Posted 5 years ago
A man-made invention, plastic is used everyday, across most things, to make modern life possible. Whether in homes, bridges, cars, electronics, paints or packaging; plastic, undoubtedly, is one of the most useful materials on the planet. But what happens when humans create something that’s used to help build our planet but actually destroys it in the process?
A catch 22.
Each year we use 5 TRILLION plastic bags across the world, equating to 160,000 every second and over 700 a year per person. Only 1% of plastic bags bought and used are recycled and approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution finds its way into the world’s oceans.
We can all do better. And travelling more sustainably is one small way to make a big difference.
Whether you’re going on a family holiday, taking a road trip or travelling across the world, the key to reducing single-use plastic and travelling more sustainably is all about preparation. If you’re planning to take a trip any time, here’s our top tips on how to incorporate plastic-free travel into your life and work towards zero waste, it’s easier than you think!
- REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE
An obvious one from us, but purchasing a reusable water bottle really is a healthy investment. Sure, you can buy bottled water from pretty much anywhere but the environmental impact of this decision will seem hard to ignore as the natural wonders of the world continue to suffer as a consequence. Trusting the water source, of even the most professional looking bottled water, is also an issue, particularly when travelling in developing countries. The safest and most environmentally friendly approach is to purchase a reusable, water purification bottle, like the LifeSaver Liberty™, one of few available purification devices which removes bacteria, cysts and viruses, providing you with safe drinking water on demand and reducing the need for single-use plastics. Kind to you, kind to the planet. Oh and you can avoid having to purchase the overly priced water at airports! What’s not to love.
*Check out the features of your water bottle filter carefully. Although most products claim to remove bacteria and cysts, usually viruses aren’t covered, which can lead to nasty stomach bugs for unknowing travellers.
- ECO TOOTHBRUSH
With toothbrushes being an essential travel companion for most tourists, they also tend to be one of the more popular items filling up landfill sites across the world or washing up on beaches. Each year over a billion toothbrushes are reported to end up in landfill sites, in North America alone. Scale this up across the world, considering that most dentists recommend 4 toothbrush changes a year and with a 400 year decomposition process for each – we have one worldwide toothbrush epidemic. However fear not! There is an easy solution for travellers to keep their pearly whites clean and not damage the planet. The bamboo toothbrush is a renewable eco-friendly alternative. 100% biodegradable, they are a steal, priced at around $3 and allow the owner to compost the handle (over six months) and recycle the bristles. Bin your last plastic toothbrush today in favour of this guilt free alternative.
*Whilst most travellers avoid drinking local water during visits to foreign countries, when it comes to brushing teeth, caution can be forgotten. The rule is, if it’s not safe to drink, it’s not safe to brush your teeth with. Infections are passed on by unclean or contaminated water sources, regardless of how they make their way into your body. If you find yourself in this position, fight the urge to purchase bottled water and instead invest in a reusable, portable water purifier, for years and years of safe teeth cleaning. See Avoiding Travellers Tummy blog for more info.
- ORGANIC BAGS
Learning to say no to plastic can feel awkward, particularly at first, but whilst travelling, language barriers can present an even further challenge. Make things easier on yourself – by simply keeping a canvas or organic-alternative bag with you, it will reduce the temptation to accept a plastic bag to carry around every day items. With a plentiful of plastic bag alternatives on the market, you’ll find that a canvas bag is easily foldable, light, cheap and can surprisingly fit quite a lot in – they’re also less likely to rip open whilst you’re carrying your groceries. As food and beverage packaging accounts for two-thirds of packaging waste across the world, exploring zero waste or fresh food supermarkets can also provide an easy way of accessing unpackaged, plastic-free food products whilst also allowing you to taste the local culinary delights.
*Although sampling foods from around the world is a travellers dream – be sure to take the necessary precautions to avoid the dreaded travellers tummy. Dining out can be a little risky, however purchasing food ingredients such as salads, fruit and vegetables can also be troublesome. Make sure to wash your hands with clean, uncontaminated water before prepping and eating food and for the safest approach, wash your ingredients with a water purification device, such as the LifeSaver Liberty™ before cooking.
- SOLID SOAP, SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER
Rather than lugging around large, heavy bottles of shampoo, worrying about liquid limits or wrapping them in a plastic bag to avoid spillage in your suitcase, shampoo bars are leading the way for sustainable travel. Sustainably sourced, plastic-free and without the threat of leaks, most solid soap, shampoo or conditioners are made from natural ingredients and come in recycled paper, boxes or tins eliminating the need for single-use plastic bags and containers. Available in most US or UK based stores, these eco-friendly alternatives are also concentrated to last longer, on average outlasting two to three bottles of liquid shampoo – saving you time, money and effort whilst on your travels. Oh and they save room in your case too!
* In addition to safe drinking water, good sanitation practices can help protect travellers from waterborne illnesses. Regular hand washing with your solid soap, particularly after going to the toilet or before eating is one of the best ways to remove germs and avoid getting sick. For the ultimate protection travellers should pair up solid soap with purified water from the LifeSaver Liberty™ ensuring safe sanitation across your travels.Back to News