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7 : Packing for the Sun and Seas

Packing your holiday bag to minimise your impact abroad. Giving you just one less thing to worry about when you're chilling on the beach.

Hiking. Watching Sunsets. Telling myself I'm going to get up to watch a Sunrise. Drinking cocktails. Going to the beach. Jumping off high places into the sea. Paddleboarding...

So much of what we do on holiday is purely enjoying and admiring our surroundings, we spend more time outside, shop locally and eat fresh food. You would think therefore on holiday we're actually more eco-friendly. However...

Holidaymakers cause a 40% surge in marine litter entering the Mediterranean Sea each summer, 95% of it plastic, according to a new report from WWF.

This got me thinking about my impact abroad, and what I can do to reduce this. Because like many I'm sure, I'm tentatively waiting to find out when we can all travel freely again. A bit of a contradiction really: Getting on planes. Sustainability Blog. However, this blog is also about controlling the controllable. Unfortunately, I'm not an aeronautical engineering genius so my ability to design an affordable eco-friendly aeroplane, that allows us to travel the world emission-free, is pretty limited. However, if you, reader, are one of these engineering genii, I am very much looking forward to seeing how you redesign travel, and in particular, aeroplanes, to operate in the future!

But for my effort, I've been planning my holiday bag. I've been thinking about everything I may need so that when we all can all travel, we can at least minimise our impact on the environment.

I'm still missing plenty of bits, including the all-important suncream and body lotion / aftersun. I have, however, found this Blog post specifically on sustainable suncream brands in the UK which is super informative and links you to all the different ones. And I'm sure there are plenty more things I'm missing from my holiday bag, that I'll only think of when I'm actually on holiday!

In the meantime, I've compiled a Kit List to refer to, because there simply is nothing better than being able to adventure around this wonderful world we are trying to preserve.

I've ranked the levels of my Kit List from, Idiot Abroad through to Basic Beach, all the way to No Waste Nomad.

The Idiot Abroad kit list includes a few products I think most people will have already; the bare basics that will still reduce waste created on holiday.

The Basic Beach list consists of things that most people will have in some form or another, again around their home, but may not think to bring with them. For example, I have a travel set of Bamboo cutlery, but there's no reason you couldn't just pop in a regular set of cutlery from your drawer to stop you from needing a throw-away pair of plastic ones to eat your Fish and Chips on the beach.

The No Waste Nomad list, are items I have bought over time to be more eco-friendly but that you may not already have, and would have to invest in, or even change current normal behaviours for. Some are far easier to pick up and use for your holiday; like the metal straws; whereas others, like the Mooncup you have to get your head around a little more! Obviously only applicable for some!

So here you have it...

Level 1

Level Up...

Level Up...

*Check out loads of other Bathroom tips in my Blog Post: Showering you With Sustainable Swaps, where you can read more about these products, links to buy and which ones I prefer to others.

The list is far from exhaustive, and naturally, the amount of waste anybody creates on holiday or at home is subject to what decisions you make. But it's a starting point. These alternatives, many of which are used daily anyway, stop you from needing many single-use plastic items like cutlery, shopping bags, Tupperware, grocery bags, sandwich wraps, coffee cups, water bottles, tampons, straws, miniature shampoos and conditioners in the hotel bathrooms... and lots of other bits of waste we create as tourists.

An added bonus: other than the blade for the Safety Razor (which you can buy in most pharmacies over the world), everything can go in your hand luggage.

So, let me know what items make it into your holiday bag, and whether you're an Idiot Abroad, Basic Beach or No Waste Nomad!

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