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10 Ways to Travel Sustainably

  1. Reduce (stop) flying!

Planes secrete a crazy amount of CO2 – a return flight from Sydney to London will release up to 6 tonnes of CO2 per passenger. Globally, flying makes up 2-3% of carbon emissions and if global aviation was a country it would rank in the top 10 carbon emitters. By 2030 it’s predicted that global aviation will emit more carbon than the entire European Union.

Solution: where you can try to bus or train it. (I’m planning on catching a 32hr train from Kotor (Albania) to Munich (Germany)!
I wrote a blog about this and about carbon off-setting on the OceanBee website here.

2. Clothes washing:

Take your own travel soap for washing clothes or make your own laundry powder.

Bulk food shops like ‘The Source Bulk Foods’ sell cleaning products package free! Just take in your own container and fill it up. There’s dishwashing liquid and laundry liquids.
See Bulk Foods here.

OR, make your own! There’s lots of recipes out there for making your own dishwashing powder and laundry powder. Think lemon lemon lemon. Try these for some inspiration:
Biome coconut infused laundry powder:

‘How to’ video here.

3. Take shampoo & conditioner bars:
I love these alternatives to shampoo bottles, not only because they smell delicious, they’re also so easy to travel with! They fit tightly into a steel container and you don’t have to worry about your carry-on liquid limit because they’re not liquids! They’re made from all-natural & vegan ingredients so they’ll leave your hair smelling like a flower garden and you feeling great!

Shampoo bars from Lush

For more sites selling these bars see:
Package Free Shop

Or bulk foods shampoo & conditioner – BYO container and fill up with all-natural, package free conditioner at your local bulk foods store here.

4. BYO take away containers for when eating out & your own keep cup
See Flora and Fauna here or see OceanBee.

Colourful metal straw from OceanBee

5. BYO cutlery and straws

For bamboo cutlery see Biome.
For Keep Cups and straws see OceanBee.

6. Sunscreen:

Use sunscreen that doesn’t damage coral reefs.
1 Million Women made an excellent blog on this subject and I don’t think I could do it justice by paraphrasing, so here it is.

See brands:
Little Urchin Natural Sunscreen (Australian made & owned).
Surf Mud (Australian made & owned zinc).

7. Moon cups

In 1 person’s lifetime they will go through over 11,000 disposable sanitary products, spending almost $24,000. These products end up in landfill, in incineration or in our oceans and on our beaches. Save all that waste with just the 1 cup.

Unfortunately, most of these are US brands so you will pay for shipping, but don’t let that deter you! You’re paying a once off price for something that’s going to last you 5 years! Our favourite sites:
OrganiCup (often have 2 for 1 sales and donate cups to women in developing countries).
Lunette (Australian made & owned).

8. Bamboo toothbrush & hairbrush

We generate an incredible amount of waste just from brushing our teeth – if every person uses 1 plastic toothbrush a year (if not more) we’ve got billions of plastic toothbrushes going straight into landfill. Bamboo toothbrushes are biodegradable. TIP: if the bamboo feels funny in your mouth, soak it in coconut oil before use.

Flora and fauna.

9. Don’t buy everything new for your trip

Gemma happily hiking at Annapurna base camp in Nepal – in her shoes borrowed (from me) and her duck down jacket rented for the hike! + her bamboo hiking pole. She’s the real MVP when it comes to sustainability.

If you’re going for a one-off hike in Nepal or NZ don’t spend $400 on a pair of fresh hiking boots. If you’re going on a diving trip to Borneo, dont splurge all your cash on a flashy new dive outfit. I’ve borrowed my friend Gemma’s money belt on every trip I’ve ever been on (thanks Gem). Chances are one of your friends, or your cousin’s husband’s sister will have somthing you can borrow! The more resources we can share, the less we’re wasting.

You can also rent lots of travel gear e.g. duck down jackets, snorkels and finns, etc.

10. Finally: Take nothing with you but memories and leave nothing behind but footprints.

Gemma at Annapurna base camp, Nepal, super excited about travelling sustainably.

Published by busybeebella

An energetic and enthusiastic young writing passionate about scientific communication.

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