A lot of people who travel have the desire to do it waste-free because this helps protect the environment while we see all the beauty that the world has to offer firsthand. However, this is difficult to achieve especially because travel is full of disposable items and products. These include single serving sizes, takeaway meals, small size deodorants, shampoos, sunscreen and so much more. While it’s a challenge to remain waste-free, you can achieve this through a few tips and by being more mindful of the things you use during your adventures.
Here are five tips to travel waste free:
1. Going paperless
In the past, there was so much paperwork to do before travelling that all involved printing them out. That meant there was so much more to dispose off. However, nowadays, a lot of trains, airlines, coaches and other service providers offer downloadable tickets and documents. This enables you as the traveler to keep them on your phone or personal computers. This helps save paper while reducing your hassle of having to look for printers around.
2. Plan entertainment in advance
Sometimes travel involves long hours in planes, trains and other means of transport and usually, people will seek magazines, newspapers and books to read so that they’re not bored throughout the trip. However, these contribute to littering. So instead of reaching out for these magazines and the likes, go for one of the waste-free alternatives around for example , you could download podcasts to keep you entertained, download games, videos and even e-books. In case you are just that person who prefers the hard copy material, it’s worth buying second-hand books.
3. Pack as light as possible
You may wonder why what’s inside your suitcase contributes to the amount of waste that goes into the environment. Well, by packing light, you reduce the amount of luggage you have generally. As such, you help reduce the number of paper tags that will be included on your luggage once you check in. Packing light also indirectly forces you to mind just how much you buy while you are away.
4. Pack reusable items
While you’re travelling, it’s common that you will be given a single-use cup or plate, food containers or even cutlery. To reduce the amount of waste, it’s better to pack your own flasks, plates and other similar items that you can use repeatedly throughout your trip. There are also some special travel cutlery around that you could buy. These are made of bamboo, wheat straw or steel. You could also consider bringing with you some reusable napkins, carry your own towels for wrapping food and go the extra mile to clean up after yourself when you’re done eating.
However much we’d like to reuse everything while we travel, sometimes this is just not possible. In such cases, keep calm and maintain the item until you find a recycling bin. There are several around different towns and cities that you will find yourself in. Sometimes, it might mean holding on to something you’ve used by keeping it in your bag or in a jar which doesn’t seem interesting especially because it’s dirty, but no worries, it’s just for a while.
Remember, it’s worth making an effort to keep the environment free of waste. It ensures that the landscapes you visit remain beautiful for your sake and that of other travelers.