Sustainable Traveler: What to Pack for Your Next Adventurejessie tan
Is it possible to be a sustainable traveler? Yes! You can enjoy the excitement of exploration and the beauty of the world while making environmentally friendly choices. All you need to do is to plan your travel itinerary and the items that you will need.
Aside from your travel documents, pocket money, and gadgets, here’s a list of what to pack for your next adventure as a sustainable traveler.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but the key to becoming a sustainable traveler is to pack the clothes that you already have. After all, sustainability also means being a responsible or conscious consumer.
You don’t need to buy a whole new set of outfits for your next trip. Get creative with what you have. There might also be unused new clothing hiding in your closet, so it’s time to take that out.
If you need special clothing or gear such as those for hiking or cold climates, consider reaching out to family and friends to borrow. Alternatively, you can also buy second hand.
Handkerchief or Face Towel
When you need to wipe off dirt or sweat, use your handkerchief or face towel instead of tissue. These absorb fluids better and stay intact, unlike single-use tissues.
When you get back to your hotel room, simply hand wash them then leave them to dry overnight. Handkerchiefs are thin, so they can easily dry. You’ll be ready to go with a clean one the next day. As for face towels, there are eco-friendly ones that are quick-dry.
Save your wipes or toilet paper for emergency bathroom trips when you’re out of the hotel and in the absence of water supply.
Reusable Water Bottle
Pack a reusable water bottle, and take it to the airport empty. You can easily refill it there before you take off. When you get to your destination, just ask your hotel for a refill before you head out. Restaurants can also refill your bottle for free. This way, not only do you stay hydrated, but you also save money on water and cut down on single-use water bottles.
Reusable water bottles come in different materials such as glass, BPA-free plastic, and stainless steel. Some are designed to have insulation features that can keep your drink hot or cold for a very long time.
There are also self-cleaning reusable water bottles that come with filters and UV-C that kill bacteria, viruses, and parasites to ensure that your water is safe for drinking.
This is great for people who easily get stomach upset or are traveling with children. It’s also very useful for travelers who need access to safe drinking water during long hiking trips.
Billions of plastic cutlery are thrown every year. Bring your own reusable utensils so that you can avoid using single-use disposable ones at the airlines or restaurants.
Consider packing a reusable eco-friendly spork, which is small, lightweight, and durable. It will also be very useful for sudden midnight food cravings!
If you want to take it up a notch, pack your own reusable straw and say no to plastic straws. A reusable straw is usually made of bamboo or metal, and it comes with its own bag and brush cleaner, which makes it convenient for travel.
Eco-bag or Reusable Tote Bag
An eco-bag can be very handy during travel. It’s so easy to pack- just fold it and keep it in your carry-on or luggage. You can use it when shopping in local markets, souvenir centers, and malls. This way, you get to skip on single-use plastic bags.
Aside from shopping, you can also use a reusable bag to separate your dirty clothes from your clean ones, store extra snacks on full-day itineraries, or carry any other items that won’t fit your day bag.
Your accommodation will offer you disposable toiletry kits, but you can minimize waste by refusing those. While there are hotels that recycle unused toiletries, others don’t. When you make your vacation rental or hotel booking, you may inform the reception that you won’t be needing a toiletry kit.
Pack your own toothbrush instead to replace the hotel-provided plastic toothbrush. It will definitely clean your teeth better than the disposable one, too. If you need to buy one, choose eco-friendly alternatives made from natural materials like miswak wood or bamboo.
If possible, bring your own deodorant, toothpaste, sanitary pads, solid shampoo bar, and soap to reduce packaging waste. These all have eco-friendly options made with natural ingredients and can come in plastic-free packaging.
Instead of packing a bunch of disposable toiletry items, save space and money by getting reusable facial cotton pads, eco-friendly q-tips, cloth napkins made from organic cotton, to name a few. These items will not only save you money but also space as mentioned above as you will not have to carry several packs of each in your bag in case you run out of them.