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  • Writer's pictureJessie Ladipo

14 Simple Ways To Reduce Plastic on a Trip

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Have you seen the documentary, "A Plastic Ocean"? It has truly changed my life. I always thought that I was very eco-conscious. I recycle and take cloth bags when I go to the store. But there is so much more I could be and should be doing. Climate Change is real! It is the most urgent problem facing the world today. If you don't believe that, you should probably stop reading right now. Now is the time to make saving the Earth a priority. Does that mean you should move into a yurt and make and live off tree bark and bee pollen? No. There are multiple ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint. Here are 14 Simple Ways to Reduce Plastic on a Trip.

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Stop using single-use plastics whenever possible. You can buy bamboo or metal straws, or stop using straws altogether. Purchase stainless steel or wooden travel cutlery to reduce the demand for plastic utensils.

Don't use the tiny bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and lotion that the hotels give you.

Use bars of shampoo, conditioner, and soap. I will be changing to bars. They last longer and don't leave trash.

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Quit buying travel-sized! Giving up travel-sized lotion would be impossible for me. The recycled air on flights is drying, and I need moisturizer. But I don't need travel-sized shampoo. I'm not planning on washing my hair during the trip. Tiny bottles hold tiny amounts, so they get thrown away quickly. Buying larger bottles means less trash in the long run.

Use Tooth Tablets. They come in glass containers and clean teeth as well as toothpaste.

Use dusting powders or solid deodorant instead of the sticks.

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Carry reusable canvas bags. Plastic grocery bags live throughout the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. These bags are a huge problem. Don't use them even on vacation. Toss a couple of cloth bags into your purse or backpack. If you stumble on souvenirs, you will have a bag handy.

Invest in a reusable water bottle with a filter. I recommend the Grayl Geopress bottle. It is pricey at $90, but you will be able to use it anywhere. Use the bottle on planes instead of the tiny plastic cups.

Switch to a Menstrual Cup. Hygiene products are not recyclable because of the health risks. Menstrual Cups are reusable and last for decades.

Avoid airline food. The food is awful and packaged in plastic.

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Need a beer (or a Pepsi) to get through the day? Choose either a can or glass bottle whenever possible. Unlike plastic, glass, and aluminum, do biodegrade.

On long flights, airlines give out disposable, plastic earbuds. The sound quality is poor, and they are single-use plastic. Bring earbuds with you, and you might be able to hear your movie.

Volunteer. Spend a few hours picking up and beautifying the destination.

Spend your money with eco-conscious companies. Many hotels and cruise lines are doing their part to get rid of single-use plastic. Use these companies! You don't have to spend your hard-earned money with companies that continue to pollute!

Saving the planet is a big job, but it is not impossible. When we work together, we can move mountains (of garbage)! Simple changes you make today could have an incredible effect on the future. Remember always to think globally and act locally! What simple ways can you reduce plastic when traveling?

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