Everyone’s talking about “zero waste” … And there are now all sorts of campaigns and tips for reducing the use of plastics in everyday life. Would you like to use less plastic on your large and small adventures? Well, we have 10 tips for you here to help make your next outdoor adventure as waste-free as possible.
1. Your friend, the fabric bag.
Even when you start shopping for your trip, you can make sure that you make it as waste-free as possible. Take a fabric bag and practical vegetable netting bags with you to carry your shopping. If you have a packaging-free store near you, all the better – here, you can just bring your packaging with you and buy all the things you need for your trip loose.
2. Shop local.
Once you’ve reached your destination, we recommend doing your food shopping at local markets. Rummage around, have a wander, discover the typical local specialities. In this way, you’re not only avoiding waste, you’re also supporting smaller local traders and doing something to maintain a positive environmental balance.
3. Always have a snack with you.
We recommend that you always have your own snacks with you in case you suddenly feel peckish, instead of buying something when you’re out. In this way, you not only avoid additional waste – you’re also doing something good for your travel funds. We recommend nuts or home-made muesli bars to provide energy between meals, but we leave it up to your imagination.
4. Eat well on the road.
If you’re travelling for a while, you can also easily prepare a whole meal beforehand and take it with you. Soups or stews are the best here. Simply prepare everything in the peace and quiet of your own home and decant it, for example, into one of our food jugs. It will keep your soup lovely and warm until you’ve reached the point where you take a break. If you have your own cutlery with you too, you can simply enjoy your sustainable meal en route.
5. Bring your own bottle.
It’s not just when you’re eating en route that you can save waste. A huge proportion of the plastics used today comes from the use of plastic bottles. Here, we recommend taking your own stainless steel water bottle with you. Depending on your destination, there are now even more points where you can fill up your drinking water bottle free of charge.
6. Coffee to go – sustainable flavour.
So you can’t survive without your coffee when you’re travelling either? Once again, we recommend always having your own coffee cup with you. Many places already offer the option of having your coffee served in your own cup. Do you prefer drinking your own home-made tea or coffee? You can still enjoy this on the road. Simply make your coffee or tea at home and then pour it into a travel mug. It will keep your coffee nice and warm, even when you’re out and about.
7. Paperwork? No thanks.
You’re off on your travels and you’re going by plane? You can look even look after the environment when you buy your ticket. We recommend downloading your ticket as a PDF file or using the apps offered by your travel operator. It not only saves messing about with bits of paper when you check in – it also cuts down on paper waste.
8. Sounds good.
Here’s another tip when you’re flying: You’re on a long-haul flight and your airline offers an entertainment package. Why not use your own headphones instead of the throwaway models provided? That way, you not only avoid waste, but you’ll also probably have a better sound experience… The disposable ones often produce a poorer sound anyway.
9. Stay clean.
Hygiene is also important when you’re travelling, of course. Lots of hotels provide shampoo, body lotion, toothbrushes, etc. in small, handy travel sizes, which is practical, of course, but creates a lot of avoidable waste. That’s why we recommend that you always take your own toiletries with you. Do the normal sizes of your toiletries take up too much space? Use reusable travel-size containers – just top them up every time you travel.
10. Clean up your trip.
Our last tip is actually not a tip about avoiding waste, but we’d like to urge you very strongly: There are now all sorts of initiatives aimed at cleaning up or tidying “rubbish-filled” places all over the world. The following page lists various possibilities for participating in clean-up campaigns across the globe: http://www.initiativesoceanes.org/de/participate.php
But you don’t always have to take part in an organised campaign … Every piece of rubbish that you pick up helps create a clean environment 🙂
Picture: Unsplash (Sylvie Tittel)
Text: Julia Kunze