While there’s been a lot of talk about flight-shaming and being more mindful of how and when we travel, the reality is that most of us will be lucky enough to be away from our homes at some point. But being green on the road (or in the air) can be a lot harder than when at home.
There are a lot of products on the market that tout how environmentally friendly they are, but going out and buying a whole heap of new things isn’t going to help the earth or your bank balance. Most of the below are what I carry in my bag everyday or already use at home, they also just happen to be perfect for travel.
I always carry a few of these in my bag because some drinks (and some children) simply just require straws. I have a mixture of bamboo or stainless steel ones (these are good to get the flesh out of a young coconut too) and pack the little cleaning brush too.
BAMBOO CUTLERY SET
This includes a spoon, fork, knife and chopsticks. Again, this is in my bag everyday and I carry a set of two for the family. When I’m not travelling, I usually bring a couple of sets of our regular stainless steel cutlery from the kitchen drawer, but the bamboo set is lighter and can be put in your carry on without fear of being confiscated by airport security.
Some eateries may provide plastic alternatives such as compostable cutlery, but it’s still better to bring your own.
REUSABLE SANDWICH BAG
I have a couple of clear silicone pouches that are meant to be for toiletries, but I use one to carry the straws and cutlery so that I can keep my bag free from the mess of used items.
REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE
Water is free and if you’ve got your own water bottle, you’re not only saving money, you’re saving the environment. Remember that you can use the water bottle at kombucha stations or getting a juice too.
WATER FILTRATION DEVICE
Not everywhere has drinkable water so, depending on where you’re going, invest in an appropriate water filter, otherwise that reusable eater bottle is almost useless.
Bars of soap for your face and body are great for travel. I slice them up so that I’m not always wetting a big bar. I am also a big fan of solid shampoo and conditioner (love the Ethique brand) and invest in solid laundry bars so that I can do some in-sink laundry.
I’ve been using bamboo toothbrushes since they were stupidly expensive and really hard to find. If all of your family is using them, paint/colour the handles (it’s a great way to keep the kids busy). You really shouldn’t buy a new toothbrush for your holiday so just pack what you’re using.
REUSABLE FACE WIPE
The good old face washer has been given a new lease on life in the form of the Face Halo. This miraculous circle of microfibre is the most amazing way to get make up off your face and can be rinsed and hung to dry between washes. No more disposable wipes!
Most of the environmental impact of clothing happens after we’ve bought it. So buying clothing that requires less washing is better for the earth and there are some amazing new materials that wick moisture from your body and stink less. Besides who wants to do laundry on holiday anyway?
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