Travelling with less waste

Is Travelling and Producing Less Waste Possible? Part One

Sandy beach picture with blue sky and eco-friendly environment

We have recently returned from a holiday to Bali and Japan. It was an amazing adventure for us all. I am so grateful for the time we got to spend together as a family.

In the past I hadn’t really given much thought to the waste we create when we go on holiday, but this time was different. Before we left I wondered how we could travel and produce less waste – was it really possible?

While we took steps to reduce our impact, some of them being very simple steps, we were also faced with many situations where we produced a lot of rubbish, particularly in Japan!

I was very mindful of not letting my new way of thinking and habits ruin the holiday for everyone. So before we left I promised myself that I would do what I could when I could depending on what we were faced with and allow everyone to make their own choices without any judgement. I didn’t want to make it the main focus of our trip but simply a learning experience and something we could improve on in the future. 

Seeking Advice on how to Reduce Waste on Holiday

I am a member of the Plastic Free Peninsula Facebook group so I started a discussion asking for ideas on how I could reduce our impact while we were away. The members offered some really helpful tips. The main advice was to take our reusable drink bottles, coffee cups, produce bags, shopping bags and reusable cutlery (one thing I am yet to add to my supplies). I had planned on packing my bottle and coffee cup but forgot about my bags so I loved this reminder! I also decided to pack my beeswax wraps and lunch wraps. I thought they would come in handy for left overs or wrapping cheese/butter in if needed and they sure did.

Now I was ready and equipped to start our travels in a new light!

For those of you who may be travelling somewhere soon, have a look at the list below for some ideas. Even if you choose to do only one of these things, it will make a difference!

Quick Reference Guide : How to Produce Less Waste on Holiday

What to Pack

  • Drink bottle
  • Coffee cup
  • Reusable cutlery, straw, chopsticks (if going to Japan!)
  • Bags, produce bags, beeswax wraps/lunch wrap/container
  • Your own blanket, pillow for the flight (sarongs roll up nice and small)
  • Pack your own toiletries and decline the mini ones you get in hotels etc

Other Tips

  • Have a back pack or bag ready to go each day with all of the stuff you’ll need to make it simple
  • Dine in where possible instead of takeaway
  • Decline bottled water if at all possible, obviously this depends on where you are travelling to. (There are various water filters you can buy for travelling, something I am yet to try)
  • Decline the packs they give you on the flight, unless you think you’ll use them and decline blankets and the pillow on the flight if you have your own
  • Remember to ask for no straw in your drink
  • Ice cream in a cone produces zero waste, so decline the cup and spoon

Remember it shouldn’t be stressful, or take away from the fun of your holiday. It’s about being mindful of our choices and how we can make some small changes to create a difference.

In Part Two I will share in more detail what we did while we were away, the good and the not so good! 

Feel free to share any other ways you reduce your waste while on holiday in the comments below. I’d love to hear your ideas and experiences!

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