How to travel zero waste

We produce waste every single day: at home, at work, at the night club and specially while traveling. We love to get lost in the local markets and to try some local drinks and food, right?! The problem is that we usually forget our self-responsibility at home when we are on vacation. Let’s bear in mind that the planet is still the same no matter where we are.

Elaine invited us to write an article here, with some tips on how to reduce waste while traveling, so here we go!

Find below 10 tips for a zero-waste travel:

1. The capsule suitcase

The first step for a zero-waste travel starts before leaving home: less is more!

Think of your trip duration and chose clothes and accessories which will match with each other. This will help you to save time, luggage weight and will be such a relief for you. Take a small piece of coconut soap with you in case you need to wash some clothes.

The capsule suitcase was part of the web-series “The capsule wardrobe challenge” and there you may find some extra tips on how to make your own, in case you like this idea.

The capsule suitcase

2. Coconut and vegetable oils

Did you know that coconut oil is a life saver? It helps to hydrate hair, skin, it is a great scar healer, makeup remover and face cleanser. It doesn’t take up space and it is super useful! Perfect for those who like to travel without producing waste. Put it in some small glass bottle and take with you anywhere 🙂

Peppermint oil is very helpful in case of headaches for example, you just need to put a tiny bit on your hands and smell the aroma. This is a nice way to save money and to keep healthy at the same time.

3. Zero-Waste Travel Kit

Every nature lover and defender have a zero-waste kit in their backpack or bag. It is very simple, check it out the list below:

  • Cloth napkin
  • Reusable cutlery set
  • Reusable straw made of metal, glass or bamboo (in case you can’t live without it)
  • Eco water bottle and reusable cup
Sustaineble Tourism: Reusable cutlery
Reusable cutlery
Photo: Menos 1 Lixo

4. Toiletry bag

Solid Shampoo Bar
Solid Shampoo Bar
Photo: Menos 1 Lixo

We keep the same mindset of the capsule suitcase for the toiletry bag: you don’t need all of those cosmetics and hygiene products to survive during your vacation.

How about getting a solid shampoo bar and bringing some oils to substitute the conditioner? They are more compact, economic and eco-friendly. By the way, always look for cruelty-free cosmetics brands.

It is also nice to have a reusable cotton wool face pad to clean the skin and please, stop using those mini hotel toiletries, they often come in plastic bottles and their product quality are inferior than the ones you usually use.

The girls from Menos 1 Lixo have already talked about their travel toiletry bags in a video.

5. Take ecobags or a backpack with you.

Photo: Menos 1 Lixo

If you like to go to the supermarket, keep some ecobags with you so you won’t need to use plastic bags in your travel destination. They are great to carry anything: from your snacks to your groceries. Keep in mind:

Plastic bags are responsible for most of the marine animals death, and in Brazil we consume 1.5 million of them per hour!

6. Take your headphones with you

Don’t accept those headphones they give you during the flights, ok? Besides their bad quality, they always come in those plastic bags which you don’t need.

Travel Kit

7. Learn how to say some important sentences in your destination local language

If you are traveling abroad and don’t speak the local language it is fundamental to learn how to order a drink without a straw or an ice cream cone instead of one which will require a plastic spoon.

Learn how to say “thank you, but I don’t need plastic bags”, or how to order your drink in your own reusable cup.

8. Don’t order food to go

This tip applies to our life: whenever we order food to go or delivery, the bag comes with a lot of plastic packaging or even worse, with foam food containers! Avoid all of them, seat down and enjoy your meal! After all, you are on holiday 🙂

The zero-waste kit

9. Carry a retractable food container

It may sound stupid at first, but it is very common to have leftovers when we eat out. Carry with you a retractable food container so you can take it home or to the hotel. This way you save money as you won’t need to buy some snack later on.

10. Get to know how the waste management works in your destination

Do they recycle in the city that you will visit? It is very important to research about it, because even though you may be committed to not produce any waste, you may end up producing some at some point. For that reason you need to know how to discard it.

We could spend a lot of time just giving you several zero-waste travel tips, but 10 is a good enough to start.

Let us know what are your responsible tourism habits and let’s spread these information during our vacation as well.

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