Zero Waste Shanghai
How to Be an Eco-Conscious Traveler
Chinese New Year's holidays are approaching, and we are all excited to reach some tropical destination for some well-deserved rest.
In 2019, traveling is no longer something that we really have to worry about: the market provides us with more gadgets and solutions than what we can even desire, making our trips more comfortable, easier and lighter.
There is nothing we wouldn't do to make more room in our cabin baggage. But also our leisure comes to a cost for the environment.
Before leaving, we would like to share with you some of our traveling tips for a more eco-friendly tourism without cutting all the fun.
Especially if you are traveling to some gorgeous South-East Asia country or island, please keep in mind that they are small locations or underdeveloped countries, hence their resources for waste disposal can be, by far, limited. This means that in most of the cases, your waste will remain on the island affecting not just the local population or future visitors, but above all, the local nature, wildlife, and ultimately the sea. If you look behind the perfection of the breathtaking shores and corals, you will see hidden mountains of trash and a heartbreaking quantity of plastic carried by the sea or hidden in the hinterland.
Koh Tarutao Island, February 2018. Desert beach with plastic.
In the past few years, we have been exposed to multiple images of how we managed to ruin beautiful places around the world, in the Philippines and Thailand the government had even to come up with extreme solutions, like shutting down some popular destination to preserve the nature and contain the damages.
source: National Geographic
What you can we do when we travel? How can we be more responsible tourists?
Here we want to share with you some of our tips.
1) Bring your own toiletries. Often they are safer than the cheap quality offered at the majority of the hotels. Among various options, we suggest you: get a set of containers that you can refill with your favorite products; 1b) consider beauty products in bars: they not only come free-packaging and with natural ingredients, but you will also avoid the 100ml rule for the handbag, hassle-free.
2) No cotton swabs, or, for the ladies, sanitary pads/tampons. Consider the moon cup.
Travel with the moon cup or thinx menstrual wear. Moon cups will set you finally free from any preoccupation. They are much safer compared to the tampos and they are cheaper because you can use one cup for years, simply taking good care of it
3) Say no to the straw!
4) Bring your own food wraps (beeswax or small cotton bags), steel straws, reusable cups and/or water thermos, a pair of cutlery. It's plenty of smart solutions that take very little space and have almost no weight.
Bring a foldable food container with you to avoid any kind of waste.
Bring your water bottle to refill (for free) on a flight/ train/ restaurants.
5) During the day or the trip, bring your own snacks instead of buying it packaged. Buy anything you like at the local markets and wrap it in your own containers. Delicious, healthy, and sustainable.
6) Try not to leave anything behind you. If you have anything to throw away, make sure you dispose of it correctly. Be aware of the impact you have on the surrounding landscape.
7) Ask the room service to not change on a daily basis your sheets or towels: it's a waste of water, energy, and chemicals that can be avoided.
Honorable mention: our favorite cotton bag! Easy to dry and to carry, spacious, it is a must anywhere we go.
8) Travel light! Do more with less. Think about the clothes you’ll actually wear, the number of shoes you need. You will discover that your hand baggage is sufficient and that the best souvenir you can bring back home is a wonderful memory and gorgeous pictures.
9) Prepare your own food for the trip: fresh home made food will be much better for you than the cheap low quality, over packaged food you will usually get on flights.
10) Alway remember that the planet will always give you the best picture, landscape and experience. Treat it well. What you see it’s not just for you.
And you, what is your favorite travel secret?
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