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February 07, 2020
Lots of us are making more sustainable and eco-friendly choices nowadays. Whether it’s living a life less plastic, cycling to work instead of driving, or switching to a more plant-based diet, there are plenty of ways in which we can reduce our impact on the planet.
Often habits like these are easy to maintain whilst we’re in a familiar environment, but get lost when we’re travelling and adventuring. It is the unfortunate truth that convenience frequently triumphs over sustainability when we’re on the move.
There’s no denying that air travel has a huge carbon footprint, but it’s more than just the method of travel that can negatively impact the environment. Facilitating large scale tourism often goes hand in hand with the convenience of single-use items, like the plastic straws in our poolside coconuts or the plastic-wrapped on-the-go snacks we buy at the airport. Travelling can be pretty unsustainable.
So how do we mitigate the damage caused by travel? We could go on holiday less...or not at all. However, travel opens the mind and heart offering so much potential for self-development and understanding about the world. What’s more, sustainable tourism can be hugely beneficial for the environment and local communities, as well as having economic advantages. For example, more than 660,000 Australians depend on tourism for their livelihoods.
How can we lower our impact, whilst still being able to go on holiday? Well, we can start by travelling more sustainably and respectfully, which includes choosing different methods of travel, offsetting our travel emissions, and being more mindful of our habits. What we pack in our suitcase is also hugely helpful to reduce our footprint.
Therefore, here are our eco-friendly holiday packing essentials to make your travel more sustainable:
Did you know that clothing is the second-largest industrial polluter? It contributes to 10% of the world’s carbon emissions! Until recently the majority of clothing brands use synthetic polymers, made from virgin plastic, which is non-renewable and often ends up in landfill after only one use. This includes swimwear! Luckily, there are more sustainable options available.
Whether you’re planning on going diving, snorkelling, water rafting, surfing, swimming, or even just chilling by the pool, Ningaloo Swimwear has something suitable. Made locally in Australia, the brand takes inspiration from the nearby Ningaloo Reef and uses Repreve fabric - made from recycled plastic bottles - to create their eco-friendly collection.
One of the BEST things about travelling is trying the foods and drinks of the region. Nevertheless, we’ve all experienced times where we want to buy a succulent roadside dumpling but the vendor goes to wrap it in plastic and then hands you a plastic fork… Packing a set of reusable and sustainable utensils to take travelling with you can help reduce your need for single-use cutlery, straws and takeaway packaging, etc.
Flora and Fauna is an Australian-based store that sells a fantastic eco-friendly collection of reusable cutlery, straws and Tupperware.
Protect your skin whilst on holiday and help save the coral reefs at the same time by packing a reef-safe sunscreen. Whilst regular sunscreens use chemicals that damage the marine environment, SunButter Sunscreen only uses eco-friendly natural ingredients and still provides broadspectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. What’s more, our sunscreen is water-resistant, vegan, cruelty-free, sustainable and comes in plastic-free packaging!
Find out more about how SunButter Sunscreen is reef-safe.
Travelling is thirsty work and, whilst shops all over the world sell water, it goes without saying that plastic bottles are not eco-friendly. Therefore, packing a reusable water bottle is pretty essential if you want to be a sustainable traveller!
Stainless steel bottles are a popular choice and often have a lifetime warranty. These Cheeki water bottles stay insulated for 24 hours cold and 12 hours hot, are BPA-, toxin- and lead-free, and are delivered in minimal, plastic-free, recyclable packaging. Oh, and they even sell coffee mugs (keep cups) too!
So, you’ve packed your stainless steel water bottle, but in many places around the world the drinking water isn’t safe to refill it! Well, we have a solution that’s worked wonders in Indonesia, Kenya, Tonga and Palau. This UV light wand kills bacteria, virus and protozoa, say hello to the SteriPEN.
These pens are lightweight, rechargeable by USB cable and worth their weight in gold when it comes to creating drinking water from tap water and reducing bottled water consumption.
Adding check-in luggage to a flight is so expensive nowadays, so it’s common to travel with just hand luggage. But that means taking all your toiletries through security and it can be such a hassle! Plus, packing big bottles of all your favourite cosmetics can be super heavy to carry around.
You could just use the hotel toiletries but, as Green Getaways have pointed out, this is an environmental problem in itself! That’s why it’s much more sustainable to bring your own and there are now plenty of eco-friendly options available.
Companies such as Beauty and the Bees make a lot of their products in solid form, which makes them easier to transport, whilst also removing the need for plastic packaging.
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