Updated: Nov 29, 2021
Let’s face it. Plastic is the new sugar. We know how bad it is, but we’re addicted. As a result, we have a huge scale issue on our hands. WoolAid is mending the plastic plaster problem however, this plastic issue that cannot be solved by one person alone, or even a group. We need everybody on board. If we keep turning the blind eye, soon there will be nothing left to explore. This not so distant notion may not be at the top of everybody’s worry list, but for those of us who love to wander, it would quite literally be the end of the world.
There are several ways that you, as a traveler, can lessen your environmental footprint whilst on the road and help make a difference.
1. Buy a keep cup.
This will save many many takeaway cups from landfill. You are no longer restricted to boring or, worse still, tacky plastic cups with emblazoned brand logos. No, this is 2021, YEAR of the keep cup. Once you get your hands on one of these state of the art hand blown glass cups, forgetting it will no longer be an issue. It will become an accessory in its own right, albeit an indispensable one. I speak from experience.
2. Getting brushing. You’re going to need a bamboo toothbrush. Not only are they super-duper lightweight (and uncomplicated), they have a nice minimalist appeal and are very cheap. As a backpacker, the last thing you want is the liability of carrying around an expensive toothbrush and charger. If you lose this one? No worries, just buy another. The pandas won’t mind.
3. Invest in a stainless steel drink bottle. Yes, one of those ones you’ve been seeing just about everywhere lately (if you haven’t, you will now). This is no coincidence, they’re absolutely brilliant. Lovely to drink out of and they keep the contents hot or cold as desired. They might not be quite as lightweight as your classic pump bottle, but they put a whole lot less pressure on the environment. Surely that’s a compromise worth lugging around?
4. Reusable bags. What for you ask? Everything and anything. Our planet is running out of time so excuses don’t really cut it anymore. These are great for supermarket trips when you arrive at a new destination, or for when you’ve bought (yet another) kitsch souvenir at the airport that doesn’t fit in your carryon. There is always an air of smugness to be enjoyed in having turned down a plastic bag at the counter. Accordingly, one should always do so just a little more loudly than necessary. After all, there is a message that must be spread and it isn’t going to spread itself.
5. What about Gladwrap? WoolAid recommends two options. The first Compostic, is a New Zealand based company you can count on to keep it fresh. The second is the humble Beeswax wrap. These wraps are awesome for several reasons. Firstly, they present an opportunity to support the small local business who often sell them. Secondly there are a whole lot of fabulous patterns to choose from. Thirdly, you get none of the plastic nasties from cling wrap. And the best bit of all? You can actually make them at home! It’s a win all round!
6. Suck it up. Straws. I won’t hound them, that job has already been done (Media: 1, straws: 0). But I will say, get yourself a stainless steel one and pop it in your bag. That way whenever you’re out for a drink or at a restaurant and you find yourself overwhelmed with the desire to sip your beverage through a thin tube (we all fall victim, apparently), you can whip out your very own drinking utensil and be the envy of all your friends. Cue that feeling of smugness once more.
7. Stop using plastic bandages, and use WoolAid
And there you have it. A few small changes you can make to your day to day lifestyle whilst travelling that will help to make massive changes in the bigger picture. So grab your backpack, your bottle and your straws, let’s hit road and make a difference well we’re at it!
By Eva Izard.