8 Easy Swaps for Eco-Friendly Travel
If you’re like me, you might find that getting organised for your next adventure is half the fun! You might also find that you’re constantly on the lookout for more of an environmentally friendly way to travel overseas, but you’re not always sure how. With busy schedules, we don’t always have as much time to prepare for our trips as we want and can find ourselves picking up those mini travel toiletries in a rush at the airport. Since we can’t travel right now, this is the perfect time to make some sustainable swaps for eco-friendly travel on your next adventure.
Reducing plastic is so important for the environment. Plastic production itself requires a huge amount of energy and resources that contribute to global warming and recycling plastic is sadly just not efficient enough, leaving approximately 60% of items in landfills or worse, the ocean.
There are some really cool items out there to help you travel sustainably, so here’s my top eco friendly travel products! They’re good for the environment, reduce your plastic usage and even save you space and money when packing for your trip.
SHAMPOO, CONDITIONER & BODY BARS
These are the perfect way to eliminate some plastic from your life. My hair is long and thick, so I go through conditioner like a champion. When on tour I’m also constantly in and out of the ocean, so I’ll go through regular plastic bottles of these products every week with ease. Shampoo, conditioner & body bars can last up to 80 washes! You’ll find yourself saving a ton of money, a huge amount of space inside your toiletry bag and you’ll never find yourself relating to that episode of Friends where Ross has a shampoo explosion all over his clothes…
ECO FRIENDLY SUNSCREEN & ZINC
If your next trip sees you spending a lot of time in a tropical paradise, you’ll want to protect your skin. Buying sunscreen abroad can often set you back a hefty fee, and they can be really harmful to coral reefs. Check your ingredients list for oxybenzone or octinoxate as these are chemicals that can cause coral bleaching. For your face, check out zinc. It’s thick and will last all day if you’re in and out of the water, snorkelling or surfing. The ingredients are natural and you can usually find it in a metal tin, once again saving space and even more plastic.
A typical plastic toothbrush will take 400 years to decompose… since you’re supposed to change your toothbrush every 3 months – that’s a lot of plastic in one lifetime! Ditch your plastic brush for one made from a more sustainable material. Bamboo brushes are a great way to minimise your carbon footprint, once you’ve removed the bristles you can even compost the handle and it’ll decompose in just 3 years.
This is absolutely one of my personal favorite eco friendly travel hacks, it’s a no brainer! Disposable razors only last a few weeks and are made entirely of plastic. Reusable metal razors will save you money in the long run if you store them correctly and all you need to do is replace the blades, which are cheap as chips and really easy to find in most countries.
REUSABLE EAR BUD
Have you seen that video of the seahorse clutching to an earbud? Not surprising when you think about it, but did you know there is an option for a reusable earbud?! Just one of these earbuds can be used up to 1000 times when cleaned in between uses. That’s 999 less plastic cotton buds making their way to landfill or the ocean.
SAY NO TO PLASTIC!
Plastic straws, cutlery and bags are three things that get handed out often while you’re on the road. By swapping to sustainable versions that you can just slip in the pocket of your hand luggage or handbag you’ll always be prepared when you’re out and about! You can get bamboo or metal straws and cutlery sets, and keep reusable bags folded up for when you need them. They won’t take up much space in your luggage but will allow you to say no to plastic more often than you can imagine!
We all drink water daily, and most of us like to grab a coffee when we’re on the go too. Plastic bottles and disposable cups are 2 items you can easily swap out for more sustainable options. There’s hundreds of different types of water bottles for sale these days, most of them will even keep your drinks hot or cold for hours – perfect for travellers! If you tend to pick up a coffee most days you can pick up a keep cup, these are designed for hot drinks on the go and will save so many disposable cups and lids from heading to landfill.
PICK UP WHEREVER & WHENEVER YOU CAN!
If we all did a little, a lot would be done. By far one of my favourite sayings! If you see some rubbish and plastic when you’re walking along the beach, make it a habit to pick it up. You can even join in organised coastal cleanups in a lot of places! Put this on the list for your next trip, you get to enjoy a beautiful destination, and leave knowing it’s cleaner than when you arrived.
At One Life, sustainable travel is our mission. You’ll find water refill stations across most of our overnight stops, our wonderful suppliers have worked hard to provide sustainable alternatives to things like plastic straws and you can even pick up some of our awesome eco friendly merch, like our reusable bottles!
Now is the time to make some sustainable swaps, so we’re ready to travel responsibly when it’s safe to do so. Have you made any of these swaps already? Tag us on Instagram and let us know!
New Zealand Zero Waste Stores
Australia Zero Waste Stores
UK Zero Waste Stores
WRITTEN BY: Kate Justice