Travel is invigorating, fun and awe-inspiring. It’s an experience that encourages you to try new things, explore unfamiliar surroundings, engage with diverse groups of people and develop an appreciation for all the wonders life has to offer. Unfortunately, all that wanderlust can wreak havoc on the environment. For your next trip, you can make a few simple, but significant changes to offset your carbon footprint, starting with a zero waste travel kit.
What Is a Travel Kit?
Typically designed to be compact and easily stored in your luggage, a travel kit houses a collection of items needed for your trip. It can include toiletries, medications, travel documents, first aid supplies and other essentials. You can purchase a prepackaged kit or assemble your own.
What Does Zero Waste Mean?
“Zero Waste” refers to the conscious effort to eliminate refuse that saturates landfills and pollutes air and water. This approach to conservation follows five principles:
- Refuse anything that’s not needed.
- Reduce what you use.
- Reuse whenever possible.
- Recycle what you can.
- Compost what’s left over.
Essentials To Pack An Efficient Travel Kit
What you’ll need will somewhat vary depending on the excursions and activities you have planned. For example, if you’re going whale watching in La Jolla, you may want to add Dramamine to your kit in case you experience seasickness. There are must-haves to pack regardless of destination or itinerary. Choose items made from sustainable materials to reduce waste while traveling.
1. Shampoo and Soap Bars
Store these handy bars in a tin travel case or soap saver bag instead of using mini plastic bottles.
2. Stainless Steel Razor
You’ll never need to buy another razor, only the replacement blades. Be sure to check them if you’re flying or security may take them.
3. Reusable Water Bottle
Not only will you save money by not paying for bottled water, but you’ll also be preventing plastic waste.
4. Bamboo Utensils
A travel set helps you avoid plastic cutlery and is handy for impromptu picnics or sampling local foods at a street market. Though, you can probably leave them back at the hotel when you go on your private sunset cruise San Diego.
5. Reusable Straw
Plastic straws are a common culprit of ocean. Swap them out for ones made from bamboo or stainless steel.
6. Low-Waste Toothpaste
Say goodbye to tubes that are destined for the trash and hello to toothpaste tablets. This eco-friendly alternative comes in minimal packaging that is either recyclable or compostable. If you’re feeling particularly committed, you can try your hand at making your own paste and storing it in a reusable container.
7. Compostable Toothbrush
There’s really no way around eventually discarding a toothbrush but you can minimize the environmental impact by opting for a compostable bamboo brush with biodegradable packaging.
8. Plant-Based Facial Rounds
Reusable is the name of the game when it comes to reducing landfill waste. Facial pads made from organic cotton or bamboo can be used, washed and used again many times, saving you trips to the store and more money over time.
As you plan your next trip, book excursions with tour groups that focus on environmentally-responsible travel. Whale watching 2022 will be that much more enjoyable when you’re sailing with an eco-conscious crew.