When you are one world trip If you want to make, you are undoubtedly also aware of the fight against climate change and the use of plastic. I don't think you live under a rock. As a traveler, it is a must to set a good example for this. This is possible with plastic-free luggage. Because that can really make a difference. It is very easy to travel plastic-free and in almost all cases it is also super practical and it even saves space. A mega win-win right?!
Also read: Air travel | 7 essential carry-on items you should always have with you
Table of contents
1. Bring metal or bamboo straws
This will really be your life-saver! In some cases you do not necessarily want to drink from that one glass or can and then a straw is the only solution. But please always say no to a straw, it's the most nonsensical piece of plastic there is. Get a metal (here available) or bamboo variant (here available). I am a fan of the metal version because it is very easy to keep clean. You can get these straws for next to nothing at bol.com & Xenos, but I see them in more and more stores these days. They are usually sold in a set of about 5 pieces and you get a handy cleaning brush with it. Make sure you always have these straws in your daypack & set a good example!
2. Replace your shampoo & shower gel
How inconvenient is it to pack a toiletry bag with a bottle of shower gel, shampoo & conditioner (for the women)? Replace these liquid, plastic-wrapped products with a solid bar of soap. In the World Travelers webshop there are several plastic-free shower blocks available. Can't find your favorite species or scent? At Lush, but also at Kruidvat and Etos, you can now get shampoo bars in the form of a bar of soap. At Lush you even have such a wide choice that you can even take a matching shampoo that suits your hair style. There are also 2-in-1 shampoo bars, which means that a conditioner is also incorporated. super handy! This one, but also the shower gel bars, you can store in metal cans that you can reuse every time. Besides the advantage that it is plastic-free luggage, it is very compact and you can use it for a long time. For example, I lasted about 3 months with my shampoo bar from the Lush, washing my hair every day.
3. Always take with you: a cotton bag
A cotton bag is something that is never missing in my plastic-free luggage. This way you can always say 'no' when you are offered a plastic bag in a shop or supermarket. You can use it for shopping, a day at the beach, for souvenir shopping or just as a handbag. In addition, you can use the cotton bag to protect fragile items in your luggage or secretly use it as extra hand luggage! Another tip is to use the bag to collect your laundry. When you have your laundry done during your world trip, it is always packed in plastic in 9 out of 10 cases. If you have already collected this in this bag, there is a good chance that they will return it that way. And otherwise you can always (try to) emphasize this extra. Do you understand why you should really pack a cotton bag?!
4. Must: a reusable drinking bottle
A drinking bottle is something that should not be missing in your plastic-free luggage. It will not only save you a lot of plastic, but also money! It happens quite often that you can fill your drinking bottle for free in restaurants, ho(s)tels & airports. That's great, of course, because that means you can spend that money on something else! Also keep track of how often you fill such a bottle once a day and then realize how much single-use plastic you have saved, just by using a reusable drinking bottle to take with you on a trip.
5. Bamboo swabs in your plastic-free luggage
Do you know the famous statue of the seahorse with the cotton swab? At first you don't immediately think that you are doing very bad when you use a cotton swab, but since it is completely made of plastic, you are not doing it right. The alternative are bamboo cotton swabs that are fortunately more and more available! Also 'normal' at Kruidvat and Etos.
Did you know: disposable plastic cutlery, cotton swabs and straws banned from 2021 are in Europe?
6. Bring a travel cutlery set
Speaking of disposable cutlery.. I never thought I would be happy that I had packed a travel cutlery set, but I had a lot of fun with it! I bought a spoon, knife & fork in one: very handy for your daypack! Click here to view different cheap travel cutlery sets on Bol.com. Because how often do you, as a backpacker, go to the supermarket to score a snack or meal? In the countries I've been to, there was always disposable plastic cutlery at the checkout, because yes, how else would you eat it… but thanks to my all-in-one cutlery I never needed it. So definitely recommended.
7. Shaving without plastic
Disposable blades are out of date anyway and how inconvenient is it that you have to look for a razor that you like on the other side of the world? The alternative is a Safety Razor. The Safety Razor is a durable razor and therefore without plastic. You purchase it once and then you only have to replace the blades (which last a long time), so in the end it really saves on costs!
8. Plastic-free toothpaste and deodorant
After replacing your shampoo and shower gel, it is also the turn of your plastic tube of toothpaste and deodorant. A toothpaste in your plastic-free luggage means that you have toothpaste in the form of small tablets that are just enough or you buy toothpaste in a jar. The disadvantage is that you have to 'stock up' quite a lot because in Asia, for example, I have not yet seen plastic-free toothpaste, but who knows! A plastic-free deodorant, on the other hand, is a bit more convenient since you can use it for a long time. Such a zero-waste deodorant is in most cases not only completely plastic-free, but also 100% vegan.
9. Save coral by replacing your sunscreen
Do you not pay attention to which sunscreen you use? You will most likely use a sunscreen that contains oxybenzone and octinoxate, which is harmful to coral. Coral reefs cover only 0,2 percent of the Earth's surface, but are home to 25 percent of all ocean life. Worldwide, hundreds of millions of people depend on the reef for their food or income. So it is undoubtedly important that we do everything we can to protect the coral. That starts with a coral-friendly and plastic-free sunscreen. So you can dive into the sea well prepared!
What else do you pack for a world trip? Read the blog about what to bring and what not to bring.
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