Zero-Waste Travel Tips | Sustainability On The Go
Incorporating zero-waste living into your daily routine can be fairly straight-forward once you’ve located your nearest green grocers, market, bulk store and vegan-friendly café. But travelling can often mean a whole lot of hurdles to jump when trying to minimise your waste.
When we’re travelling we become reliant on convenience – portable foods, travel-size toiletries, transportable water – and are at the mercy of accessibility i.e. what we happen to have around us. This means it’s easier than ever to get stuck with packaged foods (especially in airports and aeroplanes), plastic water bottles and animal-meat-heavy menus.
So in order to travel as sustainably as possible we have to do a little prepping so we can see the world armed with zero-waste tools and know what to do when we encounter not-so-vegan-friendly restaurants. Here are my tips for travelling sustainably:
Bring your own bottle, of course. I find that I come across way more plastic bottles when travelling than at any other time because of the high tourist demand. If you’re stuck thirsty and without a water fountain or café nearby you may be tempted to grab a plastic bottle, so instead make sure you always have a reusable bottle on hand and keep it topped up whenever you’re near a tap or fountain so you’re never caught without hydration (which is especially important when in a hot climate).
2. Packed Lunch
Bringing my own packed lunch makes me feel a little like a school child again, but it means I’ve always got delicious, homemade, healthy and vegan food on me. This is a great option if you’re travelling on a long flight and don’t want to buy airport food or there are no vegan options on the flight. It’s also handy to have when visiting a new place for the first time just in case you find yourself in an area without many plant-based options.
3. Talk to the Chef
If, however, you do end up in a café or restaurant and aren’t sure if they offer plant-based foods or if they have a vegan menu, just ask! Restaurants are used to being asked questions and are usually very accommodating. I find most places, if they don’t already have something to offer on their menu, will be happy to have something vegan made up… remember that every kitchen has veggies in it so there will always be an option for you!
4. Sight See
The best part of seeing new places is experiencing new lifestyles and amercing yourself in the culture. That means walking, walking, walking! Pushing through crowded market streets, hiking up natural formations, letting sand gather between your toes… no matter what part of the world you’re in, walking is going to get you in the heart of the experience. So instead of renting a car, live like a local and spend your day absorbed in another culture. And if you need to go a fair distance, think about renting a bike, hopping on a bus or grabbing a train or tram!
5. Snapshots not Magnets
If you’re someone who likes to bring back reminders of their trips or gift loved ones with tokens of travels, instead of gifting physical mementos give snapshots of magical moments and remind yourself of happy memories through photography and snapshots of times you’ll never forget. This is truly priceless and a great sustainable alternative.