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Zero waste travel - plastic free vacation

Zero Waste trip - 13 tips for vacation without waste

Would you like to stay plastic-free on your next travels and Zero Waste Journey lay down? Then you've come to the right place. Whether we're traveling to Bali in Indonesia or on vacation here in Europe, we usually generate a lot of waste when we travel.

In this article, I would like to show you how you can embark on a real zero waste journey - even without totally bending over backwards.

13 tips for your zero waste journey

I don't want to overwhelm you with hundreds of tips here. That's why I'm giving you the 13 best tips for traveling as waste- and plastic-free as possible in the spirit of the Zero Waste Lifestyle. Let's not waste any time, the next vacation is just around the corner.

1. travel with own water bottle

Zero waste travel - plastic free vacation
With a reusable drinking bottle, you will save on plastic waste from water bottles when traveling.

It doesn't really matter which country you are in: Unfortunately, a deposit system for drinks bottles is almost only available in Germany. This means that if you buy a Bali trip When a plastic bottle has been drunk, it is immediately trash.

The alternative is to own Drinking bottle. I can recommend this Stainless steel drinking bottle and these hip Glass bottles with swing top from Soulbottles. You can fill them up after the airport checkpoint, for example, and save yourself the waste caused by plastic cups on the plane.

In Bali I have seen the Zero Waste App Refill Bali to have my bottle refilled free of charge. Many restaurants and cafés there take part in this program to avoid plastic waste. Even if there is no refill app for your destination, there is another good alternative. Many accommodations have integrated water filters on the tap - so you can simply refill your bottle in your accommodation before you go out. As we Drink plenty of water every day For me personally, this is the absolute basis of a zero waste journey.

2. trip with solid care products

Zero waste travel - plastic free vacation
Solid bar soap is an important part of your zero waste journey.

Of course, cosmetic products also generate a lot of plastic waste when traveling. So that even on vacation plastic free living you should therefore Shower gel, shampoo and co. replace with solid soaps. For example, I can recommend these Olive oil soap without plastic recommend. It can be used for both skin and hair.

If the soap gets wet on vacation, you can transport it in a small tin can in your toiletry bag. This will help you avoid plastic waste from shampoo bottles on vacation.

3. take jute bags & vegetable nets with you

Zero waste travel - plastic free vacation
By using the vegetable nets you brought with you when shopping on vacation, you reduce your waste enormously.

What for the plastic free shopping in Germany is of course also very important for your zero waste trip. Take a reusable Jute bags and a few vegetable nets with you on vacation. So you can buy mushrooms, tomatoes and all other groceries on the go without waste. The bags are lightweight and easy to store - an absolute must for your zero waste trip.

4. pack reusable cutlery

Zero waste travel - plastic free vacation
With reusable cutlery, you can also save a lot of disposable waste when traveling.

As I have so often in the Nature Travel Blog mentioned, even on vacation you can't do without the Zero Waste Basic Equipment out. This also includes the reusable cutlery. You will find stainless steel cutlery in most accommodations, but the waste problem with plastic cutlery usually starts with the food on the plane.

By using so a set of cutlery*, you can make an important contribution to your zero waste journey here. It will also help you to be able to eat home-made food transported in the lunchbox on the go without waste.

5. replace paper digitally - even when traveling

Zero waste travel - plastic free vacation
Use your smartphone or tablet to save paper waste in the form of tickets, for example.

An ordinary trip also generates a lot of paper waste. Through digital tickets on the smartphone you can already once a lot of Saving paper waste. You don't need to lug around a huge atlas either. Even if you don't have mobile internet at hand, the offline maps from Google Maps help Books can also be viewed digitally on your tablet or eBook Reader read. This means you can take hundreds of books with you on vacation at once and still not have any extra weight on board. Another valuable step for the sustainable travel.

If you could use a little reading inspiration, check out the article on Books about sustainability over.

6. take lunchbox & beeswax cloths with you

Zero waste travel - plastic free vacation
On vacation, for example, you can wrap bread in beeswax wraps. / Photo © by Avocadostore / Gaia Wrap

By making your own Container or also Plastic-free cling film with you on vacation, you also save a lot of waste. For example, fill your food for the journey in the Stainless steel lunch box and enjoy it on your next day trip. This way you avoid waste caused by spontaneous to-go meals. Also the Beeswax cloths are reusable and keep solid meals like greased breads fresh for a long time.

In the article Make your own beeswax cloths you can find out how to make them yourself at home. If this is too time-consuming for you, you can get ready-made Beeswax cloths without plastic.

7. do a CleanUp on vacation

Zero waste travel - plastic free vacation
A picture of the CleanUp in South Africa - why not support or organize a clean-up campaign during your vacation?

For me personally, a zero waste journey also includes doing something about the existing plastic waste in the sea or in nature in general. Because our oceans are already home to 5 huge Garbage vortex - driven by the ocean currents.

As I have seen for example in my CleanUp Diary in Indonesia described, are Clean-up campaigns Balm for your own soul and the environment. Why don't you also support a few CleanUps against plastic waste or organize your own CleanUp. In this way, you are both raising awareness and helping to ensure that the beaches in your vacation destination are cleaner.

Come with pleasure to our worldwide Beach CleanUp Group on Facebook and be inspired by other great people.

8. find a waste-free accommodation

Zero waste travel - plastic free vacation
Accommodation is also becoming more sustainable and easier to find.

Really Find sustainable accommodation is difficult - you might think. However, there are more and more good places to go for really thoughtful and Waste-saving accommodation.

At bookitgreen for example, the partner accommodations are rated in great detail according to waste avoidance, recycling rates and other important factors for a zero waste trip. As I have a partnership with the travel portal, you can use the voucher code CAREBIG Save €20 on your first trip.

Personally, I also often book myself into AirBnb Homestays and simply ask in advance whether Water filterWiFi and other things are available for my Zero Waste trip. If not, I'll keep looking for suitable accommodation.

9. no plastic waste on airplanes

Zero waste travel - plastic free vacation
It's an art to stay plastic-free on an airplane - but it's not impossible.

Admittedly, completely plastic free flight is almost impossible - and flying itself is anything but sustainable. But if there's no other way, you should at least avoid plastic waste on the plane. By filling up my water bottle before departure, as I mentioned earlier, I avoid the waste by Beverage cup. The cutlery set you bring with you also helps to reduce waste by Disposable cutlery to bypass.

And what about all the in Plastic packed meals? They can only be avoided if you have eaten well beforehand or have pre-cooked for the flight. In the latter case, you can Meals simply transport in a stainless steel container in your hand luggage. This is allowed and a valuable tip for your zero waste trip.

Fortunately, the first airlines are already declaring war on single-use plastic waste. (See news article about Air New Zealand)

By the way, you can find out more about your Offset CO2 emissions through flights. It's still not sustainable, but it's still better than just flying.

10. cook yourself or eat on site

Zero waste travel - plastic free vacation
Support local restaurants and try to cook a lot yourself.

ToGo food generates masses of plastic waste, which unfortunately is often used as a source of waste in developing countries. Plastic waste in the environment end. Try to cook as much as possible yourself on vacation - even on the go. You can transport your food on vacation with the stainless steel lunch boxes mentioned above.

Avoid ToGo food from Fastford chains like Subway & McDonald's on vacation and prefer local specialties from people who can really use the money.

Do you still need some inspiration for cooking? Then take a look at our Nutrition blog over.

11. take cloth towels with you when traveling

Zero waste travel - plastic free vacation
Cloth wipes are suitable for use as napkins, handkerchiefs and for transportation.

Cloth wipes are a real miracle weapon for zero waste travel without plastic waste and paper waste. Because they are good stowable, washable and above all versatile. Use a few of them for example as Fabric handkerchief and a few others for transportation. You can also dry and wrap dishes wonderfully with the cloth towels.

Even if this tip for zero waste travel seems rather outdated, it still avoids a huge amount of waste on vacation. You can find out more about the best tips from our grandparents' generation in the article Life hacks for a sustainable everyday life.

12. do without souvenirs on vacation

Zero waste travel - plastic free vacation
Try not to take any unnecessary souvenirs with you that will only end up as dust collectors.

An anklet here, a porcelain figurine there. I do without these things on vacation, which are sometimes aggressively thrown at you. Because at home, they just end up in a drawer or end up being anything but minimalist. Dust catcher on the shelf. If I believe that the seller is really dependent on the income, I prefer to give him a little money.

The Decline of mostly superfluous souvenirs is an important part of the Zero Waste journey and creates a wonderful transition to the next tip for a plastic-free vacation.

Tip: Take a look at my article about sustainable souvenirs. There you can also find out to what extent the purchase of souvenirs Environmental issues and illegal animal trade causes.

13. use the Zero Waste basic rules

Zero waste travel - plastic free vacation
The most important Zero Waste rules can also be applied on vacation.

There are some basic rules of the zero waste lifestyle that are also great to follow on vacation. In the following, I would therefore like to give you a little inspiration on how to behave on your zero waste trip:

  • Reuse: By reusable If you prefer things like stainless steel cutlery and bamboo straws, you are already making an important contribution to your zero waste journey. Avoid disposable products, as they end up in the bin after a single use.
  • Borrow: Even on vacation you can Borrow things instead of buying them new. For example, rent a bike to get from A to B sustainably even on vacation.
  • Reject: By clearly refusing things like plastic straws or souvenirs, you can avoid a lot of unnecessary waste on vacation. If you order a drink, simply say beforehand that you would like it without a straw. Perhaps the operator has already switched to bamboo straws or glass straws.
  • Reduce: Think minimalistically and, above all, reduce your luggage to the things you really need. Only buy the things that are absolutely necessary. Reducing is an extremely important part of the zero waste journey.

I hope that these rules of conduct will help you to travel as plastic-free as possible.

Is a zero waste trip possible?

Zero waste travel - plastic free vacation
Relax and enjoy your zero waste vacation with these simple tips.

As you can see, a largely waste-free trip is absolutely possible. As always, it is helpful not to see the term "zero" waste as an extreme, but rather as a common goal. In this way, we all gradually learn how to travel plastic-free and save a lot of waste. Without completely bending over backwards and losing the desire to travel, by the way. That should not go unmentioned 😉

Do you have any questions or your own experiences with the Zero Waste journey that you would like to share? Then I look forward to your message under this article.

Stay clean and save travels,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: Do you already know whether you'll be traveling alone or with a travel buddy? If not, I recommend the following two articles: Travel alone & Travel for two.

PPS: Want to find out more about plastic-free everyday life? Then I recommend my Online Course 30 Days to Zero Wastewhich will guide you step by step to significantly less waste in 30 days. Have fun!

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

4 thoughts on “Zero Waste Reise – 13 Tipps für Urlaub ohne Müll”

  1. Hey Christoph,
    this is a very good summary for plastic-free travel. I have only noticed that unused, packaged cutlery is also thrown away during air travel. I always take the cutlery with me and use it differently at some point.

    1. Hello Julian! Thank you for your feedback and your attitude. Yes, unfortunately this is a big problem. Disposable cutlery on the plane is thrown away anyway... good that you make the best of it.
      Many greetings

  2. Hello Christoph,
    I think your commitment to a clean environment is great. I bought your book "Plastic Free for Beginners" because I've been trying to reduce plastic waste for some time now. It's not that easy, especially with sausage and cheese, or even dog food. When I go to the local supermarket, I sometimes have the feeling of being looked at strangely because I always try to buy only fruits and vegetables without plastic packaging. But in the end it always comes down to a compromise.
    One more question, can I join the community even if I am not on Facebook?
    Many greetings

    1. Hello Sabine! Thank you for your feedback and your positive attitude. On the subject Buy cheese & sausage without plastic I have just written a detailed post that will surely help you.
      The community is so far only on Facebook, but you are also welcome here the download free e-book "Get rid of the garbage or at my Online Course 30 Days To Zero Waste participate to learn more about making everyday life as plastic-free as possible.
      Continued success and best regards
      PS.: It's not bad if you compromise. It's better to reach your goal slowly than to stand still. And the "funny looks" will subside in the next few years. Then those who still walk around with plastic bags will be looked at strangely 😉

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