How to travel better. The Eco-friendly cosmetic pouch makeover

Cosmetic pouch

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There are many little things that one can do to give a helping hand to our planet when travelling but one important cornerstone would be what you bring with you in your suitcase.  A refillable bottle and reusable shopping bag are always good ideas but let’s go a bit beyond and take a deep dive into cosmetic pouches.  Never big enough for some and an afterthought for others. There are a few ways by which we can do a healthy and planet-friendly makeover for vanity bags. The good news is that toiletries can easily be swapped for better alternatives.

First of all, I would say that the pouch/bag would be a good place to start.  Avoiding or limiting plastic pouches and favouring more natural materials such as hemp and cotton may be a good start. So swap plastic for natural fibres and you are heading in the right direction.

Next, what about your toothbrush and toothbrush holder? Ditch the plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one and do the same for the holder.  Not sure where to find the holder, check the link here.

Whilst we are on the dental hygiene topic, let’s not stop with the toothbrush.  Swap the toothpaste in the plastic tube with toothpaste tablets. Wait, what, how does that works?  Easy to carry, tablets contain the perfect quantity of toothpaste for one wash. All you need to do is to pop one in your mouth, chew a little and brush. Easy, plastic-free, no mess, you can even bring them in the plane as they are solid.  The earth will be smiling. Get yours here or here.

But wait, what about flossing. Remember your last conversation with your dentist? Yes, flossing is part of good dental hygiene but it does not have to cost the earth.   A cardboard case will work just fine. Try this one here or here.  Make your dentist and the earth a little happier.

Next, let’s move on to other essentials.  What about your deodorant? Ditch the plastic and trial one of those two options. The first one is in a tin can (click here or here) and you will need to apply with your fingers. Compact and effective, this is a great way to smell like a rose.  If you are not ready for using your fingers to apply your deodorant then you can get the cardboard stick. Effective and eco-friendly, both options are available. Check them out.

And one last thing. Soaps and shampoos.  Get rid of the plastic tubes and avoid using the hotel provided ones.  These are rarely fully used and end up as waste. Plus, I have found that they often contain way too many chemicals for my own taste.  BYO soap and shampoo kit it is.  Whether you have oily, dry or sensitive skin, get your perfect travel kit (available in dry, sensitive or oily skin and hair options)

Haaaa, feeling better now.  How cool is that?  Add your reef-safe sunscreen and you are good to go (here ).  If this is sounding a little complicated, build your own perfect cosmetic/toiletries/vanity pouch in a few clicks, right here!

Until next time, travel safe and eco-friendly. 



Should we ban reef toxic sunscreen in Australia?

Should we ban reef toxic sunscreen in Australia?

*** Don’t feel like reading? watch the video here ***

2020 will be a big year for the Great Barrier Reef. In 2015, which is when the World Heritage Committee last did an extensive review of the Great Barrier Reef, the Great Barrier narrowly avoided the status of “in danger”. The Reef Plan 2050 was published by the Commonwealth and Queensland government to ensure that the reef continues to improve on its Outstanding Universal Value every decade.

In 2020, the Committee will re-assess the Great Barrier Reef and decide whether or not it is now considered “in danger”. Since 2015, the health of the reef has generally declined. (GBR Outlook Report 2019 and The joint Australian/Queensland Government’s GBR Water Quality report card).

Great Barrier Reef
Heart Reef in the Great Barrier Reef, viewed from a Seaplane

How can we help the Great Barrier Reef?

Climate change has been recognised to be the highest threat to the reef. From more intense cyclone to an increase in water temperatures and acidity, climate change is threatening the reef.

As the reef becomes more vulnerable, other problems become more and more apparent: Reef toxic sunscreen.

According to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, there are approximately 2.2 million people who visited the Great Barrier of Reef in 2018. That is a lot of people in contact with the reef. Now, not everybody wears sunscreen or toxic sunscreen but it is likely that a lot of them do.

Especially because the reef is really vulnerable, every positive step that we can take counts!


But what is a reef toxic sunscreen?

The two most toxic ingredients frequently found in sunscreen are oxybenzone and octinoxate.

Sunscreen anyone?

The first chemical used in sunscreen that was found to have a negative effect on corals and marine life is oxybenzone.  Even one drop of oxybenzone in six Olympic-size swimming pool can cause damages. It deforms coral, causes coral bleaching and eventually death. There are other substances that are considered harmful, whether active ingredients of preservatives. Chemicals in sunscreens that can harm marine life include: Oxybenzone, Benzophenone-1, Benzophenone-8, OD-PABA, 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor, 3-Benzylidene camphor, nano-Titanium dioxide, nano-Zinc oxide. The most common and harmful ones are Oxybenzone and octinoxate.

The effects on coral are quite scary.  So much so, that the island country of Palau has already banned them and Hawaii has voted to ban them by 2021. The ban concern sunscreen containing  oxybenzone and octinoxate.

Now that raises the question about the Great Barrier Reef. As Australia is the custodian of this World Heritage area, every step counts.

First, start by checking out the ingredients in your sunscreen and don’t buy those with harmful chemicals.  If you are looking for a reef-friendly sunscreen, check out our website here.

Reef-safe sunscreen
Reef-safe sunscreen

Second, raise awareness and start talking about it.  Sign a petition to ensure that Australia bans those damaging chemicals in sunscreens.

Together, let’s give the reef a chance to recover for future generation to enjoy.