It’s the time of year when many of us are off on our holidays, taking a likely well-needed break from our daily routines to be around family, explore somewhere new, or sit on a beach and do diddly squat for a week. If you’re jetting off to a far flung paradise, renting a cottage with pals in the country, or embarking on a fun getaway of any description, there are ways you can minimise the waste that inevitably accompanies travelling. In this post, I’ll be going over my top tips for just that.
| Go paperless where possible
The digital age has made it more possible than ever to avoid unnecessary paper waste, and I’m here for it. On a recent trip to Manchester, I was able to download my train tickets and simply scan the barcode at the station to get through the barrier. Similarly, there no longer seems to be a need to print out reservation information or other types of tickets, which is great if you’re looking to cut down on printing costs as well as waste. Now that data is free to use in the EU, you can more easily access maps on your phone on the go – no need to print out itineraries or directions, hurray!
In my personal experience, keeping things on my phone wherever possible has helped, but I wanted to caveat this tip by saying it may not be easier for everyone, and some may find paper tickets and printed items more suited to their needs.
| Make a “don’t forget” list before going
How many times have you forgotten an adapter and had to fork out an obscene amount of money for one at the airport? Forgetting something you’ve almost certainly got at home means you have to buy a new one, which likely means you are consuming more plastic and creating unnecessary waste. Sunscreen is another good example of this; as a vegan, I hate being caught out after forgetting to bring my own sun protection, as it means I have to go for whatever brand is available to me which usually don’t meet my ethical requirements.
If you want to avoid eventually drowning in a pile of EU plug adaptors, follow this rule with bells on.
| Bring snacks for the road
Depending on the kind of trip you are going on, you may not have space to pack too many snacks or receptacles. If, however, you do have room, I’d recommend taking a bottle or flask along for water or hot drinks. I kicked myself after not taking my flask away with me on a recent trip to Sweden, as I found that you could refill it at a designated cooler after passing security at Heathrow! Spending nearly £2 on a lukewarm bottle of Evian is one of my least favourite things to do and will never happen again now that I know I can replenish my water supply in a reusable bottle.
Likewise, small snacks are ridiculously priced on planes and trains and unlikely to suit your tastes or dietary requirements. Decanting snacks such as veggies, nuts, homemade sandwiches and the like into tupperwares and taking them along with you works out cheaper and less wasteful in the long run!
| Ditch the travel minis
I know they’re cute. I know they get you all excited about going away. But folks – mini shampoos and their ilk are lining the stomachs of whales and hanging out in landfill for actual centuries. Instead, why not save pots, jars or bottles (LUSH pots are great for this) and decant your existing products into them? This works great for moisturiser, shampoo, conditioner, cleanser, anything, and hugely minimises waste. To avoid bringing loads of different products, I’d recommend slimming down your routine (I use a mix of coconut and almond oil as a cleanser, ditch my night serum, and stick to one toner spray – yes, I normally use a different one in the morning and evening – to simplify and save space).
I hope these quick tips have given you some ideas for how to create less waste while you’re away. Wherever you’re off to, have a great time!