Travel is ramping back up, and as excited as we are to get back to our favorite destinations—or explore new ones—we also want to remember a few ways we can help cut down on waste the next time we do it. (Tourists can produce almost double the amount of waste as an area’s local residents, and tourism is responsible for about 8% of the planet’s carbon emissions.)
Court Whelan, an ecotourism expert, has six easy items to grab before you leave home that will make your next vacation a little more sustainable. When packing these essentials, you can travel assured that you’re doing your part, however small, to be a little more eco conscious.
Reusable water bottle
Often forgotten in a packing rush but so helpful on the go, a reusable water bottle is a must-have for long flights and hotel stays. You’ll save a few dollars and avoid buying plastic water bottles for the sake of convenience while you’re out.
One of these little tools is easy to tuck into a purse or backpack and will allow you to forego the airport’s only option of plastic cutlery. Full, mini-sized sets are even available for those who are very dedicated to the cause.
Whether you’re grabbing a pre-flight coffee at the airport or sampling a local blend in a new city, a reusable travel mug is the perfect way to ensure you’re avoiding unnecessary paper coffee cups—you’ll definitely get an approving nod in ultra eco-friendly cities like Portland and Seattle.
Canvas shopping bag
Perfect for perusing local markets or grabbing groceries to take to your Inspirato residence, reusable canvas shopping bags can roll up into almost nothing. Keep one in your purse or pocket to have on hand at all times, especially when you’re on the hunt for souvenirs.
Rather than stashing your dirty clothes in one of the thick plastic bags that hotels offer, tuck your own laundry bag into your suitcase. A mesh, lightweight bag takes up almost no space and allows you to separate out your dirty clothes from the clean without using the plastic option.
Don’t break into the small, single-use toiletries that hotels provide in the bathroom. Before you leave, remember to fill reusable, travel-size containers with your own lotions and potions; different designs for each product make it easy to remember which is which.