“Holiday travel”- these words can elicit a mixture of excitement and joy as well as stress and chaos. I’m currently sitting at SFO waiting on a flight that keeps getting delayed and looking around seeing holiday decorations, people wearing Santa hats, and strangers visiting with each other to pass the time. Another blazingly clear thing I’m noticing is waste, waste everywhere! To-go cups, to-go dishes for meals, bottled drinks, tiny little sample bottles of soap and shampoo- all over-flowing trash cans at airports around the world. It seems daunting to try to travel with decreased or no waste. Fortunately, there are a lot of easy ways to reduce our waste when we travel and they’ll help bring some of the comforts of home along on the trip!
Take a look at travel toiletries. The little sample size bottles are the perfect size to take along but they’re not always recyclable and it’s not easy to find eco-friendly brands in these smaller sizes. Try the GoToob for your liquids. They are refillable with your favorite products from home and leak-proof!!
Tiny mason jars are a fantastic option for bringing along smaller portions of your favorite homemade deodorant, sunscreen, body butters, and more!
Many small businesses and health food stores sell safe and eco-friendly bar soaps and will cut you a tiny little slice for travel. (Bonus tip: many businesses that sell bulk soaps will give you the ends and slivers for free and they’re just the right size for travel!) Stick them into a muslin tea bag and you have a built-in wash cloth you can hang to dry from the faucet overnight!
Reusable cotton facial rounds, and cloth tissues come in handy for so many things beyond their intended use!
Wet bags are the perfect plastic bag alternative. They’re lined with water-resistant material and come in cute patterns! Smart Bottoms is a fellow woman-owned business made in the US. They’re also awesome for wet swimsuits, clothing kiddos have accidents in, or even packing up sandwiches and your favorite snacks!
There ALWAYS seem to be more spills and accidents when traveling. Grab some of these Wysi Wipes which are reusable for several uses and then compostable. They start out smaller than a quarter and grow to a 9 inch square towel.
Don’t forget to pack your Keeper or Moon Cup. They pack easily and take up very little space in case your period shows up unexpectedly (it’s almost like periods know when we’re on vacation isn’t it?!?!)!
For laundry- there are a couple great options that are super easy to travel with. Soap Nuts are tiny, and can be used for 4-6 loads of wash, and work well for laundry in the sink or bathtub too (plus you can compost them when they’re used up)! The Dizolve strips are also a great option. Each little strip does a load of laundry. They’re made of eco-friendly ingredients and are incredibly thin. It’s easy to bring along enough for several loads of laundry without taking up hardly any space.
Eating out seems to be inevitable when on the road. Glass straws, (like these from Moxie glass– another woman owned business) and a lightweight, easy to carry set of cutlery (like these bamboo ones in a cloth tote from To-go Ware) come in handy to avoid the waste from eating out. Bring along your favorite reusable mug for drinks too!
Best of all- once you have these items you’ll be ready to pack quickly without last minute trips to buy toiletries!
We’d love to see pictures of your favorite green traveling hacks and products.
Most importantly this Holiday travel season- be gentle on yourself. Traveling should be fun!! Do the best you can, be patient and kind on yourself and remember to have a great trip. Happy travels from all of us at The Keeper Cup Inc./ Moon Cup Co.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you with questions or suggestions!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Olivia lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband and 4 year old son. She enjoys spending time in the mountains, studying about essential oils, natural remedies and herbs, as well as upcycling/ DIY projects. Olivia’s family made the move last year towards becoming a Zero Waste household. They have gotten down to one bathroom sized trashcan a month of garbage but hope to be totally Zero Waste by the end of 2015.