10 Tips for Lower Impact Holidays
When it comes to travel and holidays there are lots of conscious decisions and steps you can take to be as kind to the environment as possible.
Here's some of our top tips for holidays and travel to cut down on single use without missing out.
1. Cut down on liquid toiletries
An easy way to reduce liquids in your wash bag and breeze through airport security is to replace liquid toiletries with solid versions. Use a shampoo bar and bar soap in a tin travel case and ditch the bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body wash.
A solid shampoo bar lasts as long as two or three bottles of shampoo and it can be packed as a carry-on because it is not a liquid. It’s much better for your hair, as it’s made from natural ingredients. These ones from Three Hills soaps and Organicules have variations for all hair types and come in handy aluminium travel tin. Pack a solid conditioner bar too if you need to detangle your tresses after a long day at the beach.
A multi-purpose soap bar is another great choice for travel. You can keep it in one of these aluminium travel tins for soaps and they come in a wide range of fragrances.
Palm Free Soap’s Thyme Travel bar is an invigorating 3-in-1 bar for body wash, shampoo and shaving meaning you can replace three separate products with a single bar. This bar is especially formulated for the rigours of travel with a lower water content than regular soap to make it harder and prevent it getting soggy. invigorating blend of lavender, geranium and clarifying thyme
A solid moisturiser bar is liquid free and ideal for after your shower or before bed. Give your skin a real treat after your cleanse, with a lavender solid body lotion bar from Janni Bars. This nourishing bar is nice and buttery on your skin, absorbs quickly and leaves you silky soft, not sticky and waxy. Its easy to work with and does not melt or crumble too easily. Natural lavender gives this bar it's calming fragrance and also for it's great skin soothing and healing properties, making this bar suitable for all skin types.
2. Say Goodbye to plastic tubes and aerosols
The compressed gases found in aerosols and the plastic packaging of standard deodorants and toothpaste are extremely harmful to the environment.
Solid deodorants are the perfect replacement for plastic-free travel. A solid deodorant is like a soap block made from natural ingredients that you simply rub under your arms just like a roll on. They last much longer than the aerosol deodorant, don’t create any non recyclable waste and can be brought in your carry on.
Janni Bars Bamboo Deodorant Sticks are a natural deodorant with an organic arrowroot and bamboo powder base that neutralizes bad odours and keeps you feeling dry all day. Available in a variety of fragrances including a fragrance-free option for sensitive skin.
Organicules Natural Deodorants also come in a handy push up stick, made from recyclable cardboard. Using natural ingredients like Myrica fruit wax which has a soft velvety skin feel and sodium Bicarbonate, a powerful deodoriser. The range includes Charcoal, Lavender, Pink & Green Clay varieties.
Toothpaste tablets are a great choice for travel and because they are solid they don't count as liquids in your carry on. We love these new toothpaste tabs from Irish brand Bambooth. Packed in a compostable bag they’re cruelty free and vegan and unlike some toothpaste tabs there’s absolutely no grittiness with these. They dissolve completely in your mouth and they contain fluoride. If you prefer, fluoride free options are also available.
3. Say No to the hotel minis
While getting pampered in a beautiful hotel and using all the amenities is lovely, the use of plastic mini toiletries is not. Bring your own soap bar, shampoo, and toothpaste tabs so there are zero reasons to use hotel toiletries.
Perfect for a weekend away and a great way of trying out solid shampoo and conditioner bars is the Janni Bars mini toiletries bars, These are travel size versions of Janni's popular soap, shampoo, conditioner and moisturiser bars and come in completely compostable packaging.
While staying in a hotel why not try to reuse your bathrobes, sheets and towels? You don’t wash these every day when you’re at home and you don't need to do it when you’re away
4. Reduce chemicals on your skin and in the ocean
Yes, that’s right, many commercial sunscreens contain two harmful chemicals: oxybenzone and octinoxate making them really harmful to marine life.
Amazinc! is natural and effective vegan mineral sunscreen that’s chemical free, made with all natural and sustainable ingredients and packed in 100% recyclable aluminium bottles.
Harmful rays of sunshine are reflected by clear zinc oxide, an approved UV filter that’s 70-80% less visible on your skin, and includes a subtle tint making it virtually invisible once applied.
Hydrating almond, jojoba and olive oils keep your skin hydrated and the range includes sunscreen and tanning oil from 10 to 50 SPF.
Another zinc-based sunscreen is Sol De Ibiza, offering broad spectrum (UVA & UVB) protection for all the family, using Non-Nano Zinc Oxide as a filter. Made with certified natural and organic ingredients, including Aloe Vera from Ibiza, fragrances and preservative free, vegan friendly, reef-safe and never tested on animals.
5. Use natural products to soothe skin after sun exposure
Cold, fat free natural yogurt was good enough to treat your sunburn when you were a child and it’s good enough now. It’s a proven remedy and often the old ways are the best.
When treating sunburn look out for products that contain naturally soothing ingredients like calendula, lavender and aloe.
Calendula’s orange flowers have been used as a medicine for centuries. Calendula is antioxidant-rich and has the ability to nourish and soothe sun damaged skin. Bodhi Blends Calm Balm is an all-purpose healing salve with calendula, organic lavender and local Irish beeswax.
Lavender essential oil is a natural pain reliever and suitable for soothing mild sunburns, just make sure to dilute it first in a carrier oil before applying to your skin. You could also add a few drops of Roman Chamomile essential oil to a cold bath to soothe your sunburn and ease the burning sensation.
Look for products containing aloe vera which is rich in vitamins A, C and E and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties which can calm the burn. Bodhi Blends Aloe-lotion is a hand & body lotion that will soothe and hydrate sunburned skin, with the calming aloe blended with nourishing shea butter and nutrient rich jojoba and apricot oils.
Amazinc!’s Splash After Sun Spray is a refreshing and cooling spray to soothe skin after sun exposure. The aluminium bottle is easy to recycle and it's full of skin soothing ingredients like lavender and rosemary and moisturising Almond and Oat kernel oils.
6. Bring a bag
Whether it’s for a trip to the beach or a run to the supermarket, Turtle Bags are the super strong and stretchy bag that will fit EVERYTHING in - Mary Poppins style. Turtle bags are ethically made by a women's cooperative in India Using 100-percent organic cotton.These strong, colourful and waterproof tote bags are made from recycled cement bags by a women’s empowerment programme in Dhaka, Bangladesh. They are cotton lined with a zipped pocket and zipped top to keep everything secure. Available in red or green.
7. Avoid Single Use Cups
22,000 coffee cups are disposed of in Ireland every hour accounting to Mywaste.ie. Avoid single use cups as much as you can. Even the compostable ones, while well intentioned, are almost never composted because they are mixed with general waste and are indistinguishable from non compostable cups. Without a dedicated waste stream, unfortunately these all end up in landfill. Because they are only compostable in commercial composters they don’t break down in landfill. When not disposed of properly, compostable packaging can have a similar environmental impact to regular packaging.
Shout out to Insomnia who are the first Irish coffee chain to introduce a dedicated waste stream in their stores for compostable cups and will also accept non-Insomnia compostable cups too!
When it comes to travel we are obsessed with the Stojo collapsible cup. When not in use it collapses and you can pop it in your bag or pocket. The cup itself is silicone but the hard plastic sleeve means it feels really solid in your hand. It’s leak proof, dishwasher safe and virtually indestructible.
8. Pack light and do laundry on the go
The lighter you travel, the smaller your carbon footprint with the added bonus that your bag is lighter and easier to carry. You can really shrink your baggage by bringing less clothes and washing them when you're away, especially for basics like t-shirts and undies that just need a refresh.
Tru Earth Laundry Sheets are ultra-concentrated, hypoallergenic and eco-friendly pre-measured strips of liquidless laundry detergent that you just toss in the wash. They are suitable for handwashing too and will completely dissolve in cold as well as hot water.
Handmade by the Hoyne family in Killaloe, the Handy Laundry Bar is designed especially for travelling as well as household use. This handy little bar lives up to its name and can be kept by the sink for hand washing clothes including your woollens. Made with pure essential eucalyptus oil, a known natural dust mite deterrent that also leaves your clothes smelling fresh. As with all Palm Free Zero Waste Products, the laundry bar is formulated with fresh filtered rainwater and is 100% palm oil free and vegan friendly. Some other uses include: dish washing, cleaning worktops, sinks, showers, glass, shoes and leather, all of which can be cleaned with this small and mighty bar.
9. Bring your own straws & cutlery
This summer, new legislation came into force in Europe which bans single use disposable items including straws and disposable cutlery made of plastic. While this change will take some time to trickle down before these products are completely removed from the market, you can cut out single use plastic straight away and bring your own straws with you and your own utensils too. Invest in a reusable stainless steel straw or cutlery set and you'll never be caught short.
Plain Jane’s stainless steel straws are available in a pack of 4 or 6, are washable and reusable and come complete with a cleaning brush.
Do you find some straws come up short? Corkcicle Extra Long Stainless Steel Tumbler Straws live up to their name coming in at an impressive 25cm long making them perfect for larger bottles, tumblers and cocktails!
This bamboo cutlery set has all you need for eating and drinking outside: a knife, a fork, a spoon and a drinking straw with its own cleaning brush. The utensils are made from sustainable bamboo and packed in an organic cotton pouch.
For zero-waste eating on the go, this dual ended stainless steel spork comes complete with its own cotton bag. Elephant Box have cleverly compacted the size of the spork without compromising the width of the spoon and fork ends so that it still functions like normal size cutlery without being cumbersome to carry.
You'll never need to use single use cutlery again with the Black & Blum Stainless Steel Cutlery Set & Case. This nesting set includes a knife, spoon and fork set that feels great to hold and conveniently nests into a protective case for easy carrying. Made from high quality stainless steel that won't rust and will last forever. The snap case means you can bring this cutlery everywhere with you in a bag or pocket, with no danger of dirty cutlery coming in contact with anything.
10. Bring your own reusable water bottle and filter
One of the easiest and possibly best ways to reduce plastic while traveling is by investing in a reusable water bottle. They don’t have to be expensive, look so much nicer, and they are also healthier for us. That is because regular single-use bottles we purchase in the supermarket release toxins into our water. Two water bottles per day are what a person usually drinks, so you will reduce plastic easily by having a reusable.
Designed with wine in mind, Corkcicle canteens were originally made for wine and are perfectly sized for a full bottle of wine and to keep it cool, they are perfect for drinks of all kinds. Corkcicle have partnered with the charity: water to ensure that whenever you buy a Corkcicle bottle you help fund clean water projects in Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Nepal and Cambodia.
Use a natural charcoal water filter stick to make tap water taste great. This natural charcoal filter and locking coil upgrades any standard bottle into a ‘filter bottle’ using a traditional Japanese Binchotan charcoal method for cleaner tasting water. At the end of its life this completely natural product can be added to your compost bin, broken up and added to plants as fertiliser, burned on the fire or even used as a shoe deodoriser!
We hope you find these tips helpful! There's lots of ways to reduce our waste while traveling but it's important to do what works for you! Try not to get overwhelmed by it and you don't need to do everything on a list like this. It's not about being perfect, just do what you can do. Progress over perfection!