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Single-use plastic is the bane of ecologists everywhere. As we’ve seen from the devastating images on Blue Planet, the problem is huge. Faced with such overwhelming odds, what difference can one traveller make?
Ways to Make a Difference
Quite a big difference, actually, with a few surprisingly small and easy changes. All it takes is a little more planning and you’ll be able to revolutionise your suitcase and do your bit for the planet. You’ll even find these tips make packing cheaper and more efficient, as well as sustainable.
All you need to do is incorporate our top swaps and you’ll be well on your way to reducing your plastic and doing your bit for Responsible Tourism.
Reusable Water Bottle
This is probably the simplest and most helpful of all. Swap single-use plastic water bottles for one good quality reusable one and you’ll immediately reduce your plastic footprint.
Plus, getting a good quality bottle like this one will keep your water cool in hot weather, it’s less likely to leak and if you’re travelling in a country where the tap water isn’t safe to drink. Find out how to sterilise your water yourself, and you’ll save money into the bargain. No brainer.
Reusable Canvas Tote Bag
We’ve got used to using our canvas bags at home since the introduction of the 5p carrier bag charge, so why not do the same when we’re travelling?
Take a canvas bag with you when you’re out and about or planning to do some shopping, and refuse the plastic bags. Other options include a collapsible bag, or buying a handicraft bag at a local market – particularly easy in destinations like Peru or Morocco – which makes a brilliant souvenir too.
Reusable Travel Toiletries Set
Travel-sized toiletries are very useful. They save weight and space and are handy for when you’re just travelling with hand luggage. But there’s absolutely no need to buy new ones every time you travel.
These tiny plastic bottles are not only bad value for money, but they also create so much waste – buy your own set of bottles, and decant from your normal-sized shampoo and shower gels. Better still, consider making the switch to packaging free shampoo bars, available from stores like Lush.
Take Your Own Chopsticks
Heading off on a holiday to Asia? Disposable chopsticks are the norm in many countries, but taking your own cutlery is an easy way to avoid all that waste.
You don’t even need to take it with you – buying a set of chopsticks on arrival means you’ll stay plastic-free throughout your travels, and have a lovely souvenir to take home with you too.
If you’re a slave to the caffeine, bring your coffee-to-go cup from home on your travels with you. It’s an ideal way to get your daily brew on the go without contributing to plastic waste. Alternatively – you’re on holiday, why not take the time to sit back and relax in a café and watch the world go by?
Travellers Against Plastic
Exodus is proud to have taken the Travellers Against Plastic pledge! As proud supporters of Travellers Against Plastic (TAP) we’re doing all we can to prevent the use of single-use plastic on all our tours.
As of 2018, we’re proud to say that 99% of Exodus group trips offer an alternative to purchasing single-use plastic mineral water bottles. As a result, we’ve eliminated the use of 1,314,485 bottles in the last twelve months.
If you were to add up all that plastic, it would weigh the same as three adult elephants, or 4 and a half hippos.
Find out more about some of our tours that encourage responsible travel below.