People travelling today don’t want to have to lower their standard of living to be environmentally friendly – there are of course many people who are happy to live out of a rucksack and wear the same clothes for days on end!
However, if you don’t want to lower your standards to help save water and become more eco-friendly – then take a look at some of the following tips – and they don’t include the well-repeated ones like ‘turn off the tap while brushing your teeth’!!!
1) Try to source biodegradable toiletries. This way you can still have your luxury thickening, gloss-inducing shampoos and your extra invigorating shower gels – but you know that they won’t wash off you and into a sensitive water course affecting wildlife and landscapes.
2) Make sure you locate yourself some biodegradable suncream too- as this is likely to wash off of you and straight into the sea and rivers – now there’s a nasty thought. There are many adventure parks and natural waterways (like the cenotes in Mexico) that will check your sun cream before entering – making sure they are biodegradable!
3) Find yourself a brand of leave-in hair conditioner that you like. This will save plenty of water as you won’t need to use water for the rinse part. Many people leave the shower head running while rubbing their normal conditioners in before rinsing – wasting even more water! Why not leave the product protecting your hair for longer as well as making a difference.
4) And why not leave all other toiletries at home that aren’t essential. Do you really need to be moisturising your fingernail cuticles while trekking through jungles? Or changing the color of your toenails midway across a desert (after using nail polish remover!!!)? No you don’t. Take essentials only or buy multipurpose products to do the same jobs.
5) It’s a great idea to save small bottles during your everyday life especially to travel with. These smaller bottles are perfect for travel toiletries without taking up too much room in your luggage – and you will use them again and again rather than dispose of them abroad.
Many people take half empty larger bottles from home, planning to dump them on vacation and make room for souvenirs on the way home! This may well put too much pressure on your destination and could rule out a return visit in the future….
6) As a man, why take all your shaving paraphernalia if you are travelling about? Why not grow yourself a beard while you are away and keep a photographic record of it’s journey with you! Maybe get on a social networking site and have your friends see you like never before – I mean could you keep your job at the bank with a great big bushy beard?
No such fun possible for the ladies – but why not let your hair go natural if you normally tame it down at home. Ne need for straighteners and anti-frizz potions – just get yourself some great head scarves or bandanna’s and change your look for the vacation.
7) Another one for the ladies would be personal hygiene. Make sure if using towels or tampons (non-applicator of course) that you use the lowest possible protection to reduce the amount of waste created. By using products designed for ‘extreme conditions’ when there is really only a need for ‘standard protection’ requires a larger product and more resources – it also means more ‘rubbish’ to be disposed of by your hosts.
Never flush anything like this down the toilets (even back home) as most developing countries ‘sewers’ barely work with just toilet tissue in the first place. Make sure you dispose of them carefully and hygienically and warn you hosts if close contact may be encountered! Don’t dispose of them outside either as they will attract vermin and dogs.
8) Another thing never to throw away or flush down the toilet are medications or any sort. They could poison not only wildlife – but people as well. Always take unwanted medicines, treatments and contraceptives to a chemist who will dispose of them safely. Try not to take too many with you in the first place – generic named products are available almost everywhere you go – and are probably cheaper anyway!
9) And finally – try to find an alternative to every-day disposable contact lenses! The waste involved in this is not good for any environment – but especially not in developing countries – unless you bring them all home with you. Decide on an alternative that suits you, either monthly lenses or your old-fashioned eye-glasses!!
Now get packing……
By Catherine at www.ecoholidaysandadventures.com