We all know that travelling is not the most enviromentally friendly activity, and in 2019, thats a big deal. Flights, buses, taxis and trains, they all contribute to global warming. With the current state of our enviroment this might cause a feeling of guilt or worry.
There are things we can do, even with this not so eco habit of ours that help to minimise the impact that humans have on our planet, here is a few things that I do both when on the road and at home to live a more enviromentally friendly lifestyle.
Bars > Gels and Liquids
Traditional shampoo, conditioner and facewash often comes in liquid form, in bottles. Along with deodrant in can or liquid roll on, or shower gels. These bottles contribute to a lot of waste.
All of these items can be purchased in bar form, it is a change I have recently made in the past few months and I have not looked back.
They last what seems like forever, and I mean forever, definitly compared to how a bottle of shampoo can only last me for one month. My shampoo and conditioner comes from Lush, along with my deodrant, and face wash. These bars are priced at £7-8 a bar and are expected to last from around 80-100 washes, which I could only dream of getting out of the old bottles I used to use, for pretty much the same price.
Another benefit of using these items is that they are definitly more travel friendly, they weigh less, take up less space and theres no risk of a sticky liquid leaking out into your bag, it can also be taken in your carry on, as you're not having to stick to the 100ml limit.
I went for Lush products, because although I love buying local, I worry a lot over changing the things I use on my skin and hair. As Lush is a global brand, I thought trying out some of their products was a safe bet as I will be able to repurchase in many locations throught the world, plus, they're Vegan. Lush do a huge range of packaging free items, which you can buy tins to store them in and refil once they run out. I use the Jumping Juniper shampoo bar, Big conditioner bar, Aromaco deodorant bar and Movis face wash, these are what was sugested for me and I find that they work super well. The staff in Lush are insanely helpful, they asked me questions about my skin and hair and selected a few items to help me pick from, explaining the benefits of each one, so just asking them for help will get you a long way, especially if using solid products is new to you.
As for soap, I like to change it up as I go, its not as escential to have one that counteracts things like spots or greasy hair when its going under your armpits and over your legs. I go for whatever I like the smell, look and feel of on that occasion, something normally that leaves me feeling fresh and moisturised.
Scrap The Make-up Remover
Okay hear me out.
I'm not saying to not remove your makeup, I would never do that, not washing your makeup off is gross and I wouldn't even dream of sleeping with it still on for even one night. Its making me shudder just thinking about it.
If you think about it, using traditional liquid remover on a cotton pad or makeup wipes contributes to waste and landfil on every single occasion that you remove your makeup. The remover comes in a, usually plastic bottle and the pads in plastic wrapping, along with the wipes.
My makeup removed ran out a good 6 months ago, or more, I had been using reuseable pads. Cotton disks that when dirty, you just put in the washing machine with the rest of your clothes and towels and washed like normal. Inspired by the magic makeup remover cloths being talked about, I thought to myself, "why buy another bottle of remover? I can just use water on these" and that is what I have done since, I just use those cotton disks, or a standard flannel, soaked in warm water, to remove my makeup, then wash my face with the bar and there we go.
I have not had any breakouts bigger or more frequent than usual, so I feel like actually washing my face properly after is enough to clean my skin.
It could be worth noting that I do not wear a huge amount of makeup, I highlight my high points, add a bit of Two Faced Chocolate bronzer to contor and give a bit more colour and depth and finish it off with some mascara. This means I have not tried this method with foundation, eyeliner or any waterproof makeup as quite frankly, I do not own any to do this with.
If more makeup is harder to budge with a cloth and some water then I have heard and read wonders about the MakeUp Eraser and a few other products to remove makeup with just water, such as the Face Halo. Both of these are wet with water and when dirty, washed in a washing machine.
For All You girls
Mensturation is when of the extremely annoying things about being female. I hate it, you probably hate it, along with almost every female out there. Traditionally sanitary items have included pads and tampons, which, some more than others, go through at an alarming rate. Its expensive, its wastefull, and although small, its just another thing to have to carry around.
I first heard of Mooncups from a family friend, when I was way too young for it to not go straight over my head, and when we didn't know the harm that all our waste was causing to our planet. Recently they have been surging in popularity, primarily due to the fact they are multiuse. You can use them at all stages of your period, from your lightest to your heaviest days. Admitedly yes, they take some getting used to, but not more so than tampons, which probably felt a bit odd when you first started using them.
From boots these cost £21.99 and come in two different sizes, the smallest being designed for under 30's who have not given birth, and the larger for over 30's and those who have given birth. This is not a rediculous price in my opinion, and with how long they are meant to last for, would actually work out cheaper that more traditional options, all you have to do is make sure its clean before each use.
One of the big factors for investing in a Mooncup for me is the uncertainty of availablity and cost of santitary items in more remote locations. Now I've bought it, I wont have to think about that cost any more. (Unless I unfortunately loose or damage it, not that I'm planning to)
All Those Chemicals? Really?
The reefs are dying due to global warming and being bleached. Some sunscreens have chemicals in them that contribute to this. So badly so that some countries and states, including Hawaii and Florida, are looking to ban the sale of products containing these. If you're going in the sea look out for sunscreens that are reef friendly. According to studies oxybenzone and octinoxate are big culpurates. These are toxic chemicals found in sunscreens that are damaging our ocean, there are more and more reef friendly sunscreens poping up, but if you're unsure if what you're buying is okay, check the back of the sunscreen for ingrediants. A sunscreen may be reef friendly without advertising that it is. For a further explaination including more things to watch for click here.
I currently use a nivea sunscreen that is reef friendly, along with Garnier and Boots Soltan, in their European products at least, they do not include chemicals that are harmful to our ocean life. We all know that ingredients can change depending upon which part of the world you are in, so its good practice to still double check lables.
I am looking at finding another reef safe sunscreen to use, that is, preferably, packaging free for when this one runs out. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!
Say No To Unnecissary Waste
Buy a reusable water bottle, they don't cost much, are more substantial and usually bigger than disposables. You can also buy bottles with water filters inbuilt for when travelling to countries where clean tap water may not be available, or when on hikes and you need extra water, you can scoop up some from a river that will clean it out to make it safe for you. You can worry less about a store to buy water from, how much this will cost and having to carry around as much. That can't not be a positive.
Reuse zip lock bags instead of throwing them out. This also goes with plastic bags you may accumulate. You can now buy silicone zip lock bags, but a handful of the regular ones, although not as robust, can still be washed out and reused, at a lower cost than
I have in the past travelled with small reuseable plastic tubs that I purchased from kmart. I have used these to store lunches I have made to take out during the day. Leftovers for tomorrows snack and other little bits and peices. When on the move I used these to store other things in, like squeezing in dry foods, tshirts or shorts. Just for effective use of space.
Ask for your mixed drink without a straw, unless you need one for disability purposes, its just waste that doesn't need to be there. Yes, this included paper straws. They still need to be manufactured and transported and although will biodegrade better than plastic ones, they still take time to, and may not when put in a plastic bag to be thrown out, as once cardboard and paper is wet, it cannot be recycled.
There are so many small things that we can do that massively add up to help protect our enviroment, so that we can continue enjoying it.
If you have any more of your own sugestions that you do whilst travelling, let us know. The more we can do, the better!