Minimising Plastic Consumption & Doing Our Bit On Holiday
We travellers are getting far more environmentally conscious when it comes to our everyday lives. This isn’t just something to practise at home as there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t keep your commitment to the natural world the next time you head off on an adventure.
Plastic waste have been featured a lot in the news lately and rightly so as plastic bags can take up to 500 years to biodegrade. We want our travel memories to last as long but to leave such negative environmental impact behind that last that long is unfathomable.
Here are a few tips on how to easily reduce and minimise your plastic use the next time you travel.
Take A Tote Bag
Plastic bags cause thousands of tons of landfill waste every year, and some countries do not have the facilities that we have at home to recycle them effectively, so you can pretty much guarantee that every plastic bag you use is having a detrimental impact on the environment.
Taking a reusable tote bag on holiday can help safeguard the natural environment from unnecessary waste, and you’ll always have something handy to help carry those holiday essentials such as sunscreen, towels or groceries back to your accommodation.
Reusable Water Bottles
Plastic bottles account for a lot of waste. The amount of single-use water bottles we can get through during a seven-day break is amazing. Keeping hydrated in hot weather is essential, but these small plastic bottles are highly damaging to the environment, so cut down your use by purchasing the largest water bottle you can as soon as you arrive and decant the water into a reusable water bottle thereafter. This can often turn out cheaper in the long run too.
Not only are these bottles readily available here in the UK, but they can also help keep water cool for up to twelve hours. That said, why not keep one of your already bought bottle of water and reuse that for the duration of the trip and bring it home with you for recycling?
Some fast food restaurants abroad don’t have such a stringent policy on recycling their packaging as we do at home, so instead of heading for these well-known chains for a bite to eat, go local and discover some regional delicacies at a nearby café or restaurant. Besides using disposable plates & cutleries, most imported good used in these chains comes in some form of plastic packaging or another, hence frequenting local eateries using local produce helps.
If unavoidable, choose places that serve you food on reusable or paper containers over plastic or styrofoam. Otherwise, opt for a sit down local restaurant. Not only do they usually serve their meals on reusable plates, you’ll also get a real taste of the country and maybe even discover a few favourite dishes to try when you return home.
Bring Your Own Toiletries
You will find on most packing blogs and advice to buy toiletries at destination as a way of packing light. This is indeed an option but the lean team is committed to smart packing and not light packing, and our stance is to always bring your own wherever possible. There are many reusable and lightweight bottles and tubes of all shapes and sizes in the market currently and potentially a one time purchase as they can be used time and again on travels but at home too. One should consider up-cycling old containers.
Reusable Air-Travel Friendly Cutleries
If you’ve been to SE Asia, you will know what we are talking about when we say how annoying it is to eat with flimsy and soft plastic cutleries that cannot even cut through a piece of soft fruit or vegetable. Not to be paranoid but there have been quite a number of times we have come across oily plastic cutleries and wondered if they have been reused and not washed properly. There are no downsides to making this one time purchase and bringing your own.