We normally carry along a lot of things for travel. The everyday necessities like clothes and shoes take up most of the space in our bags, some would even save space for souvenirs.

Question is, how many things do we carry for the sake of the environment? Disappointedly, these items are often considered as a waste of “space” and burden to your luggage weight.

Here is a reality check. The single-use things that you use during travels normally end up in a landfill–taking up more space than your one-time travel suitcase, and is completely hazardous to the environment.

Before you go on your next trip, check out the packing list that we go by to minimise carbon footprint for eco-friendly travel.

Photo from Pinterest

1. Water bottle

The most indispensable priority when it comes to garbage-free travel is to bring your own water bottle. Go for BPA-free bottles or stainless steel bottles for healthier drinking. By refilling at hotels or restaurants, you can also save money from frequently purchasing water to quench your thirst.

Convenience: 10/10
Storage space: Small to medium

Utensil and container set from Tupperware

2. Utensils and Container

Airplanes give out plastic cutleries for your meal. A small action to refuse single-use plastic can mean a lot to the environment. So, bring along your own reusable utensils and straw. Bamboo-made or recyclable hardy plastic utensils are lightweight and easy to slip in bags.

Containers can come in handy if you like buying street foods as you walk through town or local marketplaces. Street food in Asia is normally packed using single-use plastic bags. Get the collapsible ones for a complete space-saver!

Convenience: Utensils 8/10 – Container 6/10
Storage space: Very small to medium

3. Reusable Bags

Another best friend to travel with as it is super versatile to carry around and refuse the bags given out in stores while shopping. The reusable and foldable bags can also be used to hand-carry your items to plane to redistribute the weight from your bagpack or luggage.

Convenience: 10/10
Storage space: Very small

Zero waste toiletries as advertised on The Hive Bulk Foods

4. Toiletries

Aside from your toothbrush, reuse any empty bottles from your house by refilling them with shampoo, body wash, face wash and etc. Bringing your own toiletries can prevent a list of garbage made from a few night’s stay.

To go completely zero waste, solids like toothpaste powder, soap bars, or deodorant bars are long-lasting and spill-proof in your bag.

Convenience: 8/10
Storage space: Small to medium

Menstrual cup as advertised on Frangipani Bulk

5. Menstrual Cup

For the ladies, this is an answer to a carefree, zero waste travel. Replace your huge stacks of sanitary pads in your luggage with a just menstrual cup and you’re good to go.

Unlike tampons, a menstrual cup is easy to clean and more economical for a lifetime. Made from medical silicon-grade material, one menstrual cup has a lifespan of 15 years.

Convenience: 10/10
Storage space: Very small

Comment below if you have any other travel items for a garbage-free vacation that you often swear by!

Text by Jessy Wong

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