"It's just one - straw, plastic bag, one use utensil"... said 1 million people.
But what if, each of those people were to consider their action, change their mindset & act with a conscious-consumers attitude.
What if the approximate 8.3 billion plastic straws that currently pollute the world's beaches, were to instead be 8.3 billion straws made from repurposed and biodegradable materials?? That left behind no trace.
Each little step, mindful consideration and educated conversation - can lead to a whole bunch of rad changes.
So, instead of bringing to light an array of sad stats, facts and realities that you have heard a million times before... I am going to cut to the chase with some everyday changes that we can all make! This particular guide focuses on travelling sustainably, as often one - use items are the most convenient choice when on the move... but you can easily put these ideas to use in your every day life!!
The Golden Rule seems to always lead back to - Eliminating as much one use waste as you can! From your bathroom to kitchen, most on-the-go options fall under the one use, landfill destined category… but heres how you can change that! (To begin with we will run through the alternatives, then we will add a list of some real life product switches)
Looking after you & the planet
Soaps, Conditioners, Shampoos, Body Lotions, Body Wash, Shaving Cream, Lip Balms, Sunscreen, Sanitisers, Tooth Pastes, Razers/Shavers, Deodorants, Hair Brushes, Combs, and Make - Up products! All notorious for being sold in… you guessed it! Plastic… and non refillable nor reusable plastic at that!
The easiest solution - buy the raw/bar form of the product, and store in a reusable tin, paper wrap or beeswax wrap!
Some products such as sunscreen, sanitiser, toothpaste, deodorants and make - up… are not as easy to buy in bar form (yet), but there are still so many great alternatives!! Sunscreen can be bought in tins, toothpaste in recyclable tubes or better yet tablet form in a refillable glass jar! Deodorants do come in bar form… but can also be purchased in tins or in biodegradable cardboard tubes - and make up, well there are so many incredible companies out there storing their beauty products in biodegradable and reusable vessels.
In regards to the tools you use - (Brushes, Combs and Shavers)… It can be tricky to get your hands on an affordable alternative, but what you will soon realise is the life on these items is HUGE… and in the long run they’ll cost you less! Bio Degradable and Compostable products are what to look for in terms of the materials these every day tool are made out of! Such as wooden handles and bristles that will leave behind no trace, or metal long lasting materials that have a forever life - are the way to go! For example… A plastic tooth brush or shaver takes… to leave our planet and leaves a nasty trace! Yet a wooden alternative can be composted, leaving behind no trace!
It’s all out there, and often the more sustainable options are also chemical free and better for you! We have included some brands who sell these alternatives below.
Leave behind only footprints
Picnics on the beach, snacks on long hikes, lunch on the go, breakfast on the train, If you’ve travelled, you’ll know that eating out and about and wherever/ whenever - Is just how it goes when you are travelling! Plastic bottles, packaging, wrap, utensils, cups… often seem like the only option when you don’t have your home kitchen… or any kitchen for that matter, but thats not entirely true!
When minimising packaging waste when on the go, it’s key to come prepared and BYO! From utensils, to cups, to plastic wrap and bags - As the world become plastic free, it’s in your best interest to try to always have these key items on you, so your not stuck carrying loose grocieries or eating that street stall pasta with your hands!
Again, plastic free is key and reusable is best - Having a little pouch with a knife, fork, spoon and straw in it will mean that you never have to reach for that one use utensil again and always have your own! You can easily DIY these using metal utensils from home, or you can purchase cute packs with wooden utensils that are 100% bio-degradable!
For cups and bottles it’s the same, BYO!! Ideally use keep cups - these have a great life and will save you money in the long run, as most cafes charge for one use cups now! You can also up - cycle old jars as we have done (check out our Le-Alba keep cup range). These are easy to sterilise and with care can last! Having your own durable drink bottle (metal is best as this lasts forever) will also save our planet & your pocket! You can refill these at stations for free in most parts of the world!! Same goes for plastic wrap and packaging - Bringing your own reusable wraps and Tupperware will often save you money, and keeps food a lot fresher!
For all of the above we have included a fantastic product list below!
- Shampoo and Conditioning Bars - Koru Kai, available in a range of sizes, with small travel sizes! (We at La Luna stock these both in store and online), Splash Bars - Two rad ladies from Piha run this one, Ethique.
- Body Wash, Body Balms, and Shaving Cream - WE SELL A WHOLE RANGE OF THESE, Made by the La Luna Team here in NZ - Using natural products.
- Lotions and Moisturiser Bars - The Ama life has a range of NZ Ama Body Bars, that are a solid block of balm designed for easy application all over.
- Suncream/Zinc - The Ama Life sells a NZ made and 100% natural zinc, that is stored in a reusable tin! This natural zinc oxide sunblock is made for those exposed areas whilst out on the water, up the mountains, running etc.
- Insect Repellent - The Ama Life sells a Biting Bugs Bug Balm. This helps keep away mosquitos and sandflies whilst still hydrating the skin.
- Tooth Paste - Lush! They sell Toothy Tab's (Tablet form toothpaste), Tooth Paste Jelly and Mouthwash! - And La Luna real soon!!
- Deodorant - Cardboard Deodorant tubes are a push-up tube. When finished these can be composted, creating zero waste. We stock Koru Kai, available in two sizes (We stock these in store and online)... But there is also Dirty Hippie that does a great range!
- Keep Cups and Drink Bottles - We sell a range of up-cycled heat pads so you can diy your own keep cup from old bottles and jars! Alternatively there are HEAPS on the market l, most Homeware stores sell them but online you can find them on keepcup.com
- Utensils - ... You guessed it, us! We have a whole range of reusable utensils made from wood, coconut or bamboo! We also do already made little packs using up cycled material to store these in. Alternatively you can just carry some of your home silver around too!
- Wax Wraps - US!! La Luna has a whole range and we also have a collection of wraps and covers made from up - cycled materials! Otherwise there is also Lily Bee - one of the first in NZ to do these!
On a final note - we totally understand and personally feel the high expense of going green on your pockets! A lot of eco -alternatives come with a high price tag, which is why it’s important that those who can afford it, help normalise it… So in the long run (fingers crossed), sustainable options will become mainstream and affordable for all!
At the end of the day its about doing what you can - Forgot your drink bottle on a long walk? No worries, buy a plastic one and drink that water!! Just maybe try to use that bottle for as long as you can afterwards? Same goes for any plastics! All we can do is try our best, lots of little changes can add up to a whole lot of change!!