Minimizing Single-Use Plastic on the Road
Did you know that each year, about 8 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean?
Let that sink in for a moment…or better yet – don’t.
8 MILLION TONS OF PLASTIC.
Horrifying right? What’s even scarier is the fact that we humans are directly responsible for it. Sometimes even unknowingly. We often don’t even realize how our daily habits can affect the environment.
Well, the good news is that there’s plenty of stuff we can do to lead a more sustainable and eco-friendly life – even while traveling.
So, bring out that Tupperware and let’s go for a ride! (By bike of course!)
Use a refillable water bottle and water filters
The first rule of traveling? Always have a water bottle nearby! Keeping well-hydrated is essential, especially when you’re always on the move.
So, what do you think, how many plastic water bottles do you go through on a single vacation?
We’re guessing a lot.
The best way to counter this is to invest in a good, quality refillable water bottle. Not only are these bottles eco-friendly, but they’re also super practical and more hygienic as well!
Refillable water bottles come in all shapes and sizes and there are even some amazing collapsable ones that you can easily fit in your pack. Not to mention that there are numerous designs and colors available, so you can be sustainable and fashionable at the same time!
If you’re adamant about not making that purchase, you can opt for a water filter instead! There are plenty of countries around the world where it’s unsafe to drink tap water, so instead of spending your money on plastic water bottles, why not invest in a smart travel water filter?
For double points, opt for a refillable water bottle WITH a water filter – yup, those exist too!
Opt for reusable toiletry bottles
Flying to your next destination? Get ready for those pesky TSA guidelines and the ever-bothersome liquid limit.
While we can’t give you advice on how to avoid TSA checkpoints and excruciatingly long lines, we can definitely offer a more suitable solution for packing your toiletries.
Most people opt for cheap, single-use toiletry bottles that’ll end up in the garbage after one use. Get one step ahead with reusable toiletry bottles!
These bottles are eco-friendly, super affordable and generally much more durable than regular cheap ones. They can also have some other handy features like lanyards, no-drip valves, and good closing mechanisms. Not only can you save the planet, but you can also save your luggage from unwanted spills and messes in the process.
Tupperware instead of plastic containers
“But Tupperware is plastic too!”
You’re right – Tupperware is plastic, but it’s durable, easy-to-use and most importantly – reusable plastic. This means that the next time you start planning your hiking trip or a short weekend getaway, try storing your food in these convenient boxes. They’re the best option for storing food while camping, barbecuing or simply strolling around.
The best thing about Tupperware is that it keeps your food fresh longer, so you can always store some healthy snacks and munch them on the go. This is also a good solution for when you’re at home, school or work!
Don’t forget your canvas bag
In the last couple of years, more and more countries around the world have discontinued the use of plastic bags. This means that, depending on where you’re traveling, you might not be able to get a plastic bag to carry your groceries in or, even worse – you’ll have to pay for it.
To make things easier for yourself, simply bring a canvas bag with yourself wherever you go. These bags can be quite stylish as well, so you don’t have to worry about looking like a granny on the farmers market.
The best thing? Some of these reusable bags can be folded and packed to the size of a wallet, so you’ll have no trouble finding space for them in your pack.
We don’t know about you guys, but whenever we use plastic cutlery to eat food, we get the feeling like we’re eating plastic itself. And that’s plain wrong, nobody should disrespect food like that.
If you’re a camper, explorer or just a very enthusiastic foody, chances are that you already own a set of travel utensils.
They usually come in small portable containers which feature a small knife, spoon, fork and sometimes even chopsticks. The containers are so minute that you won’t even notice they’re there, but they’ll make a huge difference to the environment!
The cutlery is also quite handy for camping trips, long vacations, hiking expeditions, and even just day to day use.
Buy food at farmers’ markets
There are plenty of reasons why farmers markets are a better choice for buying produce than supermarkets, but today our focus is on minimizing single-use plastics.
You might have noticed that many supermarkets tend to use a whole lot of plastic to store and pack their foods, whereas on farmers markets you are invited to choose from a variety of fresh, unwrapped, unprocessed produce. Simply take out your funky canvas bag, choose what you need and be on your merry way!
Don’t forget that local markets are the body and soul of most countries, so you’ll be able to experience authentic culture and minimize plastic waste! Win-win!
Say NO to plastic
Another way to minimize single-use plastic is to spread awareness! This doesn’t mean that you need to start organizing protests and writing lengthy blog posts about the harmful effects of plastic (although you can totally do that if you want!)
Raising awareness can also be something small like refusing a plastic bag or telling the waitress that you don’t want the plastic straw. It can be a small act like bringing your own container to a street food festival and eating local dishes with your own reusable cutlery.
You don’t need to preach and shout for your voice to be heard. Rather set an example and people will follow.
Pick up after yourself
Lastly, leave nature as you found it, or better yet – better than you found it.
Wherever you go, leave no breadcrumb trail or any trail whatsoever. If you’re hiking or strolling around the beach and there are no available garbage cans, carry it with you for a bit longer. It might seem insignificant, but it really isn’t.
Also, when you’re at it, why not pick up other garbage you find along the way? Although you probably haven’t imagined spending your vacation picking up garbage, it’ll definitely make your holiday more meaningful.
The Earth will thank you.