As long-term travellers, we know the negative impacts on the environment that flying creates. It’s hard not to be seduced by the beauty of this world and the kindness of its citizens. To offset our carbon footprint, we have found many little things we can do to have a positive impact on the environment. We want to leave the world and the countries we visit more beautiful than when we arrived.
We’ve had the privilege visiting so many beautiful places. Remote islands, long-forgotten waterfalls, lakes and rivers that are a source of life for the people living near them. Sadly, there is one thing that is common to all these places. We always see an insane amount of trash laying around. This trash is almost always plastic. And this plastic that will be there long after we’re all gone.
That’s why, we do our best, every day, to reduce the amount of plastic we use. We thought of a few ways we can all get in on the action, and make the world even more beautiful than it already is. Here are our 10 tips to help you stop contributing to plastic pollution.
1. AVOID PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES
We know what you’re thinking! Most countries don’t have clean drinking water. So how can you avoid them? Very easily! Get a water purifying bottle like we did.
The Lifestraw Go has been a miracle. It’s helped us save money and save the planet. Win-
win! It filters and purifies your water as you drink it. You can literally fill the bottle with water from a river and drink it. It makes all tap water drinkable. How easy is that?
Just to put things into perspective, one million plastic bottles are purchased every minute around the world. One million! Every minute! So if you can help reduce this number, you’re a champ in our eyes!
2. ALWAYS BE READY TO EAT
One of our favourite things to do while travelling is eating. You too? Awesome! We’re in good company! That’s why we always bring our own gear with us.
We have a reusable container to put the food in so we avoid toxic styrofoam. We have our own metal utensils in our backpacks, and we don’t even need bags, because we have our backpacks. Bam! We’ll take 2 pad thais to go, with nothing else.
3. SKIP THE STRAW
This is a no-brainer for us. Why do you even need a straw? Are you a child? No? So just skip it. The number of times we’ve walk along a beach and all we see are straws everywhere. It’s heartbreaking to know they end up in the ocean and get ingested by the marine life, or float around for all of eternity. It’s just not worth it.
4. AVOID PACKAGED GOODS
It’s easy to forget the good habits we have at home when we travel. We don’t have a kitchen, so making our own snacks is hard. Those Oreos always look so tempting, but they are so over-packaged.
In Japan, we even found cookies that were in packaging and that were packed individually as well. And what about bananas wrapped in plastic? Come on now! That’s so unnecessary.
So skip the packaged goods and get some good old-fashioned fruits and veggies as snacks. Your mom will be proud, and so will Mother Nature.
5. BYOB (BRING YOUR OWN BAG)
Just bring your own bag. At the grocery store. To pack your fruits and veggies. To carry your laundry. It’s super easy, it’s practical, and good for the environment.
They say the lifetime use of a plastic bag is only 15 minutes. They don’t decompose or biodegrade. So, that’s a long time for them to stick around after using them. You don’t need them, so just BYOB.
If you do “need” a plastic bag, make sure you put it to good use after.
6. PICK UP TRASH WHEN YOU SEE IT
We do this all the time. Whether it’s World Cleanup day or not, we always have a #adventurebag. That’s a plastic bag we had to take that we use to pick up trash. On the beach, the streets, on a hike, by the waterfalls, wherever, if you see it, pick it up. If you can’t pick it all up, at least #pickup3forthesea.
The world will thank you. We thank you.
7. SWITCH TO BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSHES
This is another easy way to reduce your plastic use. It’s easy and it changes nothing in your life. Switch to bamboo toothbrushes. They are better for the environment and they are compostable. Yay!
8. USE NON-LIQUID SHAMPOOS
This was one of our favourite travel discoveries! Shampoo bars. They smell like a dream, they lather like a cloud, and best of all, they don’t require any plastic. If you needed another reason to love them, you can even travel with them in your carry-on.
We love simple solutions that save the planet.
9. MENSTRUATE BETTER This one is for the ladies.
We used to only have 2 options back in the day. Pads or tampons. They use glues, chemicals and all sorts of packaging. Today, we have so many more options. My all-time favourite is Thinx underwear, washable menstrual underwear. You put them on during the day, change them if you need to, and just wash them with your regular clothes. Easy-peazy!
10. DON’T GET YOUR ROOM CLEANED EVERY DAY
This is super simple no-brainer. Every time they clean your room, they put a new garbage bag in, they give you those tiny bottles of shampoo, and a new soap. Basically, plastic, plastic and more plastic!
Chances are, you already came with your own things, so do you really need to get those tiny plastic polluters? Nope! Also, when they clean your room, they change your towels and spray toxic chemicals. More harm done to our planet with chemicals.
You don’t clean your house every day, so you don’t need your room cleaned either.
These are some of the tips we have adopted to reduce our use of plastic while we travel. They’re simple steps to help us improve the current state of the planet. Reducing our use of plastic is the biggest, yet simplest step we can take. There are many other ways to be an eco- traveller if you want to take things even further.
How do you try to be green while on the road?
By Carine & Derek from @wediditourway
And have a look on their Website !