What does being eco-friendly truly entail??
Basically...reuse. Using products that are reusable whenever possible. Notice how I bolded, underlined, and italicized??...that means it is IMPORTANT.
Here is a list of things one usually packs for the average trip:
Luggage = reusable
Clothes = reusable
Shoes = reusable
Toiletries = single use
Toiletries bag = single use
Sunblock = single use
Period products = single use
Shopping Bags = single use
Drinks and Snacks = single use
I know this is all pretty straight forward, but if you've never thought about it before lets do something about it!
The easiest way to fix this problem is to get those little bottles you can squirt your everyday use shampoo/conditioner/body wash/lotion/contact solution into!
Yes... I know they are plastic. But the key is that they are reusable and NOT single-use. Instead of buying those mini shampoos and such at the store every time you travel, you can buy these once and reuse them! Yay!
I don't know about your mom, but my mom lives by a plastic ziploc bag to carry her toiletries in... Although, since I've started this whole thing, she's reused the same ziploc bag for 2 years! That is a step in the right direction!
But as eco-friendly that is, it's a ziploc bag... it'll break eventually and get thrown away...
I suggest getting a cloth bag from any local store or online. I know that Target has an awesome one that's small enough to be convenient, and has a bunch of compartments!
I have been blessed with tan skin, and I've never been burnt but once in my life. But, we are not all that lucky and I should really take care of my skin better.
There are some brands of non-toxic sunblock with compostable packaging that I have heard great reviews about like Avasol, Raw Elements, and EiR.
The problem with regular sunblocks is that they are leading to the acidification of our coral reefs leading to climate change.
(Men, just skip this part)
Ladies, we can't avoid it as much as we wish we could. Honestly, those cups freak me out. But, I have recently discovered reusable pads and they are fantastic!
They come in packs of about 8, and bring a dry bag to put the used ones in. The beauty is that you can just throw them in laundry! They last super long, and do not show in pants!
Just look up reusable pads on Amazon, and a ton of options will come up!
Reusable Canvas Bag
I specifically recommend canvas because they can roll up nice and small to fit in a purse or hipbag. This bag will become your grocery bag, souvenir bag, and beach bag! You can use it so often, and being canvas they are very durable!
Drinks and Snacks
This is the easiest, cheapest, and most underused eco-friendly travel tip.
Bring a reusable water bottle! Make sure it's empty before you go through security, then fill it with any soda or water in the airport. I recommend metal for durability.
Bring snacks from home! You are allowed to bring food through security! Do this by carrying reusable ziploc bags, or collapsible tupperware!
Collapsible Coffee Cup! If you are a coffee lover, you will love this product! The cup can resize into any of the regular coffee sizes (tall, grande, venti), can hold frozen and hot drinks, and can hook onto your bags!
Reusable Straws and Cutlery! The reusable metal straws that I have came in a really convenient pouch where I also slid in some chopsticks and a spoon from home! (If you don't know how to use chopsticks, put a fork instead). Do NOT pack a knife... It won't get through security. But, unless you're eating a steak, a spoon will cut just fine.
Not only will you save money because you know those jacked up airport prices are insane, but you'll also save the planet by using reusable containers!
Now, you might have some excuses of not wanting to invest $15 on a bag, and $10 on bottles, and $18 on a water bottle.
But that's only $43 versus the hundreds you spend on single use products every time you travel! You can also use all of these products in your everyday life! Which will save you even more! :)
I hope to see you out there!