Interested in adopting a plastic-free travel lifestyle? From disposable water bottles to popular toothbrushes, plastic is everywhere and it’s negatively impacting our big, beautiful planet. If you’re wanting to make a change, here are 8 easy ways to ditch plastic whilst wandering the world.
There’s nothing worse than traveling around the world, only to find many places have an abundance of plastic garbage and trash lying around. Personally, I found this plethora of plastic in many poor countries; it was so disheartening.
To see such beautiful places — like Romania and Vietnam — burdened with plastic in the corner of streets and in the ditches of roads was extremely depressing.
Thus, in the past year or so, I’ve made it my mission to reduce my overall plastic usage. Slowly, but surely, making my way towards a full plastic-free travel lifestyle.
I find it so rewarding knowing I’m having a genuine impact on the world and its environment; the oceans, forests, and animals, as well as the cities people live in.
Sometimes working my way towards a plastic-free travel and zero waste lifestyle is as simple as swapping out my toothbrush. Other times, it’s a bit more difficult. Like scouring the internet for places which provide fruits and veggies not wrapped in plastic (which I have yet to nail down! Sorry, earth 😞).
So, whether you’re just looking to be more of a sustainable traveler and do what you can for the earth, or if you’re wanting to move towards a complete zero waste lifestyle, I’ve got just the list for you.
Table of Contents
- 1 Plastic-free Travel: 8 Easy Ways to Ditch the Plastic Whilst Wandering:
- 1.1 1. Skip on the shampoo and conditioner bottles.
- 1.2 2. Swap out your toothbrush.
- 1.3 3. Fall in love with reusable water bottles.
- 1.4 4. Pass on the airplane extras.
- 1.5 5. Throw out that plastic razor.
- 1.6 6. Rock on with reusables.
- 1.7 7. Say no to those ugly plastic hotel amenities.
- 1.8 8. Eat real food.
Plastic-free Travel: 8 Easy Ways to Ditch the Plastic Whilst Wandering:
1. Skip on the shampoo and conditioner bottles.
Now hold up… I’m not telling you to not wash your hair! I’m telling you to ditch the plastic bottles and switch to something better for your hair and better for the earth… the magical shampoo bar!
Ever heard of it? It’s a bit strange but it’s absolutely awesome. Shampoo bars typically do what a good liquid shampoo does — essentially leaving you with body and shine, without drying the hair out or adding too much build up.
But that’s not all… shampoo bars are:
- SUPER easy to travel with — they do not count as a liquid (yay! more space in your bag!).
- Better for your hair — they don’t include some of the icky additives used in commercial shampoos, like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate.
- Since they don’t dry out your hair or strip it of the natural oils, a conditioner isn’t needed.
- You can buy them either on their own, without packaging (like in Lush), or they come in sustainable packaging.
- Eco-friendly (yay for no plastic!).
- Typically last a good, long while.
- Usually more lightweight than a big ol’ bottle of shampoo.
If you’re searching for a good shampoo bar to try out, check out this one! With a reliable shampoo bar, taking the steps towards reducing your plastic usage while traveling isn’t hard.
2. Swap out your toothbrush.
As mentioned before, one easy way to reduce your plastic usage and do better for our planet is to ditch that plastic toothbrush. Instead of going with the popular models in stores like Wal-Mart and Tesco, buy a bamboo toothbrush. Bamboo toothbrushes are fantastic for the earth, as they are:
- Usually sustainably sourced.
- All natural bamboo.
- Made out of biodegradable material.
- Typically come in compostable packaging (aka plastic-free! Woohoo).
- Full-out eco-friendly.
There’s nothing better than brushing your teeth with something that’s effectively cleaning your pearly whites and doing good for our beautiful earth!
You can find the bamboo toothbrush I personally use here.
Psst… hey you! Yeah, you. Are you thinking of traveling without proper insurance? Think again, pal! You never know what could happen when on the road. That’s why I always recommend World Nomads Travel Insurance!
3. Fall in love with reusable water bottles.
GUYS! It’s time.
It’s time to fully ditch the one-use plastic water bottles and switch to a reusable water bottle — preferably one made out of stainless-steel or recyclable material. In other words, not a reusable water bottle made out of plastic (because, hey, we’re focusing on plastic-free travel, right?!).
Additionally, if you aren’t able to drink the tap water in a particular location (like in Southeast Asia), consider getting a filtering water bottle like this one (which is plastic, but should reduce your plastic bottle usage). You can use it over and over again, without going through a number of single-use plastic water bottles you buy at the convenience stores like 7-Eleven!
You Might Like These Reusable Water Bottles…
4. Pass on the airplane extras.
If you’re traveling on a plane, pass on the optional extras like that cup of soda or the plastic-wrapped meal. Bring your own instead! Take your reusable water bottle, fill it before boarding the plane, and pack a few reusable containers loaded with healthy snacks.
My favorite plane snacks are things like nuts, seeds, fruits which won’t crush (bananas tend to be a no-go), and homemade vegan granola bars.
Even better? You can bring a reusable cup — like this one — and ask the wonderful flight attendants to fill it up with your complimentary drink of choice!
P.S. Also avoid using the straws! Both on the airplane and in your everyday life.
P.P.S. If you like this post, check this one out next on 20 ways to be a better green traveler!
5. Throw out that plastic razor.
As a woman, I know I go through tons of plastic razors (or plastic razor heads) every year. Even though I don’t shave my legs or body that often, I still manage to go through a couple packs or so.
Thus, I’ve taken the initiative to make my way towards 100% plastic-free travel by swapping out that harmful plastic razor for an environmentally-friendly stainless-steel razor. And no joke, this thing is absolutely amazing!
The shave is so smooth, the butterfly blades are super simple to remove and swap out, and the stainless-steel material is so durable (I may have dropped it a few too many times).
6. Rock on with reusables.
Similar to passing on the airplane food whilst traveling, you can pass on those plastic utensils and water bottles on tours, bus trips, trains, and more.
Here’s a quick and dirty list you can use to say buh-bye to those unfriendly plastics and rock on with reusables:
- Reusable utensils: Yes! There are such things as reusable utensils and they’re awesome. Instead of opening a package of plastic utensils wrapped in plastic, you can open a beautiful bundle of wooden chopsticks, a spoon, fork, and knife. (Although, if you’re traveling by air, your knife will definitely get confiscated and maybe your fork, too.)
- Reusable bag: This is a must-have for traveling around markets with. When you find a bundle of fruit and veggies you love, just stick ’em all in a handy reusable bag to carry them in. No need for plastic bags that a turtle or fish might eat! Additionally, bring small reusable bags for small items like limes, lemons, dates, etc. TIP: When purchasing reusable bags, go for the biodegradable cotton, not polyester.
- Reusable cup: As mentioned above, you can carry around a small, stainless-steel reusable cup to drink out of. If you’re traveling by train or plane, you can ask the nice attendants if they’d fill it up, rather than filling up a plastic cup. Additionally, having a reusable cup is super handy when camping! It’s perfect for a delicious, energizing cup of joe.
- Reusable, filtering water bottle: Always good to hold on to when traveling somewhere you can’t drink the local water.
Hey! Liking this post? Read this one next on the one essential item I never travel without as a female!
7. Say no to those ugly plastic hotel amenities.
If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel, you’ve most definitely seen the plastic shampoo, conditioner, soap bar, and other miscellaneous items wrapped in plastic sitting next to the sink. The key to avoiding needing to use these is planning ahead and making use of your reusables you’ve packed!
Additionally, make sure to not touch these plastic-wrapped items. Or else the maids might be under the impression you’ve used them, which in that case, they’ll throw them out.
8. Eat real food.
I think we can all agree that the plastic-wrapped pre-packaged food found in convenient stores and gas stations isn’t good for your body… and it isn’t good for the earth either! So, pass on the chips, Little Debbie’s, and granola bars.
Implement a plastic-free travel lifestyle by eating real food like fruit, veggies, and nuts while traveling.
When you opt for something like a banana, you know the its packaging (aka the banana peel!) is completely biodegradable. Thus, the earth is happy and so is your body!
As far as plastic-free and zero waste traveling goes, it’s not as hard as you think. Although there’s plastic damn near everywhere these days, all it takes is a little planning ahead and time investment. But no doubt, the earth will thank you!
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