The Impossible Task of Zero Waste Travel: The Journey

A slight delay in writing this week as new year new me has also begun to mean new house so I am a little tied down with those preparations at the moment, not that I imagine that I have the kind of following on this blog that would be desperately waiting on my next post! Either way, I am back in the rather chilly UK now and continuing with part two of my three-part series on zero waste travel. This week the focus is on The Journey:

The actual travel element of traveling is probably going to be your biggest eco hurdle. It’s unlikely that every trip you take is going to involve a super environmentally friendly form of transport but there are a few things that you can consider to keep your conscience a little cleaner. As someone who doesn’t drive, it seemed to me that I had to take every mode of transport under the sun to get to Portugal this time (three trains, two busses, a plane and a car) in between which was a whole lot of walking. All in all it would have been a horrendous burden if it wasnt for the fact that I only had a backpack and a bum bag as luggage but it didn’t have to be this way, I chose specific bus services with electric busses, and really was just trying to save myself some money with cheap train tickets to destinations vaguely in the direction that I wanted to be heading. I don’t mind a little walking, and using public transport is always a positive so all in all I’d say the extensive journey was worth it (plus my travel expenses for the whole trip only added up to about £40 so definite win there)! On the other side my parents came to collect me from the airport, there’s no public transport running to their house out in the country so I didn’t really have much choice there, although I’m not about to feel particularly guilty about a car journey anyway.

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I think we’ve established that it’s pretty difficult to stay eco with your actual transportation so what little things can be done on the way to help out the planet? Firstly just living your zero waste life as you usually would, being conscious and not going crazy with unnecessary purchases because you’re on holiday. Remember that water bottle and coffee cup you packed? Use them! Most cafes and bars at train stations/ airports etc. will offer free water bottle refills if you ask, and some public places even have dedicated refill taps and water dispensers. In the UK, look out for the refill logo if you’re unsure about asking! Airports know they have the monopoly on drinks and snacks once you’re in there so the prices are often hiked way up, this is where it pays to be eco by bringing your own snacks instead of buying prepackaged and getting hot drinks in your own cup (many high street chain coffee shops offer discount or incentive for this too).

Every little helps with zero waste so make those little changes. Mobile tickets and boarding passes instead of paper, realise that you aren’t actually saving anything in duty-free if you weren’t going to buy 23 bottles of perfume anyway, and say no to the swarms of people bombarding you when you land at the airport with a free map of a zoo/ water park/ their mum’s back garden! Stay conscious, stay in control and don’t get mad that you had to take a taxi to the airport with all your bags, get even by packing efficiently so you don’t have to buy earplugs at the airport pharmacy for 1000% markup!

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