Small simple changes. I am sure we’ve all heard the saying ‘One person can’t change the world, but we can all change the world by doing one thing’ or something along those lines. I think the phrase makes such a great point so recently, I’ve decided to put more emphasis on making sure I’m making eco-friendly choices when abroad. Surprisingly, eco-friendly swaps weren’t as difficult as I had previously thought. I know the words sustainable and travel in the same sentence can sometimes raise eyebrows, but I wanted to write about changes which I’ve incorporated into my lifestyle if anyone needs some inspiration for sustainability during travels. Remember, something is better than nothing!
One of my favourite swaps has been investing in recycled and organic coconut bowls, made from waste coconut shells. I pack a few of these bowls with me when I go to street-food markets, and ask for staff to add my food directly into the bowls rather than a plastic container. I just feel good knowing I am limiting my own personal consumption of plastic when it can be avoided. Not only do coconut bowls LOOK nice, they are small enough to store in a handbag and can be cleaned extremely easily. I purchased mine from a little market by the sea when I was travelling around Europe, however a quick Google search will bring up online stores where coconut bowls can be purchased. Two of my favourites are Wearth London and Etsy.
Swap number 2. Incorporating more local produce into my diet. I’ll be honest, usually I would just go to the supermarket, pick up some fruit and head to the checkouts without much thought. However, now I study the labels a lot more thanks to a few eye-opening documentaries. This is why I have been trying to purchase fruit and veg from markets. Not only is the quality better, in my opinion, I also enjoy being educated on the process of the food I am eating. Another benefit to buying produce from markets is that less packaging is wasted, as market stall owners tend to display their goods unwrapped. Going to markets for every food shop may not be the most plausible option when traveling, however buying in bulk at the start of a trip could be one way to overcome this hurdle. For any fruit which is leftover, I usually just make smoothies. Win.
Swapping makeup remover sheets for a cloth makeup remover. Every single day, I have a full cleanse, tone and moisturise routine waiting for me at home. However, when I was on the road, I would always stock up on packaged makeup remover sheets. Not anymore! Ever since I purchased a reusable cloth makeup remover, I haven’t looked back. These tiny cloths remove every scrap of product from your skin, can be washed/dried within seconds and have a long shelf-life. Not only that, your skin will thank you for the swap as the material is a lot softer than a chemically-infused sheet. Cloth makeup removers are also pretty easy to make yourself, if you fancy a DIY project for the weekend! YouTube has some wonderful tutorials for different skill levels.
If the swaps above aren’t suitable for you, then you might want to apply this one. Use your phone to store tickets and passes. Whether it’s a bus ticket or a pass to an attraction, investigate if a mobile-friendly version exists. It is the 21st century after all! I know there are times when a paper ticket is the only option, however switching to a virtual boarding pass is a good place to start. Just make sure your phone has good battery life, as 1 percent battery when your ticket is on your phone is not fun if your plane decides to show up late haha.
I really enjoyed writing this post as it made me realise how small swaps have made me feel a lot more responsible about doing my part for the environment. Do you have any ideas for adding sustainability into travels? Let me know!
Until then, see you in the next post.