Responsible travel: Travelling naturally… a fresher, lighter and healthier approach to travel and saving our world… one plastic bottle at a time.
Escape on holiday and leave all your cares behind you! It is such a lovely feeling to just run free of the usual responsibilities and with no care for time, embrace the warming glow of the rising sun and the tingling brush of the morning breeze. But maybe we do want to take some of our cares with us – those that make us whole, that give us meaning and that connect us deeply to the natural rhythm of the earth perhaps?
Our love of the world is what takes us on our great adventures and there are easy ways to preserve that world we claim to love, especially when wandering freely as a cloud! Unfortunately 40% of the world’s waste ends up in rubbish tips and as we know, in a fast fashion, convenience society, that percentage is already a huge actual amount.
If we choose not to reuse, reduce or recycle, fairly soon our beautiful planet will become a toxic wasteland, desolate from pollution, deforestation and loss of species… it’s already happening around us. However, there is much we can do now to reverse and prevent future destruction and to help our planet thrive, giving us and our children many wonderful, colourful, awe-inspiring places to visit and learn from.
If we take two items that we probably use daily, plastic and clothes and see what interesting journeys we can go on, exploring fun, innovative and inspiring ways to get involved with recycling or reusing these everyday materials.
Let’s start with plastic. There are more plastic particles in our oceans than there are stars in the sky. What would you rather see? As well as cruelly killing marine creatures, plastic enters the food cycle and plastic can have a harmful effect on the human body and health. Therefore, an obvious aim for all of us adventurers is to make sure we take or use as much recyclable or non-plastic items with us as possible, wherever we go.
Products & Plastic
To ensure that travelling without plastic or with recyclable items is easy and fun and becomes just a normal part of the adventure, a little research and preparation is essential. Below we have listed just some everyday travel items that usually come conveniently packaged in plastic, but actually the alternatives are not only better for the planet, but better for you to.
Here are some delicious travel items that do not have to be packed in plastic and chosen carefully, not only do these often have fewer chemicals and more natural ingredients, but are often already packaged in paper or a handy metal tin.
- Shampoo bar
- Moisturising bar
- Organic sunscreen bar
- Soap nuts for washing clothes (reusable)
- Beeswax wrap – reusable and made without plastic and can be used as you would clingfilm. Just wash in cool water!
A quick internet search will throw up a number of options, but you could try any of the following:
Simple and stylish metal travel containers and food wraps. These are great to use at home or whilst travelling. Either refill from a more economical oversized buy, or pop your solid products straight into a neat tin to keep them fresh and dry. We have listed only two sites below… but there are many more.. and remember, you can recycle product packaging you already have!
Further Information and reading / watching
An excellent and inspiring TED Talk “There’s no such thing as throwing something away”
From grandmothers to children… to spiders…we have all naturally re-used and recycled. Economics and Thrift. Infinitely Recyclable Plastic. (And more money for travelling!)
Coin Operated water re-filling stations / Fishing boats made from plastic
The Lonely Planet has an informative blog on travelling without plastic – including tips such as, in Thailand e.g Chiang Mai, you can find coin-operated water re-filling stations for your drink bottle. In Amsterdam you can explore the canals and pick up litter that will be recycled into fishing boats!
Airports and metal containers
Correctly sized or empty metal containers are no issue for security, but be prepared to tip away the contents if the container is larger than the accepted limit. Tip: keep hand-luggage products to a minimal, invest in correctly sized carry-on metal containers or re-use your sized ‘flight plastics’ and re-cycle them, only once split!
If you have any tips or suggestions for travelling without plastic, please share them with us!
Coming up over the next few weeks, a look at recycled clothing… not the same as wearing your older brother’s hand-me-downs…!