I’m really looking forward to travelling abroad this summer. As much as I love holidaying in the UK, it will be great to have some guaranteed heat this year. Holidays are a privilege – the pandemic has definitely highlighted this, so if you’d like to try to make your holiday footprint a little bit smaller, there is now a great range of eco-friendly travel products on the market – from water bottles to deodorant.
Apart from lessening our impact on the planet, most eco-friendly travel products are better for us than their mainstream equivalents. Standard sun creams, deodorants and mosquito repellents contain some pretty nasty chemicals so it feels good to be slapping on something which is better for our skin as well as for the planet.
And I know these ideas are rather a drop in the ocean – there’s a lot more we need to do to solve the problems we’ve created on our planet.
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Environmentally friendly suncream
Not only is eco-friendly sun cream a good idea for the planet, it’s also better for our skin. My skin is generally happy with anything I slap on it but the one exception to this is sun cream.
I’ve found the Green People range is the best for my semi-sensitive skin. So I’ve often bought that for both me and the kids. However, my children have become quite picky lately about the method with which they apply the cream – all their friends have bottles which spray the cream on. Luckily, Alba Botanica have a kids clear sunscreen spray in factor 50. Alba Botanica Kids Clear Sunscreen is reef-safe, biodegradable, vegan-friendly and the bottle is made from recyclable metal.
Obviously these products are more expensive than the high street brands but unless you’re spending several weeks in Australia (unlikely for a while sadly), you probably won’t get through many bottles of suncream in one summer so it’s an investment worth making.
Isn’t the plaster a powerful placebo for children? One of my sons is convinced that a cut will stop hurting once he has a plaster on it.
However, traditional plasters aren’t great for the environment – you often see them floating around in the local swimming pool or the sea. Not only that, many children are allergic to some of the chemicals which go into making plasters. So I was delighted to discover Patch, an Australian company which makes plasters – or rather patches – from bamboo. They come in a cardboard packaging and they’re completely plastic free.
Eco-friendly mosquito repellent
You might be one of those lucky people who mosquitoes don’t enjoy feasting on, but for the rest of us – especially children – mozzies can be a real pain (pun intended). As with most of the eco-friendly travel products I’m recommending here, environmentally friendly mosquito repellent is better for our skin as well as for the planet so you’re doing yourself a favour by using it.
Incognito roll-on insect repellent is a great alternative to the DEET repellents and it’s made here in the UK. This is a good company to support – they are recipients of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development.
Eco-friendly travel mugs
I have a really good Thermos travel mug which I use for tea or coffee when I’m on the go. It has a handle making it easy to use and it keeps my drinks hot for ages. There are lots of different reusable hot drinks mugs and cups on the market these days so whether you’re after a beautifully designed eco friendly coffee mug or just a good value reusable cup for your daily caffeine hit, you should be able to find something suitable.
Refillable shampoo and conditioner bottles
I haven’t found a shampoo bar which works for my hair yet (please let me know if you have a recommendation). So my compromise is to go to my local refill shop and buy shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and soap from their big dispensers. When I go on holiday, I always take little silicone refillable bottles with me – they don’t take up too much space in my luggage and they also stick to the wall in the shower using a suction pad.
There are literally hundreds of these silicon refillable travel bottles on the market. Mine are by Go Travel and I’ve had them for over five years now and they’re still going strong, they have never leaked.
Reusable water bottles
We tend to use the Sistema drinking bottles for day to day use but when you’re travelling in a hot car, it’s a good idea to have an insulated bottle to keep water cool.
When we’re on holiday, we keep a stash of insulated bottles in the boot of the car so that we don’t have any sad children on the way home.
Reusable make up wipes and reusable kids wipes
There’s really no reason to buy disposable wipes anymore – not for mucky hands and faces anyway – there are so many reusable ones available, including ones for make up removal.
I’ve been using Cheeky Wipes on my boys’ hands and faces for years – they have lasted really well.
I really like using Nuud deodorant. You don’t need to apply it every day – depending on the person it lasts for 3 to 7 days before needing to be reapplied. And it comes in a tiny plastic-free tube, perfect for holidays.
Environmentally friendly menstrual products
We’ve come such a long way since I was a teen when there was only one brand of tampon on the market. I think it’s brilliant that today’s generation of young women are embracing the broad range of eco-friendly menstrual products now available.
We’re all different, so while some women might prefer reusable pads or period underwear, others will find menstrual cups work best for them. You can even get reusable tampons.
There’s a lot of false information out there about various European countries and the safety of their tap water. The tap water in most of Europe is safe to drink but quite often it tastes rather different to what we’re used to.
If you’d rather not buy hundreds of plastic bottles on your next holiday in Europe, you could buy a portable water filter. Obviously, there is some plastic wastage involved in this but it’s a lot less than two week’s worth of bottled water.
Brita makes a handy water filter bottle which is perfect for destinations such as Spain and Portugal where the water is safe to drink but might taste a bit different to the UK.
So, do you have any favourite eco-friendly travel products which you swear by? Let me know in the comments below.
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