It’s no secret that humans are slowly destroying the planet thanks to global warming and a whole host of other problems we’ve caused, like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. According to Greenpeace, an estimated 12.7 million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans EVERY YEAR.
“Travelling on ocean currents this plastic is now turning up in every corner of our planet – from Cornish beaches, to uninhabited Pacific islands. It is even being found trapped in Arctic ice. Our oceans are slowly turning into a plastic soup and the effects on ocean life are chilling. Big pieces of plastic are choking and entangling turtles and seabirds and tiny pieces are clogging the stomachs of creatures who mistake it for food, from tiny zooplankton to whales. Plastic is now entering every level of the ocean food chain and even ending up in the seafood on our plates.”
These days, people are a lot more conscious of trying to save the planet, things are slowly starting to change, but there is more we can be doing. While plastic is still being produced and disposed of at an alarming rate, it’s slowly getting easier to go without, especially at home. But is it possible to go plastic-free while travelling?
Yes! Here are some products you can use that will help in the fight against plastic:
Reusable shopping bags
While most shops now charge for plastic bags, it’s not enough, we need to do more. Why haven’t they been banned yet!? I swear by these reusable, foldable shopping bags. Not only are they reducing your plastic waste, but they are also small and lightweight enough to pack a few so you’ll never be without.
Reusable produce bags
Have you noticed that most grocery stores want you to put each piece of fruit or vegetable in a separate plastic bag if it’s not already wrapped in plastic? To save money and the environment, you should always try to shop at a local market where you can buy homegrown produce! Soi 55 has the perfect shopper, handmade in Indonesia from natural materials. You can use the code “SYGY10” for a 10% discount!
Single-use plastics are the worst, and plastic cutlery is as bad for the environment as straws and bags. You can buy a lightweight bamboo cutlery set to take with you! Not only will this reduce your plastic waste, but it is also an extremely convenient thing to travel with, especially when buying your own food to make packed lunches.
Reusable food storage
Speaking of packed lunches… It’s the best way to save money while on the road, and every traveller needs a collapsible, silicone lunch box! Flat packed when not in use, and ideal for saving your leftovers or keeping your lunch safe while you’re out on an adventure. Bonus points for using it when buying street food or getting takeaway!
Reusable coffee cups
Want to save the environment, and some more money? Most cafes will give you a discount if you use your own reusable coffee mug! You can buy this cute collapsible, silicone coffee cup in a range of colours, perfect to pop in your backpack so you can grab a coffee and explore whatever city you woke up in.
Straws have become a thing of the past in most British bars, but I still see them everywhere abroad. You can help combat this by bringing your own! Soi 55 has some beautiful, lightweight stainless steel straws that come in a little jute bag with a cleaning brush, in three great colour choices. You can use the code “SYGY10” for a 10% discount!
Ditch the travel-sized toiletries
I know how convenient those travel-sized shampoos and shower gels are to travel with, but the plastic packaging is certainly not worth it. Lush is now my go-to store for all my travel essentials. I’ve used their shampoo and conditioner bars for years and I’ll never go back. They also have soap and shower gel bars, moisturiser bars, solid perfume, solid sunblock and even deodorant bars (that really work!). The best part? No liquids, so you’ll breeze through security at the airport.
Ditch the plastic toothbrushes
While many companies are now selling “plastic-free” bamboo toothbrushes, they all use plastic bristles that won’t decompose. After doing some research, it seems like Brush with Bamboo offers the most eco-friendly option. While the bristles still won’t decompose, they are made with plant-based plastic, not petroleum-based plastic and that’s a step in the right direction. While you’re at it, give toothpaste tabs a go! Lush sell solid toothpaste and mouthwash, and while they come in a plastic bottle, it can either be recycled or refilled at their stores.
Avoid buying plastic bottles
It’s always super convenient to just buy a bottle of water, or maybe you have no choice because the tap water is unsafe to drink, but if there are no recycling facilities where you are then that plastic is ending up in landfills. You can avoid buying bottled water by bringing a water filter that purifies even the dirtiest water, or water purification tablets that kill germs without leaving a funny taste. Make sure you carry your own water bottle! If a metal flask or glass bottle is impractical, then you can get a foldable silicone water bottle.
While it’s not always possible to be completely waste-free while travelling, these small things will add up to help minimise the trash that’s filling up our oceans.
If you have any ideas or recommendations, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!