Plastic Free Travel Tips
Traveling can put our plastic commitment to the test! We want to stay healthy, travel light, and relax on our holiday. However, with the right mindset, it can be incredibly rewarding, especially when you break our your bamboo straw or coconut bowl at the buffet.
Bamboo & Coconut Cutlery
Plastic forks, spoons, chopsticks, and teaspoons are one of the most common forms of single-use plastics and one of the main areas where we don’t think about refusing plastic. Travelling with reusable cutlery can greatly reduce your need to take plastic cutlery from a restaurant when ordering food to go.
If you can take the time to dine-in, this is even better for the earth. But if you must get your food to go – try travelling with reusable bamboo or coconut cutlery! You can find many varieties of sustainable cutlery including reusable chopsticks so search around and see what you like!
Mason jars are going to be your new favorite travel item when it comes to reducing plastics; especially at breakfast time! If you are thinking it is not easy to carry – you could be right the jars are not as lightweight as a coconut bowl, but they are very handy for reducing plastic waste and for making on-the-go breakfast meals that are healthy because you can seal the jar with the lid and take it with you. Use the mason jar when purchasing juice or smoothies to go, to prepare overnight oats or make chia-seed pudding!
Plastic straws are the most unnecessary form of single-use plastic that create a huge burden for marine life once they end up in the ocean. Refuse a plastic straw – you don’t need it! If you want to travel with a straw for enjoying a smoothie or a fresh coconut, then check out some of the amazing reusable ones that are on the market such as those made from eco-friendly and sustainable bamboo.
By now we are aware of the devasting impact that single-use plastic bags are having on the earth – they are everywhere, and they don’t do anyone any good. A recent publication from Ocean Crusaders found that Australia consumes 6.9 billion plastic bags per annum, more than half of which are shopping bags. Only 10% of Australians recycle their plastic bags, and less than 1% of these are reused.
Fabric reusable bags are your new best friend. Take them with you everywhere you go. I use fabric bags when I go to the local market, for purchasing fresh produce, carrying my travel items, for my laundry, and for whenever I need to go shopping. Use a fabric bag to pack your coconut bowl and other items up for a picnic at the beach or when visiting friends and family and be an example for saying no to plastic bags.
Reusable Water Bottle
Just like all the single-use plastic, plastic bottles are not good for the planet! One of the easiest swaps you can make to reduce plastic waste is to purchase a reusable bottle for your drinking water. This is part of us needing to change our habits and try to choose a more sustainable lifestyle. The reality is that while we have made some steps towards reducing single-use plastic, we still use around 3.3 billion plastic bags, 2.6 billion coffee cups, 2.4 billion plastic straws and 1.3 billion plastic bottles each year making it critical that we increase our efforts. Carry a reusable water bottle with you and make a positive change today and encourage your friends and family to do the same!
Reusable Coffee Cup
There is no denying that Australian’s love their coffee! Me too – but what the earth does not like are coffee cups and plastic lids! Did you know that coffee cups with a plastic lining cannot be recycled? 2.6 billion coffee cups end up in our landfill each year due to their inability to be recycled. According to BioPak, we send around 1.7 million tons of recyclable paper to landfill, this includes 12,000 tons of coffee cups each year.
Reusable coffee cups are a beautiful way to use less plastic and they also make a great gift idea! The responsible café culture is thankfully spreading across the country with locations choosing to offer to bring your own cup incentives and discounts as well as cafes selling reusable cups to encourage us to refuse plastics.
I use a coconut bowl when I travel by packing one into my backpack and carrying it with me on the road. The bowls are only small and lightweight so I can easily wrap one within my clothes and place it into my bag without even noticing it is there. I take my coconut bowl with me and enjoy making a healthy salad or smoothie to enjoy any time of the day.
The bowls make an alternative to using plastic and can simply be washed in warm soapy water and packed away again. I can use the bowls for snacks, cereal, dips, and healthy fruit salads. They look beautiful in photo’s and I know that they are completely safe and sustainable making them one of my favorite items. As a minimalist, I travel all around with very little material possessions and like to make to sure what I use won’t harm the environment.
Getting creative and motivated to make some simple changes will benefit the environment and bring about some new habits that will have you loving your new eco-friendly items in no time! When we consider our need for environmental sustainability, we realise that there is no one way to fix the issues but we must alter our approach to start making a small difference which will have a great impact as a collective. If everyone started to refuse plastics and choose reusable items such as bags, cutlery and cups it would have an amazing effect on our local community.