So you want to make better decisions while you travel, well guess what? it all starts at home. Deciding what to bring with you on your vaycay will affect your impact on the planet before you’ve even arrived at your destination. Having researched the best options for me, I’ve compiled a list of packing hacks just for you!
Based on a recent trip to Sri Lanka, here’s what I brought:
Purifying Water Bottle
Finding a product that makes drinking water (from dodgy sources) 99.99% safe to drink is a bloody good investment. I was fortunate to borrow the Liberty LifeSaver from work (they retail at approx £89.99). The pro’s were; a remarkable reduction in plastic water bottle consumption, felt smug AF and could pretty much re-fill wherever we pleased. The cons were; it was heavy and took a while (20mins) to fill my re-usable Frank Green bottle. I’d like to try a Grayl or Life Straw next where decanting isn’t required. Perfect for anyone traveling to remote destinations or overnight hikes with limited access to clean water.
Re-usable Frank Green Water Bottle
I Heart Frank Green! I mean, this thing comes with me e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. I’ve been using their keep cups for about four years now and I use the water bottle daily. There was no way it was being left behind. It’s light-weight, leak proof and easy to refill on the go. Thankfully we were able to re-fill water at most of the cafes and guesthouses we stayed, so this really came in handy.
Lucky me eh! I was really hoping not to use this for the second time whilst traveling but I guess these things can’t be helped. Surprisingly I’m coming round to using it on the go (initially I thought I’d only use it at home, on the weekend, in close proximity to a shower) but mid-flight from Sydney to Singapore wasn’t so bad and I’m seriously loving not having to buy so many sanitary items anymore. My JuJu has pretty much paid for itself at this stage. And what a great saving to plastic consumption!
Stainless Steel Straw
Yep I got a few funny looks and even a few plastic straws if the waiter had forgotten but this beauty definitely got it’s fair share of fresh juices and coconuts to warrant me bringing it. We saw a lot of alternatives throughout Sri Lanka; bamboo, stainless steel and even a papaya stalk used as a straw in Galle (mind-blown).
Plastic Containers for Food & Snacks
I underestimated how much I’d actually use these. I thought I was taking them just for an airline food alternative (I’d packed veggies and hummus, crackers and nuts to avoid prepacked food) but actually we used them quite a bit. Given we had some big days of driving, it was always good to have snacks on hand. I use: Ever Eco
Collapsible Tote Bag (no plastic bags required!)
An obvious packing hack, but so useful! I used this most days, it was a real saver on day trips in the south when we frequented the beach, cafes and boutiques in one day.
Toothy Tabs from Lush
Lush: in case you didn’t know, is pretty much the ethical traveler go-to destination for bathroom products (I also use their Shampoo & Conditioner Bars). Think: recycled packaging, zero plastic bags and natural ingredients. I decided to give the toothy tabs a go; given the novelty and the opportunity to recycle my toothpaste containers. In all honesty, I couldn’t really get used to the bi-carb taste and often switched back to ‘Clogard’ (Sri Lankan Colgate). It was good to try at least. I would be keen to know if they ever release a mint flavour. Lemon just didn’t taste right. Give ’em a go, tell me what you think!
Sante Face Washer
In an attempt to bring as little toiletries as possible, I ditched my cleanser and brought a Sante face washer because – all you need is water! This was ideal when we were staying in places for longer than two days because it meant the washer could dry out. Not great for overnight stop-overs in humid countries but it really is great. Definitely recommend you invest.
Boy oh boy! Have we tried and tested a few of these! So far I’ve tried: Native, Alaffia, The Natural Deodorant (TND) and Noosa Basics. Noosa Basics was by FAR the best. The other three left my pits feeling wet, stinky or the paste had melted completely (TND) before I’d even attempted to apply it, not great in hot countries. Why bother you may ask? Because Moo and I are trialing traveling solely with carry-on luggage and aerosol sprays are a no no!
Do you have any packing hacks you recommend? I’d love to hear from you!
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Tune in next week for my next ethical travel piece on the Green Series, Part 6 as I interview a serious VIP.