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How to be a more eco friendly traveller this holiday season.

We are now into the Australian summer and speeding towards peak holiday season at an alarming rate. I thought it good timing to provide some tips about how to keep your traveling as eco friendly as possible with as little waste as possible.  Whether you’re flying to the farthest corners of the earth or roaming the outback in a caravan, there are small things you can do to make sure you tread lightly on this great earth of ours.

Flying High

If you are flying:

  • purchase carbon offsets
  • make your trip for as long as possible and fly as little as possible to reduce the carbon footprint.
  • Do your research and make sure areas you are visiting have fresh water available. If not, take a drink bottle with a built-in filter.
  • If you have to buy water, buy in the largest size possible and use that to refil your day to day drink bottle.
  • If you are staying in accommodation, look for venues that are eco friendly and employ sustainable practices.

Going Bush

If you are camping:

  • Take food and water with you and pre-prepare travel meals and snacks to reduce the need to purchase take away.
  • If you have to eat out, eat in the restaurant to reduce packaging waste.
  • Take reusable containers to reduce your need for single use wrappers. I have a set of tupperware just for the caravan so we can pack sandwiches and snacks for any day trips we take during our holidays.
  • Take a portable loo and empty it at proper dump points in the nearest town. Don’t leave your ablutions and TP all over the bush, buried or not.
  • Make sure your waste water is let out far enough away from the nearest body of water.  Check local regulations to see how far that needs to be.
  • Use Tri Nature products so your waste water won’t cause harm to the environment or wildlife
  • Don’t wash (clothes or yourself) in waterways, dams, rivers, oceans, etc.  Using soap and personal care products in waterways causes pollution and harm to aquatic life, not to mention sending your bodily fluids to everyone downstream.  Get in and get wet, then get out and take a bucket of water the appropriate distance away to soap up and rinse off.
  • Take all your rubbish with you and dispose of properly.  Have everyone do an emu parade at the end of packing up to make sure you don’t leave anything behind.  You each get allocated a certain area of your camp site and you walk that area and pick up any pieces of rubbish within.  Don’t forget tent pegs, ropes and bits of fishing gear!

No matter where you are:

  • If you are taking your washing home with you, take a travel size enhance pre-wash spray so you can get onto stains asap. Enhance won’t wreck your clothes and it will make sure the stains don’t set before you have time to wash.
  • Pack some cloth bags.  I have about 5 that roll up into almost nothing and they live in my handbag.  They are so handy for so many things, like when you go to the shop for one thing and end up buying about 10.
  • Snack on fresh fruit wherever possible so there’s no packaging waste.
  • If you need to do your own washing while you’re travelling, take a small container of laundry powder, so you know you can be more eco-friendly than a hotel laundry or in a laundromat.
  • Take a travel size Sphagnum Moss Disinfectant with you for emergencies like cleaning a public loo seat before using it, or spraying stinky teenage boy feet and shoes when they take their shoes off in the car on long road trips.
  • Take your refillable drink bottle with you. There are some excellent squishy ones around that fold/roll up nicely when empty so they don’t take up too much space in your luggage.  Most airlines don’t count drink bottles or coffee mugs in the weight of your carry on, if you are holding them.
  • Take your coffee travel mugs with you or order in and sit down for your coffee.  Research ahead and find cafes that let you bring your own mug (although most do these days).
  • Take a travel cutlery set everywhere, including metal straws, so you don’t need to use any single use sets.
  • Make a list of any ideas you have for next time.  Remember, you don’t have to get it right and be perfect with zero waste.  This is just about making better choices and getting better each time.  And if you have ideas I haven’t listed, please get in touch and let me know so I can add them to this post for all to share.
  • Have fun!!

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