Nowadays, anything that is healthy, environmentally friendly, and natural has become fashionable. This trend is not bad at all, on the contrary, because we are becoming more aware of our decisions. In order to minimize the damage we cause on earth, we are constantly trying to integrate new sustainable alternatives into our everyday lives. But what if it’s time to travel? Have you ever thought about what you are leaving behind and how it affects nature? According to statistics, tourism is responsible for 8% of the world’s pollution. Have we aroused your interest and do you want to find out more about the new Zero Waste ’trend when traveling? Then read our tips for a waste-free vacation!
Pack cleverly – Zero Waste Travel accessories
Take your own drinking bottle with you – regardless of whether it is a stainless steel or glass bottle with a swing top. Okay, that’s not special – more and more people are getting used to having their own water bottle with them. In countries where water is easily available and also safe to drink, you shouldn’t have a problem refilling your bottle. This could be done just about anywhere – in the morning at the hotel before you go, on the toilet in any café or restaurant, etc. If you are traveling with a group or friends, you could also remind each other to fill up their bottles.
But what do you do in countries where tap water is not potable? We have a few ideas for you to keep you zero waste there too. Every hotel or restaurant has drinking water for the restaurant and with the help of photos, or better still – an online translator, you could offer people some money to refill your bottle. But if you find this too annoying and time-consuming, you could simply buy a water bottle with an integrated water filter. Another option would be the water purification tablets, which are inexpensive and fairly easy to find. Just add the tablet to your water and you’ll have clean water half an hour later! A vacuum flask might come in handy for those of you who like to drink tea or coffee. Before you leave breakfast in the hotel, you could fill up your bottle and so you will be able to enjoy the warm coffee all day long while still remaining zero waste.
The basic Zero Waste equipment naturally also includes reusable cutlery. Okay, most hotels and restaurants use stainless steel cutlery, but what about the planes or all the fast food chains? With such a cutlery set, you could enjoy your takeaway meal without creating unnecessary waste.
Do you like to go shopping, but want to avoid the use of plastic bags that are used to wrap food or gifts? Then you definitely need a reusable shopping bag and mesh bag for your zero waste trip. The latter are ideal for shopping for snacks, fruits and vegetables. These bags are light, practical and can be found in almost every supermarket. Some of them even have very nice designs and look really great!
Zero waste travel and hygiene
Regardless of whether it is shampoo or soap – it is best to buy the products in solid form. These are space-saving, weigh little, smell good and can be found either with very little or completely without packaging. Hand soap is also great for washing almost anything.
We recommend the bamboo toothbrushes for brushing your teeth. In contrast to the plastic variant, which remains in the landfill for a few centuries, bamboo is completely biodegradable. And if you want to travel completely zero waste, pack a packet of soda powder in your luggage – you can brush your teeth with this all-rounder.
And now something just for women – the menstrual cup! Dear ladies, this is a great invention – no more disposable tampons or sanitary towels! The menstrual cups are perfect for a zero-waste trip as they can be washed out at any time and easily reused.
Zero waste travel planning
Before you leave, you can start avoiding paper waste. More and more airlines are offering the option of checking in online and saving the online ticket on your smartphone. Do not protect your suitcase with the plastic film from the airport – as it is thrown away immediately after you reach your destination, it is a huge and unnecessary waste. If you want to travel zero waste, you could either make a protective cover for your suitcase yourself or buy one.
Plane eating isn’t your thing? If you want to save some money and travel garbage-free, take your own snacks with you on the plane. To do this, you need either a foldable super jar or a stainless steel jar in which the food can be taken on board.
Zero waste during your vacation
Fortunately, the range of organic and sustainable hotels and resorts is growing. Find environmentally friendly accommodation such as hostels, sustainable hotels or hostels, or look for a private home via platforms such as airbnb.com. On the website bookitgreen.com, all accommodations are qualified in great detail according to recycling quotas, waste avoidance and other important factors for your zero waste trip.
Unfortunately, ToGo-Food creates massive amounts of plastic waste. One of the greatest joys while on vacation is sampling the local specialties. So choose a couple of cute restaurants and enjoy your meal! Best of all, you don’t even have to pack anything to save garbage that way.
Don’t buy cheesy and unnecessary souvenirs, most of them are made in another country and will end up in a drawer after just a few weeks. Or if you want to give someone something as a gift – go shopping in the local handicraft shops. It is better to spend your money on experiences, because experiences make us happy.
A walk on the beach, a morning jog or simply inquiring about the location? If you want to travel zero waste, you can help protect the environment with these sporting activities. Zero emissions and staying fit at the same time – that sounds great, but unfortunately it is not always possible. If so – use public transport to reduce your carbon footprint.
And last but not least, we recommend you to live with this philosophy:
“Leave only footprints, only take memories.”