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We aren’t perfect as human beings, and sustainability is one area in particular where we are lacking. That said, I am trying my best to be more conscious about the products I’m using, especially when traveling. In the lead up to The Big Trip I undertook research on sustainable travel products, exploring actions I could take to lessen my impact on the environment during our time away. Below is where I am at so far with sustainable travel products, hopefully a small step in the right direction, and one that I intend to continue upon returning to the UK.
Filter Water Bottle
This was number one on my list during planning as I was adamant that I didn’t want to be buying plastic bottles everyday, not only is this bad for the environment but also quite a dent to the bank account over five months. A filter water bottle has a built in filter to remove an extremely high percentage of bacteria and parasites. There are a handful of well reviewed brands that make these types of bottles and I ended up going round in circles on which one to purchase. In the end an article by The Wandering Quinn sold the LifeStraw Go bottle to me and my decision was finally made. Two months on and I’m extremely happy with my choice, neither CLB or I have been ill from using local water in Southeast Asia so it seems to be working well so far, and as of yet we’ve not had to replace a filter.
Reusable Make-up Remover Pads
Whilst still in the UK I was becoming infuriated with the amount of single use plastic used to wrap products I purchase and was thinking about ways to cut these out. I’m an avid user of make-up remover pads so when I saw an advert on Instagram for reusable ones I was instantly sold on the idea. I spent a couple of hours looking at reviews on the internet from various suppliers and settled on the above by Luxja. With 14 in a pack you don’t have to worry about constantly washing them, and they can be machine washed up to 1000 times! My only grievance with these particular ones was that the came in plastic packaging, hopefully this will change soon.
Bamboo Cutlery Set
Street food is a huge deal in Southeast Asia, so with this in mind I wanted to ensure that I wouldn’t be using plastic cutlery or straws on a frequent basis. It is hard to obtain information on what is (and isn’t) being recycled here, and worst case scenario I don’t want it ended up in the ocean or being burnt. As always, I did a ton of research before coming across this two pack (perfect for us!) which includes a knife, fork, spoon, straw with cleaner, and chop sticks all contained in a handy roll.
Shampoo and Conditioner Bars
I’ve been using shampoo bars for a little while now whilst traveling as they are so much easier to fly with especially if I’m going hand luggage only or have weight restrictions. I purchase mine from Lush and love the Seanik shampoo bar, however I have struggled to find a conditioner bar that agrees with my very fine and knot prone hair. Any recommendations would be greatly received!
As with most of us, plastic bags are most likely the first thing I tried to cut out when the plastic issue became more prevalent in the UK so for a while now I’ve been carrying a canvas tote bag with me most places I go. The Big Trip is no different, my handy tote not only is taken to the grocery store but I also sometimes use it as a handbag in the day or in the evening!
I would say I found this the most difficult thing to change but after a few months I’m very used to my menstrual cup and can recommend it for others too. It does take a cycle or two to get comfortable with but after that it’ll be like you’ve used it for years! Note that there are two sizes, check out mooncup.co.uk for further information, plus they have a massive FAQ section for all your queries. Feel free to drop me a line if you’ve any questions too.
We are told that we are meant to change our toothbrush every three months, and that is a lot of plastic. Bearing in mind there are two of us away for five months on The Big Trip I didn’t fancy putting four plastic toothbrushes into the environment so I’ve made the switch to bamboo and so far so good. I got some bamboo cases for ours too to make sure they stay nice and clean on our travels.
I’m not going to sit and here and pretend I haven’t used a plastic straw, drunk out of a plastic bottle or taken a plastic bag from a supermarket during this trip, but I am hopeful that my impact on the environment has been lessened by putting the above into place.
Next up I’m going to move towards choosing travel companies, airlines and/or accommodation providers that have the right ethos when it comes to sustainability, such as Yellow Zebra Safari’s who have launched a conservation-focused safari in Kenya which sounds right up my street!
Which sustainable travel products and companies do you use? Please do let me know if there is anything else I could be doing that springs to mind, as I love to be educated! For more travel product ideas, visit my Amazon shop.