This post is sponsored by Make Holidays Greener.
It’s 2018 and most of us feel like we’re getting pretty good at making green decisions and reducing plastic waste. I grew up being taught the message “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”, so while I’m at home, I’m in the habit of doing everything I can to avoid waste, whether it’s water, electricity, food, packaging, etc. I am. However, traveling can be a different story. This is why I’m joining ‘Make Holidays Greener’ again this year, sharing travel tips to help you find other ways to reduce the amount of plastic you use while on vacation. Please follow my latest updates #MHG18.
Plastic bottles, plastic packaging, and plastic bags are everywhere. This is especially true when I’m traveling with my family. This is because there is a lot of plastic waste that needs to be thrown away. We tend to make impulse purchases and end up buying single-use plastic items like water bottles and pre-packaged items that come in handy when traveling, but it’s such a waste.
According to the Guardian, one million plastic bottles are purchased every minute around the world. Per minute.
It is estimated that by 2021, the world will use 583.3 billion plastic bottles, and according to National Geographic, 91% of plastic is not recycled.
That’s crazy. Most of these things are crazy because they can easily be avoided with a few changes to your home and holiday lifestyle.
Last year I wrote about ABTA’s annual campaign, Make Holidays Greener in partnership with Travellife. They are once again asking people to take a simple pledge to make their holidays greener on their next trip and to take positive social and environmental actions while traveling. If you want to know what pledges I and The Travel Hack Team made last year, you can read it here.
How to earn a GoPro
Once again, you can take a pledge to make your holidays greener on the Make Holidays Greener site. Once you pledge, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a GoPro with a waterproof case. GoPro is my favorite travel camera for capturing fun, candid, and adventurous travel moments. All photos in this post were taken with a GoPro!
The Make Holidays Greener website has 15 pledges to make, including buying local souvenirs, eating and drinking locally, choosing Tralife hotels (which follow standards for reducing plastic use) and participating in beach cleans. It is listed. Visit their site, choose a pledge, and you’re entered to win a GoPro!
Enter our contest here and pledge to make your holidays greener.
How to reduce your plastic waste while travelling
This year’s ‘Make Holidays Greener’ campaign focuses on reducing plastic waste by encouraging holidaymakers to find alternatives wherever possible. This is something I’m really passionate about so I’m very happy with it. And that’s mainly because it’s so easy to use less plastic!
I’m not perfect, but here’s what I do to reduce the amount of plastic I use while traveling.
Invest in high quality refillable miniature bottles
Even on a two-week trip, you usually don’t need to bring huge bottles of shampoo and other toiletries. It takes up space and extra weight inside the case, making it easier to carry miniature bottles. But how many people actually refill their miniature bottles instead of buying a new one at the airport?
I recently invested in a very high quality refillable travel miniature bottle and this one is the best. The wide neck makes refilling easy, and it’s super soft so you can squeeze it to get the last clumps of conditioner out of the corners. It also has a nice adhesive label so you know what’s inside and I’m sure you’ll be using it for years to come.
Always carry a canvas tote
It may take some time for this to become a habit (especially for men who don’t already own a handbag), but you should start getting used to carrying your canvas tote with you everywhere you go. Yes, it’s okay even if you don’t plan to go to the store and buy something. I don’t often go out to buy something, but if I find something I like, I’ll definitely buy it! And if you go out without your tote, you’ll have to pay for a plastic bag, creating even more plastic waste.
Get a reusable bottle that fits your needs
I think everyone has a few reusable bottles at home, but if you find yourself not using yours, you’ll want to carry one that fits your needs everywhere. Please look for it. So, do you like cold drinks? Then choose a stainless steel one with a wide neck that’s roomy enough to fit ice cubes inside. Don’t like carrying around empty bottles? Next, buy a collapsible bottle so you can roll it up and store it when you’re done using it. There are so many reusable bottle options these days that it’s very easy to say “no” to single-use plastic bottles.
Ask your hotel if they can refill your filtered water
If you’re not sure whether to drink tap water, ask your hotel if they filter their water and if they can refill your water bottle. To make your water even more delicious, choose lemons, limes, or strawberries and add them to your water to give it a healthy, fruity flavor.
Shop at markets and avoid packaged foods
This is easy because it’s much more fun. I love going to food markets when I travel. It’s a great way to get a glimpse of local life and see a variety of produce for sale, but it also means you’re less likely to buy food wrapped in plastic. Buying things like fresh bread, freshly made sandwiches, or loose fruits and vegetables usually means better produce and less plastic.
The ‘Make Holidays Greener’ campaign not only pledges to ‘say no to plastic’ but also to eat local, drink local and buy locally made souvenirs. You can also. Indirectly, taking these pledges could also reduce the amount of plastic you consume over the holidays.
Bring your own Tupperware
I do this when I’m traveling with kids. Because we often have picnics at lunchtime (children’s menus at restaurants are usually just chicken nuggets and chips, or sausage and chips, and we get bored of them quickly!). Avoid wrapping everything in plastic. And the added bonus here is that it’s cheap, healthy, and you can find the perfect picnic spot rather than cramming into a small cafe and trying to keep the kids still for an hour.
Take a vow to say no to plastic this summer.
If you take the pledge, please use the hashtag #MHG18 so your friends don’t know.
This post was sponsored by Make Holidays Greener.