out by switching to bamboo. Cotton buds are washed up on beaches and in waterways across the world, so it’s worth purchasing bamboo ones (or cutting them out altogether, if you can).
My husband and I love to eat, holiday or no. We hit up to the markets to sniff out the freshest of the local cuisines. When eating on the go unprepared, you’ll end up with plastic cutlery. Bamboo cutlery and stainless steel straws take up hardly any room in luggage, so they are a staple for me – I literally used them on the weekend for a picnic in the park! These were both another Amazon buy, but I know you can get these on plenty of other sites.
Stainless steel water bottle
The thing my husband and I consume the most while travelling is water. I couldn’t tell you how much money we would have spent on water bottles on our early treks, each time contributing to the mountains of crinkly waste that won’t decompose in our lifetime. I’m frustrated at myself for that. Now, I won’t leave the house without my stainless-steel water bottle. I’ve never had a bar or restaurant refuse to fill my bottle up, and the water stays cold!
I always have one rolled up inside whatever bag I’m using for the day, so I can whip it out before a shop clerk puts anything in those flimsy plastic bags.
Two more ways to reduce your waste and plastic consumption:
- Use your own headphones on flights, rather than opening the plastic-wrapped ones that are provided. If you don’t open them, they’ll go to the next person, rather than getting cleaned and re-packed in another plastic sleeve.
- Re-use the same plastic bag that is required by airport security for storing your liquids. This is one bit of plastic you’re not going to get around, but you can help by re-using the same bag over and over. I think I’ve had mine for about three years now!
How do you travel sustainably? I’d love to hear how you’re making a difference.