Going plastic-free when travelling
You have taken great steps towards a plastic-free life at home but, when it comes to travelling, going without plastic bags, plastic wrapping and those handy little zip lock bags can seem a little more difficult.
Don’t despair – you can keep up your good work ANYWHERE! There are many simple ways you can swap out the common single-use plastics for more sustainable options when heading off on your next trip. The key to travelling plastic-free is planning, so take a few moments to gather your kit and you will be packing up and taking off in no time.
Plastic-free road trips and camping
Cutlery: One of the biggest single-use plastic problems when on the road is cutlery. Instead of resorting to those throw-away white plastic forks or spoons, gather yourself a couple of portable cutlery sets (op-shops are great for this). Keep a set in your bag or the car for lunches on the run, and another set with your camping utensils. Stainless steel straws are also very handy to keep in the car and these from Mirablue come in a drawstring pouch with enough room to include your spoon, knife, fork and even chopsticks as well.
|Travel mugs: Speaking of refuelling, sometimes you really need one more coffee to get you through the last leg before camp. Avoid the need for plastic takeaway cups by bringing your own travel mug. Many places give you a discount when you bring your own mug too. A stainless steel mug is easily rinsed after use, ready for the next craving for a hot cuppa.|
|Food storage: A collection of stackable lidded containers is a must when travelling as they are lightweight and take little room when packed together. Use these for all your food needs, from casseroles to reheat later, to cereal, chopped fruit and veg, or bread to stop it getting squished. For dry snacks, use your veggie bags or drawstring calico bags to keep them all together. Don’t forget to bring your calico shopping bags for top-up shops throughout your trip.|
Personal care: Don’t buy new travel-sized toiletries or lug around the big bottles, invest in a kit of reusable containers and simply decant what you need. These little bottles are easy to refill with your shampoo and conditioner, moisturiser, cleanser and even sunscreen.
|Cleaning up: While disposable wipes in fancy plastic packaging are tempting, instead pack washable cloths into a lidded container for wiping dirty hands and faces when travelling. When you get to your destination, simply wash them out with a bit of mild soap and hang them to dry overnight, ready for the next day’s adventures.|
Plastic-free on a plane
Cutlery: A portable bamboo cutlery set is a great trick for air travel as it will be permitted through the gates (unlike the metal versions). These are easy to get from a number of online shops and relatively cheap too.
|Packing hand luggage: Calico drawstring pouches or veggie bags are very handy plastic alternatives for storing a variety of bits and pieces such as tissues, pens, books and snacks. Pack your own headphones in here to avoid the single-use versions provided by the airline.|
|In-flight beverages: Staying hydrated in the air is highly important, so make sure you have your water bottle on board. Our Mirablue water bottles have an in-built infuser, so you can flavour your water with a delicious and more nutritious fruit or herbal tea. For your mid-flight cuppa, opt to use your travel mug instead of a plastic or foam cup. These have the added benefit of being spill-proof for when the kids need to get past or you hit a bumpy patch.|
Personal care: Decant any lotions and potions you will need on your trip into reusable containers, but keep in mind airline regulations when it comes to liquids in carry-on luggage. In Australia, you are only allowed 100ml and this must be in a sealed container in a one litre transparent plastic bag. Get yourself a quality bag for this purpose, designate it for air travel and reuse it for as long as possible.
Cleaning up: For freshening up during or after your flight, bring some reusable cotton pads and dampen them with a little water. You can purchase these from a number of outlets online, or they are easy enough to make yourself.
With a little planning and a few simple swaps, you can drastically reduce the amount of single-use plastic you use when travelling. These are just some of our tips – use your imagination and see how else you can make a difference!