Zero-waste is becoming widely practised by environmentally conscious individuals. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't require drastic lifestyle changes.
By being more attentive to the waste we produce, we can make small adjustments that would benefit the environment in the long run.
Travelling is often expensive. But by making a few zero-waste changes, you could help save the environment and money while you travel.
Here are 10 zero waste tips that you could use the next time you travel.
1. Don't leave home without a proper tumbler
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It’s so easy to constantly buy mineral water bottles while travelling. However, this creates unnecessary plastic waste. Instead, bring your own tumbler that you can refill while you travel.
Furthermore, most hotels have water coolers or water boilers. By bringing your own tumbler, you save money by using what's readily available.
2. Carry your own shopping bag
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Shopping usually goes hand-in-hand with travel. Besides, who doesn’t love to shop while travelling?
You can reduce the number of plastic bags you use by bringing along your own shopping bag (preferably a cloth bag).
New clothes, food, souvenirs can all go into this one bag. You’ll never have to fumble with many bags as everything is stored efficiently in one bag. You'll also be doing the environment a favour.
3. Go digital as much as possible
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Instead of printing your boarding pass, why not go paperless? When booking online, the airline will send a PDF version of your flight ticket to your email.
If the airport permits, download the flight ticket onto your phone to reduce waste. You can also download the airline’s app for itineraries and flight updates to avoid ruffling through papers.
Some retail outlets also offer e-receipts that are directly sent to your inbox. In such cases, you can let them know that you don't need the hard copy of your receipts.
You also don't need the customer's copy of your debit/credit card transactions if you don't usually use them. In most cases, your banking portal will have a history of all your transactions, so you can always track your expenses that way.
4. Only pack what you need. Travel light!
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You can pack all your essentials into one carry-on. The more check-in luggage there is, the heavier the plane gets. It then needs to work extra hard to fly. This results in it producing more gas emissions.
These toxic emissions are harmful to the environment, as such every gram counts.
You’d be tempted to pack more clothes “just in case”. Instead, pack clothing that's neutral coloured, versatile, and can be layered on for any occasion.
5. Book direct flights (if possible)
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Usually, transit flights increase gas emissions as they have to stop for more fuel during transit. They might even take a longer route than usual which pollutes the air.
By booking direct flights, less fuel is emitted during takeoffs and landings. Thus, you reduce your carbon footprint and help lessen environmental pollution.
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6. Keep a napkin or a handkerchief with you at all times
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Almost every restaurant offers tissues and napkins. Imagine thousands of patrons each day disposing tissue papers. Instead, carry your own handkerchief to wipe your hands and mouth.
At the end of the day, simply wash and air-dry your handkerchiefs. You'll be good to go the next morning.
7. Fuel your journey by packing your own snacks
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Whether you’re bored or hungry, everyone craves snacks while travelling. So pack fruits, biscuits or tidbits in containers. This reduces plastic packaging and money spent on buying snacks at stores.
On the flight, ask for your beverages without straws or stirrers. If the attendants are kind enough, you can even ask them to serve the drinks in the bottle you provide.
8. Reuse toiletry bottles
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You can buy reusable toiletry bottles to avoid using hotel toiletries. Stores often sell them in travel sizes. As such, pack your own soap from home since hotel soaps can sometimes cause allergies.
Hotel cleaners throw out hotel toiletries once they’re open, even if they’re not completely used. As such, bringing your own toiletries can drastically reduce wastage.
9. Stash reusable containers and cutleries in car
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If you’re going on a road trip, keep reusable containers and cutleries in your car. During impromptu stops at food trucks, use your own containers.
Aside from reducing trash, it’s more hygienic than using the utensils a food truck provides.
Furthermore, containers are convenient for takeaways or sharing food. Also, make sure that you carry a small bottle of dish wash liquid to clean them on-the-go.
10. Switch off everything at home before leaving
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Never leave your home with the electricity on. Not only is it hazardous, but it's also costly. Unplug all electrical appliances even if the outlet isn’t “on”. Tiny surges of electricity may still flow in.
Scan through your house before leaving as this trick requires more time and attention.
That's all 10 tips! You will notice that they're very practical. By making a few changes, you can simply incorporate a zero-waste attitude while travelling. Try them out for yourself. You'll be surprised at the benefits.
You can also convey your zero-waste lifestyle requirements to your hotel and your airline. In most cases, they'll be willing to help meet your requirements.
Would you adopt a zero-waste lifestyle? Does it change how you normally travel? Share this article and let us know what you think!
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