There’s nothing better than escaping the stresses of everyday life and getting out to explore nature. Whether its a short camping trip or a holiday overseas, you’ll want to make sure you’ve packed all your essentials.
Did you know that you can replace most of your travel products with eco-friendly alternatives? Not only are they better for the planet, but they’re also likely to save you money in the long term. From bamboo razors to bars of shampoo, you’ll be surprised at how many products you can swap out to start leading a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
After switching our typical travel essentials for eco alternatives, we realised that as well as reducing plastic waste, it actually makes travelling so much easier. Now, we won’t travel anywhere without packing these top five products:
1. Bamboo Toothbrush
Around 3.6 billion plastic toothbrushes are used per year - and unfortunately, it is estimated that 80% of these end up in the ocean. Thankfully, environmentally friendly alternatives are now increasing in popularity.
Many eco toothbrushes are made from bamboo. Bamboo is an incredible plant which grows an impressive 90cm each day, making it an incredibly sustainable alternative to plastic. It’s a tough, hard-wearing material, yet completely biodegradable.
To put their differences into perspective - plastic toothbrushes can take hundreds of years to finally degrade, while a bamboo alternative will only take around 6 months. Switching to a natural bamboo toothbrush is a small, yet effective step you can make to help to prevent plastic pollution from reaching the ocean.
2. Bamboo Razor
It’s argued that disposable razors are just as bad for the planet as plastic straws. Typically, they can't be fully recycled since they’re made from a combination of materials. While disposables might be convenient and cost-effective when travelling, millions of them are ending up in landfills and oceans across the world.
Since they’re developed primarily for convenience, disposable razors often use low-quality blades. This can often result in a poor shave - and you definitely don’t want to have to be dealing with uncomfortable razor rash while trying to enjoy your holiday.
Once again, bamboo provides a long-lasting, biodegradable alternative to plastic razors. We absolutely love the natural, yet stylish design of bamboo razors.
Opting for eco-friendly products doesn’t mean you’ll have to sacrifice on convenience and luxury. Bamboo razors are hard-wearing and guaranteed to last, so you’ll only need to replace the blades occasionally. Once your razor has reached the end of its life, it can easily be recycled.
3. Collapsible Food Containers
Trying out the local cuisine is an essential part of every holiday. If you’ll be travelling in countries where there’s an abundance of fresh food markets, you won’t want to miss out on sampling all the regional delicacies they have to offer.
Eco food containers are a great solution if you want to take some authentic snacks back to your hotel to enjoy later. You’ll also be cutting down on food waste, which accounts for approximately ⅓ of all foods produced.
Some reusable containers are made from silicone, although bamboo is also a popular material.
Most collapse down or can be stacked together, meaning they won’t take up too much room in your backpack.
You can team them up with reusable bamboo cutlery - great for enjoying picnics on the beach or bringing lunch along for a full day of hiking.
4. Reusable Makeup Wipes
For many of us, makeup wipes are an essential travel product. While they may be incredibly convenient when travelling, they’re not so beneficial for the environment. These wipes are made from a combination of fabric and plastics, such as polyester, taking them decades to finally degrade in ever-growing landfills.
Wet wipes are also ending up on beaches within the United Kingdom, posing a threat to the native wildlife and littering well-known beauty spots.
If you’ve been looking for an eco-friendly alternative, reusable cotton rounds might just be what you need. All you need to do with these super lightweight wipes is add a few drops of cleanser onto them and sweep over your face.
They arrive in a small laundry bag that’s designed to be put straight into the washing machine once you’ve finished using them. Just think about all the money you’ll save on buying wipes and cotton pads over the year.
5. Shampoo Bars
After a long day of exploring new places, the first thing you'll want to do once reaching the hotel room is to have a refreshing shower. If you've ever feared the discovery of an exploded shampoo bottle and ruined clothes in your luggage - shampoo bars are about to become your favourite travel essential.
Shampoo bars are increasing in popularity, which is great news for the environment. They have have very little (if any) packaging, making them a lot more sustainable than the plastic bottle packaging of traditional shampoos.
With recent statistics revealing that 91% of all plastic isn’t recycled, it’s time that we start moving away from all of the unnecessary packaging. Smaller packaging also lets you fit more in your suitcase!
Shampoo bars contain fewer synthetic ingredients than regular shampoos, providing you with healthy hair without the need for harsh chemicals. As an added bonus, they tend to last a lot longer than typical shampoos.
When selecting a shampoo bar it's best to look for ones that are free from palm oil, a notoriously damaging product on the environment that’s also driving endangered animal species to extinction.
Time to update your travel list...
It can be difficult to know where to start when making changes towards a more sustainable lifestyle. It’s important to remember that any small changes you make will have a big difference on the planet. You might even find that you’ll save yourself money in the long run by opting for eco-friendly alternatives.