Thinking zero waste while traveling can be a bit overwhelming but, there is no need to fret. Transitioning your travel into zero waste is simple if you replace a few basic items. Technology also plays a huge role in helping to keep that zero waste mentality while traveling. You may not be able to keep your trip one hundred percent zero waste but, you can do your best to move into that direction.
Bringing these two devices can save time, money and, create less waste. Use you iPhone to download your plane ticket and, eliminate the unnecessary paper plane ticket. Download the bulk locator app to your phone to track where bulk foods stores will be in the area you are traveling to. On your tablet, you can upload books, magazines and, movies. This not only saves you time on the airplane or in the car it, also, gives you variety while reading or, searching for a movie.
Packing your own food on an airplane or, car ride saves a lot of plastic. Make sure to have reusable canvas bags or, reusable sandwich bags; they can be found on sites such as Etsy. You can ensure all of the food that is made by you will get eaten. However, the food on the plane may be left and, just thrown away.
Always bring an extra bag with you that you can reuse if you go to the market or, grocery store. It can also, be the same bag you use to store your food on the plane or, in the car. In California, you have to pay extra to actually get your groceries bagged and, who wants to contribute to more plastic being thrown away so, save yourself and bring a bag with you. Recently, I traveled to Arizona and I brought a few reusable napkins with me on the plane. The napkins not only came in handy for the messy peanut butter and, jelly that was smeared on my face but, it also, saved me from using a napkin that was just going to get tossed in the trash. I never go anywhere without my water bottle and, neither should you. Avoid plastic water bottles and opt for your reusable water bottle that you can fill up at a water fountain or, on the plane.
If you are a true die-hard zero waster you will make all of the body products you use. However, if you are not quite at the, “ I am going to make everything myself stage,” it’s okay, there are a few things that you should probably switch out. Bamboo toothbrushes are all the rage in the zero waste community, they work well and are biodegradable not to mention, they are lightweight. Razors can really shake up your travel plans if you forget one. Avoid going out to the store and, buying a disposable razor instead, try a stainless steel razor. Never buy a new razor again, all you need for the stainless steal razors are blades; the blades are reusable as well as, recyclable. 2-in-1 shampoo and, conditioner is essential for travel because be honest, no one really wants to have to deal with two bottles. John Masters makes a great 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner that is vegan, not tested on animals and, made from PET (1) plastic which, is the best to recycle. Toothpaste is a bit tricky, I know there are some of you who are going to want to stick to your brand but, there are better zero waste options. Bear’s Beauty Hemp makes a great remineralizing toothpaste that will make your pearly whites sparkle. Her packaging can be reused when you want to take a stab at making your own toothpaste. I have researched and, researched a zero waste brush for the hair and, have yet to find one. I recommend getting a small wooden travel hair brush that does not contain any plastic. The easiest way to have body wash is to buy Castile soap in bulk and, bring a little travel container with you. Coconut oil can be used as sunscreen and, lotion which, eliminates the need for more than one container. Go to your local bulk shop or, buy coconut oil in bulk and, put some in a mason jar or, reusable container to bring with you.
Traveling zero waste shouldn’t be difficult and, once you get used to the zero waste lifestyle these items will become second nature to you. The sole purpose of moving toward zero waste while traveling is to help the environment. I’ve recently read a few articles saying by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. If we keep a conscious mind and, help others transition into a zero waste friendly lifestyle we may be able to prevent the wide spread of plastic being used.