If you’ve been following us for a while you should know by now that we are wholly committed to living a plastic free life. We understand this is going to be increasingly difficult whilst travelling around the world, but with some forward planning and the right products we know it will be possible to achieve.
This post is part of a series that we have written listing the eco friendly travel essentials that will be going on the journey with us. If you missed part 1 you can find it here.
We are travelling on a tight budget, this means we’ll be mainly eating from street markets rather than fine dining establishments. The perils of street vendors is the plastic cutlery. It is estimated that close to 40 billion individual plastic utensils are produced each year, and with such low rates of reuse and recycling, most of them end up in landfills, beaches and oceans. We don’t want to contribute to this, particularly in South East Asia, where the recycling of refuse is pretty much non existent. We purchased one of these Eurohike cutlery sets for each of us. They slot together compactly and have a little carry case to keep them clean in our backpacks.
Another part of eating on the go that can be problematic when you’re trying to be plastic free is the food containers themselves. Styrofoam plates and dishes are horrendously bad for the environment and human health. It starts with the pollution from the factories, then the carcinogens that leach into food, to the end point when they’re chucked away only to leach those chemicals into soil and water supplies, poisoning the earth during the hundreds of years it takes for them to break down into micro plastics. Again, we don’t want to be part of the problem. I’ll readily admit, these collapsible silicon bowls were not my first choice. I had my eye on these gorgeous stainless steel lunchboxes from my favourite eco shop Plastic Freedom. But at £20 each they were a little over budget and would take up too much room in our backpacks. I researched food grade silicone and found out that while not a 100% natural material like rubber, food-grade silicone is a non-toxic polymer mostly made from silica (sand). It can withstand heating and freezing without leaching hazardous chemicals – unlike plastics. So I’m happy with these bowls which we’ll take with us when out and about for vendors to fill with yummy food for us.
I have to make a confession here. I bought this swimsuit for purely selfish reasons, I mean look how pretty! I have tried to shop for clothing more ethically, especially after I watched a documentary about ‘fast-fashion’ which was horrifying. I have been buying lots of second hand clothes from eBay, but draw the line at second hand swimwear (call me a gusset snob if you please). I discovered Batoko, an amazing swimwear company with some stunning designs to choose from. I then read that each swimsuit is made from 100% recycled plastic which is awesome. Plus it’s an independent business based in the north west of the UK, so I’m supporting a small local business, and looking after the planet whilst being the owner of this beautiful cossie. Win, win, win! I cannot wait to wear it in paradise.
I found this lovely small business on Instagram, and knew that it was just what I’d been hunting for. Sew Cute Clothing sells lots of lovely handmade stuff via their Etsy shop, including these reusable face wipes. I use the small ones to take off my make up and the larger ones to clean the kids up. No need for disposable single use wet wipes when I have these in my bag. I usually hand wash them in the sink and leave to dry overnight on the radiator.
We have purchased one towel for each of us. Whilst the towels themselves aren’t strictly eco friendly, Dock & Bay as a company are making positive changes towards being a green company, such as 100% bio-degradable packaging, and making products from recycled plastics. These towels are lightweight, odour free, sand free and hold more than their weight in water. This will mean that they don’t need to be washed as often, which in turn makes them more of an eco friendly option. Plus they fold down small and each one comes in its own little drawstring bag, perfect for our nomadic lifestyle.
We are far from perfect and have a long way to go to live a completely zero waste life, but we are trying our best to help solve the current eco-crisis.