The eco-traveller’s suitcase: Seven swaps to change the way you pack your cosmetic pouch.

The eco-traveller’s suitcase: Seven swaps to change the way you pack your cosmetic pouch.

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Hello sunshines,

Are you going on holiday soon? Whether you are going for a weekend away close to home or going away for a week or for a month, you will likely bring your toothbrush with you as well as a few other personal items.  How about doing some simple swaps to make the earth a little happier and a better place to live for everyone. Having a zero-waste approach by reducing plastic and other petroleum-derived products is a good start. If you need a bit of new: make the swap to more eco-friendly options.  Here are a few swaps tips to help you on your eco-traveller journey:

Tip 1: Replace polyester and plastic cosmetic pouch with one made of natural fibres such as hemp or cotton.

Hemp cosmetic pouch

It never ceases to amaze me how petroleum-derived products have invaded our lives.  In the name of convenience and low cost, we have let those products creep up in our lives and we do not even realise it anymore.  Did you know that polyester is made of the same stuff as single-use plastic bags or water bottles?  The transformation process varies slightly but there is no doubt about it, plastic and polyester are sisters and brothers. Both processes use non-renewables as raw materials as well as energy intensive production processes which contributes to climate change. Polyester, just like plastic is non-biodegradable.  Those are even more reasons to make the swap and change to a pouch made of natural fibre such as cotton or hemp.  Natural fibres are biodegradable and are from renewable sources.

Tip 2: Avoid plastic containers, use bar soaps and shampoos instead

Bar soap kit

The ills of plastic are well known and trying to avoid them can be a bit of a nightmare. However, thanks to bar soaps and shampoos, that is one easy swap. However, even if you are using those at home, the practicality of bringing your soap bar in your suitcase may not be that obvious. Bars are usually big and a suitable container may be hard to find but this option could be worth it.

Hotel soaps and shampoos may be tempting but did you know that all the leftovers are thrown away which increases the environmental footprint of hotels by creating more waste.  Harsh chemical products are often used in making them too, so they may not be so good for your skin. Plus,  it is often difficult to know what they are made of. If you have sensitive skin or scalp, perhaps not the best idea. Bringing your own is a better option.

If you can’t find a suitable container to bring your own or feel like a guilt-free pampering option, check out our travel kits here.

Tip 3: Get a bamboo toothbrush and toothbrush holder.

Bamboo is such an underrated material. It is biodegradable unlike its plastic counterpart and is made of renewable materials. Unlike trees, bamboo grows fast and can be harvested quickly. Bamboo does not require pesticides or fertilisers, so it is a more sustainable option. Practical, economical and oh-so chic. Get yours here.

Tip 4: Ditch the toothpaste plastic tube for tablet toothpaste

Bamboo toothbrush, bamboo toothbrush holder, tablet toothpaste and eco floss

That was a game-changer.  No more plastic tubes! Simple and easy, chew a tablet, brush and rinse. Repeat.  No mess and easy to carry everywhere. The same frothy effect minus the plastic guilt. Definitely, something to smile about!

Tip 5: Get an eco-friendly floss

Do you feel guilty when you do not floss? Even on holidays, make your dentist proud. This floss comes in a cardboard box. Yes, biodegradable and sustainable cardboard. Such a simple solution.

Tip 6: Choose a deodorant in a tin or in a cardboard stick

Eco-friendly deodorant

Well, I know not everyone likes a deodorant in a tin. Personally, I think that it works well. If applying deodorant with your fingers is unappealing, you can use a popsicle stick but just washing your hands after is perfectly fine.  If that still does not work for you, we now have the option of a cardboard stick. Recyclable and plastic-free both options will pamper your armpits and will keep you smelling good all day. Check them out here.

Tip 7: New clothes? Avoid fast fashion

Thinking about buying that cute dress for your next trip? Well, consider this before you buy. Buying cheap and trendy outfits may seem appealing but fast fashion is one of the most polluting industries where low ethical standards are the norm.  Buying a stylish dress that you can wear time and time again can bring you more satisfaction. Selecting sustainable materials like organic cotton, Tencel and recycled materials will give you the everlasting feeling that your purchase will help the planet. Check out our webpage for some inspiration because eco-friendly does not mean boring.

And tada…. Just by making a few easy eco-friendly swaps you just made this world a better place. Who knew that what you pack can change the world. One bamboo toothbrush at the time. Bonus tip: don’t forget your reef-safe sunscreen!   Check out our eco-friendly travel kits here and if you want more tips on how to travel more sustainably, check out our website for info and follow our adventures on social media. Until next time, travel safe and love the earth.  

Julie

Ecotourism has changed. What does it mean for you and me?

Ecotourism

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From ecotourism to sustainable tourism and towards destination stewardship. What is eco-travelling and what does it mean for Australia

We are really blessed here in Australia. We have so many wonders, sometimes we go straight past them and do not notice them.  Other times, they are so big, it is hard to understand them in their entireties. 

Great Barrier Reef

That big Kauri tree pine that you passed by without too much thought is classified as a near-threatened species. Do you know why?  Alternatively, some wonders like the Great Barrier Reef are so big that they can be seen from space, yet, comprehending its size by looking at the horizon is near impossible.

Jane Goodall famously said, “Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, we will help. Only if we help, we shall be saved.”

― Jane Goodall, Jane Goodall: 40 Years at Gombe

I think that is probably on this premise that eco-tourism was born from.  Ecotourism was first coined in the 1980s and referred to visiting exotic and rare environments without causing too much harm.  It has since been an evolving concept supported by a myriad of certifications. 

Crucial in the evolution of eco-tourism are the concepts of sustainability and the impact of climate change.  Nowadays, it is not so much about the exotic environment but rather about the impacts of tourism and the stewardship of a destination. 

Sustainability explained
Sustainability development concept

Let’s first talk about the sustainability concept. Officially first defined in 1983 in the final report of the Brundtland Commission.  It was defined as “ development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”  Sustainability was intended to reconcile the ecological,  social and economic dimensions of life.  From limiting causing harm to the environment to being considerate to local communities, being socially responsible the eco-tourism took a more holistic approach.  The term sustainable tourism started to pop up here and there to show this expanded consideration.

These days, not compromising the needs of the future encompass consideration about climate change.  Climate change is in fact central to the present and future challenges of tourism and eco-tourism. On the one hand, the co2 emitted by planes and transport contribute to the rising of the temperature and on the other hand, climate change, for example in the form of sea-level rise and increased number of heat waves affect the places we travel to.  It is really a two-way street and we get what we put in.  Now, one thing we can learn about eco-tourism and sustainability is that purely focusing on preserving the environment will not work.  Other dimensions of human life such as social and economic need to be considered.

eco-certification
Green certified quality vector emblem isolated on white background

Enters destination stewardship or how to take care of a destination as a whole.  It changes the focus from the operator or the hotelier to consider the destination as a whole. It allows focusing on climate change mitigation solutions for the whole of the tourism sector in a region.  For example, the Whitsundays region has embarked on a project to decarbonise the tourism industry in the region and gain eco-destination accreditation.  This will also include considering social and economic dimensions in achieving destination certification.

So let’s go back to us, avid travellers and experience seekers.  What can we do to encourage a better way of enjoying the world we live in that is positive for future generations and that considers social and economic aspects of tourism.   For example, we can consider where we travel,  how we get there and favour eco-accredited destinations and operators.  If you are interested in learning how to travel to Far North Queensland,  check out my guide to travelling more sustainably. The guide is free and includes two, seven days itineraries ideas.

Hope you enjoy!

Until next time, travel with the planet in mind.  Stay safe and leave only footprints.

Cheers,

Julie