Sustainable Travel Swaps

By Guest Writer: Becca Murphy

With summer right around the corner, it is time to start thinking about those upcoming travel plans. Whether exploring the mountains in your backyard or trotting around the globe, there is always an essential packing list! But what if you tried to be slightly more eco-friendly with your packing list this year? It may not seem like a lot, but every little bit helps! We are here to give you a quick list of simple, sustainable swaps you can make that would benefit you and the environment.

Swap plastic water bottles for stainless steel water bottles:

To minimize your single-use plastic use, invest in a reusable water bottle. Buying a reusable water bottle will cost you around $15-$50 one time rather than spending multiple times a week on plastic water bottles. Also, most of these water bottles pollute our oceans or end up in landfills. So, you are saving money, and you are helping save the environment!


Swap plastic and paper coffee cups for a reusable coffee mug:

Who doesn't love a good morning coffee while they are traveling? For many, coffee is a staple and is even drunk multiple times a day, but coffee cups cause as much pollution as plastic water bottles due to the plastic layer in the lid and the paper. Along with a reusable water bottle, pack your favorite reusable coffee cup that you can bring to cafes with you as you travel. Some places may not let you use your mug, but most areas will, and it is at least worth a shot!


Swap plastic shopping bags for reusable shopping and produce bags:

Reusable bags are often $2-$5 at stores and can last you for years, making your shopping trips cheaper and easier with a sturdier bag. In some places, plastic or paper shopping bags can cost up to $1, which doesn't seem like a lot but adds up. Additionally, reusable produce bags tend to be a bit pricier but have recently appeared in more stores. These are great for traveling because you can explore local markets and put all your fresh produce in bags that will not become waste.



Swap plastic utensils for reusable: 

Have you ever gone to a restaurant for takeaway food, and they forgot to put the cutlery in the bag, and you are left searching for some? Well, how about skipping the plastic cutlery altogether. Try carrying your own set of cutleries made from bamboo or stainless steel. These are usually collapsible and don't take up much space and make it, so you are never without cutlery! 

Swap liquid for bars:

Swap the small travel soaps to cut out the liquid and plastic waste for the solid bar version. Solid bars are easier to transport, there's no danger of leaking into your bag, and the best part is they don't count as liquids in your luggage if you are flying. They also last much longer than liquid and keep us from using the toiletries provided in hotel rooms or hostels. 


Swap chemical sunscreen for environmentally friendly sunscreen:

Now that summer is coming, it is super important to wear sunscreen, but have you ever looked to see what is in your sunscreen? Many sunscreens have harsh chemicals that come off your bodies when entering the water, harming wildlife. Swap your chemical sunscreen for reef-safe sunscreen to protect yourself and our oceans.




Maybe these swaps don't seem that big, but even just one change to our travel routines can contribute to a healthy and happy environment. Investing in resources like these, created to protect the Earth, helps us become more sustainable travelers by creating less waste and is well worth it in the long run!

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