Not only will you be helping the planet, but you’ll have the most stylish packing going.
Summer is coming. Some people might be planning to travel while social distancing. The thing is, a lot of the things we pack into our luggage is not very sustainable. So how can we shop and pack our necessities in the most eco conscious and responsible way possible? What are the greener, more ethical options to pack our bags? Today, we want to share these ideas with you.
1. Reusable water bottles
Although most of us are already accustomed to using a tumbler, I just want to remind you that by carrying a tumbler, you can save 1,460 plastic bottles per year by using a reusable bottles.
Also, there’s a water purifying bottles which can help you to make your water safer to drink while being an eco-friendly traveler. Professional travel blogger Lauren Juliff once introduced this product:
"One of my favorite products to travel with is the Grayl water purifier bottle. I’ve used it to drink tap water in countries like Mozambique, Tonga, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and have never once fallen ill. What I love about the Grayl is that it makes water drinkable within seconds — you simply fill the bottle with water, press the filter down to the bottom, and drink away!"
2. Solar powered charger
Have you heard about solar powered portable chargers? While not a perfect solution for giving your gadgets an extra boost, it can be really useful on long outdoor activities where there’s no access to outlets. They also work well for daytime charging and short term needs.
4. Reef-safe sunscreen
Normally, a high SPF sunscreen will protect your skin but it isn’t good for the ocean as it damages coral reefs. Chemicals found in it, like oxybenzone, octinoxate, paraben and benzophenone are toxic to coral eco-systems and all those snorkelers and swimmers who coat their bodies in sunscreen are inadvertently killing off the coral.
Last year, Hawaii and the Pacific island of Palau banned regular sunscreen that contains these chemicals. You can tell if a product is reef-safe if it has zinc oxide or titanium dioxide in the formula.
One of the products I recommend for our readers is REN Skincare’s Clean Screen Mineral SPF. Not only is it vegan, and plant-based instead of chemical based, but it also uses 50% recycled plastic packaging that can be recycled again and again. The matt cream is absorbed quickly into skin and contains a broad spectrum of UVA/UVB and blue light protection.
Ingredients to avoid
Oxybenzone: used in over 3,500 different sunscreens worldwide.
Octinoxate / Octylmethoxycinnamate: used in long lasting suncreens.
4-mehtylbenzylidene: 4MBC. Banned in the U.S., but not in Canada and parts of Europe.
Sunglasses are essential which helps your eyes keep healthy. I want to suggest you consider PALA eyewear – It is a brand that is “timeless, ethical and sustainable”. After all, that is their motto. They give back to programmes that help restore people's sight, for every pair bought. They also work with a Ghanaian-based NGO to support weaving communities to make protective sunglasses cases and use recycled acetate and bio-based materials to create their ethical sunnies.
Last, No Plastic bags!
As we’ve talked about in one of our earlier blog posts "We Are Exposed To Microplastics", plastic bags are one of the biggest culprits of ocean pollution. Looking at plastic bag consumption alone, Americans use about 14,000,000,000 plastic bags per year, which in turn require 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture and can cost up to $11 billion to clean up. According to Waste Management, only 1% of those plastic bags are returned for recycling — the rest end up in landfills or as litter.
Being a responsible traveler and minimizing your carbon footprints, requires you to really take a moment and understand how your actions affect the world. It can be easy to abandon sustainable principles when we go on holiday. But with the information we have given you, we hope this makes it a lot easier to continue your green lifestyle.
If you want to learn more about the stores what are selling eco-friendly products and are easily accessible in the GTA, see our last blog post "4 Best Zero-Waste Shops In Toronto"