Who doesn’t love traveling? New foods, cultures, sights and sounds. Traveling can push your comfort zone as you explore the unexplored. Maybe not quite to Magellan levels, but you get the point.
But traveling also comes with baggage… 🧳👜
I don’t mean suitcases and backpacks here. I’m talking about trash.
Zero waste at home and zero waste while traveling are two completely different beasts. We have strategies to reduce our waste at home, but traveling inevitably throws a huge wrench in all that.
Going in with the best intentions (of keeping our waste to a minimum), we also have those early-flight-with-no-plan-for-breakfast-so-get-a-packaged-sandwich-at-the-airport meals. Reducing waste while traveling is hard.
Rather than letting our less-than-perfect zero waste attempt steal the joy out of our trip, we try to give ourselves some grace. We enjoy our trip and do the best we can to make lower waste choices while moving from A to B.
But there are a couple items that make it easier! We’ve come across a few important low waste traveling tools to help us avoid the extra waste wherever we go. Here are our 5 essential items for low waste traveling.
5 essential items for low waste traveling
Bamboo utensils - I keep these in my purse at all times. And frankly, they're awesome. If we’re grabbing a quick snack or find ourselves at a restaurant that only provides plastic cutlery or wrapped silverware, we can use our bamboo set instead. They come in a travel case which is great for keeping everything together. In a pinch, I also have been known to grab silverware from the kitchen.
Cloth grocery bags - So many uses! From getting groceries to stashing dirty laundry or creating a make-shift lunch bag (don’t worry Mom, we wash them). We always plan to buy groceries wherever we go, so having our own bag (or 2) is 100% worth it. They fold up easily and come in handy if you bring home more than you took with you.
Cloth produce bags - Great for travel snacks. A small bag for trail mix, one for crackers, and a larger holding in the chaos. Also handy for buying food in bulk, or storing I’ll use another to keep small items together in my suitcase - like chargers and headphones.
Cloth napkins - The perfect napkin/towel/tissue hybrid that helps avoid those flimsy paper napkins. I usually pack both a cloth napkin and a handkerchief. Never hurts to bring an extra.
Metal water bottles - Our water bottles go everywhere with us. Literally. I often pack two - one for water and one for tea, especially when flying. That way I can skip out on the airplane beverage. Or just bring one insulated bottle (like Dalton who refuses to pack two bottles) which works great for whatever you need next - water, coffee or tea.
A mason jar also works great for beverages and can double as a container for leftovers or breakfast! If you plan to fill the mason jar with a hot liquid, simply wrap your napkin around it so you don’t burn yourself.
No more plastic bottles or paper tissues for us. These 5 travel essentials have helped us reduce our waste time and time again.
Do you have other ways to reduce waste while traveling? Let me know by commenting below. I’m always looking for new ways to think outside the box.
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