Easy Plastic Free Swaps you can Make When You Travel

We are all becoming more and more aware of how we need to take action to help our planet. As a lover of travel, I can often feel conflicted on the impact my travel adventures can have. I feel a sense of responsibility. I know many of my fellow travel lovers feel the same! Its a catch 22, I want to see every corner of this beautiful world of ours, but know that travel, especially flights, can have a huge impact of this home of ours. So what do we do? To give up travel would be like giving up breathing for Nik and I, so we make changes. We make sure we live more sustainably in our every day lives. I have talked a little bit about this before in this post, Acknowledging the impact Travel Has. So, I thought I would share in this post, some tips for easy swaps you can make when you travel that are a great start.

plastic free swaps for the planet
No Planet B – Image from the internet, could not find image credits for it

Easy Plastic Free Swaps

So, lets start with the easiest and most common items. I appreciate that many of you have already made these swaps, but I like to be thorough! I will leave you some links of the items I have, or suggestions for great ones I have my eye on.

look after the planet easy plastic free swaps
I need to travel

Carry your own water bottle; This statistic will blow your mind. We throw away on average, 1 million plastic waters PER SECOND worldwide. Let that sink in for a moment……..How crazy is that! We are all well aware that most of these end up in our oceans and landfill. This needs to stop! If you always have your own, refillable bottle with you, you could knock 365 bottles a year from that total if you consume one bottle per day. It’s a great start and most airports now, have water fountains that you can refill at, both sides of security.

The water bottle I have

Pretty Bottles

Have a reusable coffee cup; I lurvvveee me a coconut milk chai latte, not gonna lie! I will usually buy one at the airport, especially on those early morning, just fell out of bed flights. I started taking my own coffee cup out and about a couple of years back, and apart from forgetting it occasionally, I always use it. I have a couple, and one of them, my collapsable one, I take when I travel. It takes up no room and it is always to hand. You can even clip it onto your case. I like this one as it has no problem with leaks. I had another one that held a little less liquid, but leaked sometimes.

Collapsable cup

Re-usable Coffee cup

No Waste Shampoo and Conditioners; If you have been with me a little while, you would know I am a full on convert and advocate of the zero waste bathroom. You can read my full details on that in this post, My Zero Waste Pamper I am still using and loving the shampoo bars, which I carry in little tins. Again, its a double win as it means no more stress about your liquids etc, as well as reducing your plastic waste. I do like the Lush ones, but have recently been trying some others that have no SLS (sodium lauryl Sulphate, the chemical that lathers up your shampoo’s etc) because of the possible link to cancer. Oh and they really are money saving. My last shampoo bar lasted me well over 3 months!

SLS Free shampoo bar

Coconut shampoo bar

Emma’s Soap Shampoo bar

easy plastic free swaps
I am a full shampoo bar convert

Moon Cup Menstrual cup; I’m a girl. I have periods. Do I want my period that nature kindly gives me to impact the planet? No. Another random but scary statistic for you, on average, each lady will throw away 150kg of tampons/applicators/pads in their life. They end up in landfill, in ur oceans and on one beach clean up in the states they found 47 pads on the beach….Nice! My menstrual cup also means that I don’t have to hunt around random chemist’s when I am over seas, trying to find tampax if I get caught out! I swapped to a menstraul cup after chatting to the lovely Abbi from Spin The Windrose about them. I have used mine a couple of months now, and after some teething problems, am a convert. So many of you asked me about it on Instagram, I am going to do you a full blog post on it! Menstrual cups are amazingly convenient for us travel lovers, as well as no waste. Double win!



menstrual cup - moon cup
The Menstrual Cup

Bamboo Cutlery Set: It really bothers me that airlines still give plastic cutlery for the inflight meals. I also find that many cafe’s and fast food places give plastic. All of this single use plastic ends up in landfill, our oceans or dumped in various other places. The bamboo set I have is very lightweight, (see it here), comes in it’s own little holder and I just wash after use. Easy peasy. Might be worth bearing in mind that some airlines may not allow these sets in your hand luggage.

Shopping Bag; Despite great inroads being made into businesses not giving away plastic bags, there is still a way to go. I actually make my friends laugh as I always have at least three fold up tote bags in my handbag. I mean, how much shopping am I planning to buy on a daily basis! Most of us have one of these reusable tote bags hanging around, so fold it up, and pop it in your hand luggage. I pretty much guarantee you will use it at least once when you are away. (Although, if you are with me, ask me for one, I usually have a bag full….)

easy plastic free swaps
I always have a bag on me

Sunscreen; We have to use sunscreen to protect our skin. As a skincare professional in my day job, I am telling you to never go naked in the sun okkkaaayyyyy (you can go naked-naked if the place your in allows it and you feel the need, let it all hang out by all means, but not spf naked). Unfortunately, most sunscreens have a few ingredients in them that are not kind to our environment, especially our oceans. Some ingredients even kill our beautiful coral reefs. The beautiful place that is Hawaii is leading the way with this, and actually have a ban on sunscreens with ingredients that damage our environment. Octinoxate, zinc oxide and oxybenzone are the main ingredients to avoid. One of my favourites I discovered a while back is Badger Broad Spectrum SPF 30. Its environmentally safe, and the packaging is also fully recyclable.

Make up Remover; This is another product that saves you space, means less items needed and is a great eco swap. I started using a re-usable make up remover cloth many years ago. The make up brand that I stocked in my clinic, (Jane Iredlae Mineral make up) introduced the ‘magic Mitt‘ to their range and I was hooked. No chemicals or products are needed, just water. I know that sounds madness, but they honestly do remove all traces of make up. You simply rinse it through, and let it dry. I now love the CloudCloth since discovering it too. British made, and they are more cost effective. Brilliant whether you are a travel lover or not!

So, there we have it! Eight simple swaps that are not only environmentally friendly, but in most cases make life easier! I am all over that! I hope you have found something useful. If you have any other great eco swaps, let us all know in the comments. It is brilliant to all share and learn from each other isn’t it. The best way of us all making steps towards more sustainable living, and of course travel!

easy plastic free swaps
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  1. September 23, 2019 / 7:38 am

    Oh the collapsing cup- my one was so rubbish and didn’t do the job but it was one of the first ones. Will check this one out x

    • kerrylifeandloves
      September 23, 2019 / 9:18 am

      Hi Neha. Yes my first one was the same, it used to leak. This one seems much better! I have only had it about four months, but no problems yet! Thank you for reading x

  2. Great ideas hun. I need to remember to take bags for life away with me. The amount of plastic bags used in the States recently was insane. They’d put like two items in one bag! I felt so guilty. We did bring them all back with us to re-use though… Can’t wait to hear all about the menstrual cup. I am so curious about how they work! I’d be scared it’d overflow or something lol or pop out hahahahahaha!! xx Heather xx http://www.suncreamansparkles.com

  3. September 30, 2019 / 8:50 am

    After reading this I realise I’m actually being quite god Kerry. I use my own water bottle,shopping bag and I use facecloths for cleansing. I’ve used faceclths for as long as I can remember! This is a lovely little post to remind us of awareness. We need to keep our planet safe xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      September 30, 2019 / 10:15 am

      Yayyy! That is brilliant Laurie. I think we are probably more conscious than we think we are. These days, everything is convenience, and that is what is damaging the planet. Years ago we never even knew what a disposable wipe was! We seem to be reverting back to simpler, less damaging times. I am happy!

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