Travelling light: Easy Eco Friendly decisions for Sustainable Travel

Sustainable Travel

Travel is unfortunately one of the greatest contributors to global pollution.  There are many little steps we can take to reduce our impact when we want to expand our horizons. We’ve put together some of our top tips to help you reduce your individual impact before you set off on your next adventure. 

Your Washbag 

The washbag is the best and easiest place to start. There are two options, going out, purchasing smaller travel sized products or using what we already have and decanting into smaller bottles. A lot of drugstores and supermarkets sell the right sized bottles in a plastic see through case. If you’ve got products to use up, then choose to decant. If you can find leak proof bottles made of other materials than plastic and can be reused multiple times, this is the best option. If it’s time to repurchase toiletries, opt for the solid versions to remove the risk of spillage trauma, reduce packaging waste and minimise your time spent at airport customs.  

Hotel Toiletries 

On the subject of toiletries, the best trick is to avoid the hotel freebies. Although they look great, smell amazing and are often very luxurious, they contribute to generating more plastic waste.  Once opened, the hotel has to replace and dispose of the barely used miniature shampoo and conditioner bottles. The carbon footprint doesn’t start here, greenhouse gases are emitted during the manufacturing process and the distribution supply chain, these products are often transported hundreds of miles before reaching the distributor who supplies them to the hotel.  

Your Holiday Wardrobe 

The environment continues to fight against fast fashion. The demand for low priced clothing feeds the purchase of low quality non degradable materials that don’t last and end up in landfill.
If it’s essential to buy new clothes, it’s always worth investing a little more into sustainable materials that will last you longer. Swimwear and activewear brand Ruby Moon deserves a mention. This all female team has created a range of versatile gym to swim wear for women. Ruby Moon showcases how it’s possible to repurpose waste to create ethical and sustainable quality swimwear. Used and discarded fishing nets are used to form the regenerated nylon yarn that creates swimwear resistant to chlorine, salt, sun and sea water. The circular economy is at the heart of their brand, even repurposing used swimwear and other stretch fabrics.  All done ethically & sustainably in the UK and Spain! 

Rucksacks

If it’s time to upgrade your luggage, swapping the chunky suitcase for a backpack can save you money both on the purchase choice and transport costs at your destination. Reducing excess luggage is a big advantage for sustainable travel, making public transport more accessible and reducing the detrimental effects of car fumes with fewer taxi rides.  
With a continual rise in consumers wanting better quality products with environmentally friendly credentials, the market is huge for travel bags. Choosing a brand that designs and creates high quality, durable bags will minimise the quantity of material heading to landfill.  Look for a brand with a quality guarantee and consider what materials they’re constructed of. The size and fit of your pack (your torso length, harness shape, weight distribution) is an integral part of ensuring performance and comfort. Osprey has a vast selection of durable backpacks with a range of sizes for men and women and offer spare parts and fabric repairs.

Aeroplanes are unlikely to recycle 

On average, air passengers generate 1.4 kg of waste each flight. The nature of waste collection on aeroplanes, where staff work in a confined space and have tight turnaround times between flights means most waste is mixed, emptying organic and plastic waste into the same waste bags which heads for landfill. If you are travelling by plane, you can reduce landfill waste by opting to travel with a reusable water bottle and take your rubbish with you when disembarking to dispose of it responsibly.  

The Commercial Laundrette 

When travelling light you might not be carrying as many changes of clothes, therefore you’ll want to wash your clothes during a trip. It’s actually more economical for you to wash your items in the bath or sink of your hotel than at a commercial laundrette. The volume of water used and the detergents on offer both have higher polluting rates than what you could achieve in your own room. If you rent a private apartment or have access to a private washing machine, this is a much better option. 

Souvenirs 

It’s important to consciously purchase when adventuring abroad or during your staycation. Is that gift an essential for a friend or can they live without it? The advancements in technology over the last few decades have been extraordinary and now we have easy access to communicating with anyone we want from anywhere. This was the original purpose of postcards and souvenirs, to keep in touch and share our adventures with loved ones. Now we can do that instantly and even live from different locations.