As a zero waste enthusiast and assiduous traveller, I have been spending quite a lot of mental energy trying to understand how to reduce my impact on the planet while on my journeys.

I havenโ€™t always been concerned about the waste problem, but years of living and travelling in Asia made me aware about the extent of howour disposable culture is damaging irreversibly our planet. So from a few years already I’ve made the conscious decision to try to limit as much as possible my impact on mama earth.

I find it way easier to be zero waste when Iโ€™m in the comfort of my house. I know where to shop in bulk to avoid enormous amount of plastic wrappings and bags, I own a fair amount of stainless steel containers for every need and size and a collection of organic cotton totes and produce bags I can comfortably carry with me when I visit the farmer market. I have a drinking water filter in my kitchen and even a sparkling water distributor where I can bring my own bottles not too far from where I live. Sounds great, doesnโ€™t it? But what about when you are travelling, far away from the comfortof your environment?

The key to a less wasteful journey is…be prepared, be prepared, be prepared!

While you’re travelling, you need zero waste solutions to be handy and convenient, you donโ€™t want to have to spend a lot of time figuring out how to be more green, there are so much more interesting and important things to do while you are on a journey, like exploring, going on adventures, meeting fellow travellers, trying the local food etc. So a little prep before leaving is essential. 

There are a few things I always carry with me when I travel:

Reusable water bottle 



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Un post condiviso da Cecilia (@sono.un.fiore) in data:

Reusable water bottle. If I could choose only one thing out of this kit to bring with me, this would definitely be this! I chose an insulated one, because it’s perfect for both cold and hot climates, it keeps your water fresh for up to 24 hours for sweaty hikes in the jungle or torrid city summer explorations and your tea hot for up to 12 hours while you are on that dog sled trip in Alaska. Jokes apart, it is really a great thing to carry with you all the time. Free drinking water is often available in airports and stations. If you are staying in a B&B, guesthouse or hostel, also there you can usually find a big tank of drinking water available for guests, donโ€™t be shy, go ahead and fill in your bottle at the start of the day.

Important note: safety first! If you are unsure about the safety of the water, donโ€™t take the risk. Especially if you are travelling in certain countries, where contaminated water is quite common, buy bottled water. It’s way better once in a while to buy a plastic bottle, rather than putting your health at risk. As far as you are doing your best whenever you can, donโ€™t feel bad about prioritizing your health when you have no choice.

Reusable straw 



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This is one of the most common plastic items people use on a daily basis, we donโ€™t really think about it, but a walk on a beach in any part of the world would give you an idea of the proportion of the problem. Our oceans are flooded with plastic straws that, as all the other disposable plastic items, do not decompose, they eventually break down in micro particles and they represent a treat for animals safety and our own health. Nowadays the offer of reusable alternatives on the market is huge, you can find reusable straws in a range of different materials, shapes, length, thickness, colours etc, they are quite inexpensive and last you forever. Pick one and make it your travel drinking buddy.

Reusable bags 



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I always carry with me 4-5 reusable bags when I travel, I usually choose the ones made of rePET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) because they are light weight and take up very small space. They are extremely versatile, you can use them to buy and store fruits and vegetables, snacks or whatever you decide to buy on your way.

Stainless steel leak proof container 



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I usually choose to bring with me my favourite medium size stainless steel container. It is leak proof and therefor perfect to carry any kind of food not suitable for reusable bags. If you buy take away meals, ask the sellers if they can put it directly in your own container rather than in the disposable one that is usually provided. During my travels I ended up using this container for the most different purposes, including stirring my face clay mask and buying 500 gr of gelato I shared with my travel partner, so yes, it is really versatile and I never leave without it.

There are many other things you can decide to bring with you to reduce your waste while travelling, this is just my personal selection of essentials, based on the destination I am travelling to and the space I have available in my luggage I might decide to add a few other items or not.

What are your zero waste travel essentials?
Write me in the comments!

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Plant based human bean, lover of all things nature, zero waste advocate, enthusiast wanderer. I have been living for 7 years in the Far East and I am currently back in Europe, looking for myself.

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