Zero Waste Travel Tips with Beeswax Wraps
This Christmas, my family and I had the opportunity to head over to Sicily and spend the holidays with my sister and my cousin. In preparation, I took a look at what I had at hand to help make this trip as zero waste as possible. This kind of preparation doesn’t take too much time and it is a really worthwhile thing to do. Below are some of the things you can do to be a bit more mindful about generating less waste whilst travelling, starting off of course, with some quirky ways to utilise our wonderful Beeswax Wraps and Vegan Wax Wraps!
Zero Waste Tips with Beeswax Wraps
1. Soap bar cover - This is my sister’s favourite travel use for beeswax wraps. Why?
a) She doesn’t like using liquid soap due to the plastic containers they come in, which often explode all over your other toiletries at altitude.
b) If taking it in your hand luggage you don’t have to put it in a plastic bag when going through security…bonus!
c) When she uses the old-style plastic soap containers the soap ends up all slimy and sticky, as well as taking up a lot of room in your toiletries bag.
2. Toothbrush cover – A great way to use one of your older wraps that is close to retirement. Cut your wrap down to a smaller square to make a good fit for the head of your toothbrush. It will keep your brush clean, as well as avoid getting everything else in your toiletry bag wet, plus it is easy to clean! Also, don’t forget to make some homemade toothpaste for your trip! (You can find the tutorial for DIY toothpaste here.)
3. Leftovers - One of the great things about Italy is that although it is a great place to eat out, it is also full of fresh produce that can be used to make your favourite dishes if you are staying somewhere with a kitchen. We made as much delicious food in our home as we did eating out, and there were definitely moments when we made way too much, so bringing wraps to make things last in our fridge was definitely worthwhile. Also, as always it makes your fridge look pretty!
4. Snacks – As you may know, we have a little boss baby that needs her snacks at times when the rest of us might not need one, so we take a few snacks with us (her favourite at the moment being the fennel and carrot sticks). We use our wraps to make little snack pouches and throw them into our bag. Check out our Tutorial Page on how to make your own pouches.
Here are some other zero waste travel tips to reduce holiday waste.
Use electronic tickets instead of paper
This is a simple way to begin your trip and with the majority of transportation companies now offering the option of an electronic ticket, you might as well take advantage of it and save some paper when it is relatively easy to just use your phone, or tablet. One minor frustration with this is that some airlines prefer you to download their app in order to do this, however you can always just delete the app when you return home.
Bring reusable shopping bags and shop at local markets
By now, most people are using reusable shopping bags during their regular day-to-day shopping, but it is also a good idea to bring them on holiday as well. We have some tiny fold-away bags that can easily fit in your purse or pocket, making it a convenient way to avoid a bunch of plastic bags (Which the Sicilians will offer you by the dozen it seems). This also goes hand-in-hand with buying fresh produce at the local markets, which allows you to stay away from packaged products, as well as giving you an authentic opportunity to connect with the locals.
Sicily has an abundance of fresh produce markets selling everything from nuts and olives to spices, cheeses and meats. We had a great time interacting with the locals as well as generating a bit of curiosity when we asked them to wrap our cheeses in our colorful reusable beeswax food wrap!
Seasonal and local eats
Italy is known for it’s dedication to using and supporting local food production and with a little extra research, you can find the places close to where you are staying that use seasonal and local products. There were an abundance of restaurants and cafes in and around Noto, the town we were staying in, that used only seasonal products but our favorite was “Caffe Sicilia”. You may know this gorgeous little cafe from the Netflix series Chef’s Table. It definitely lived up to expectations! Located in the Centre of town, it was our regular spot for breakfast; serving a fresh cappuccino with locally produced almond milk and a decadent ricotta cannolo…delizioso! Not only are their treats and beverages incredible, but the owner has made it his life’s work to support local farmers and producers by using them in his world-class pastries.
Beach Clean Ups
On one of the days we went to the near-by Vendicari Nature Reserve. It was really cool to see that they had put up a sign with a variety of products and how long they took to decompose. It was a good way for people entering the park to have a reminder about the impacts of littering, which is a massive problem in Sicily. As an expression of gratitude for the beautiful places we visit, it can be a good idea to help the natural surroundings by doing a beach clean while also taking in the amazing views and getting some exercise in. For travelling around the UK check out Surfers Against Sewage beach clean ups. We have worked closely with SAS for over a year now and have recently done a charity print to help raise money for their work. You can read all about Beeswax wraps charity work for SAS here!
Reusable Water Bottles
This is a must when travelling. For the airplane rides, car journeys and everything in between. While you won’t be able to take the water through airport security, there are places to dump it out beforehand and most airports now have refilling stations once you have made it through.
Soap Nut Shells are a great and natural alternative to liquid laundry soap. Soap Nut Shells are small enough to pop in your luggage or carry on. You only need 5 Soap Nuts per wash and you can re-use them up to 5 times! Super easy and a great way to keep your clothes clean on trips without having to take up any space and no need to buy any washing detergent while away. It’s a win, win!
Plastic Free Airlines
Lastly, keep a look out for airlines that are going plastic-free, or are making an effort to use less plastic on flights. “HiFly” is a company that is looking to make their flights plastic-free in 2019 with a few test flights already in the air. Check out this article for some more ideas about what different flight companies are doing here. If this is not an option, then do your part by bringing your own food on board using beeswax wraps and your own reusable water bottles.