Updated: May 16
LIVING AND TRAVELLING SUSTAINABLY
It’s becoming more and more evident that living sustainably is no longer for “hippies” and people wearing tinfoil hats. NASA has reported huge changes around the world for quite some time. There is more and more carbon dioxide in the air, rising temperatures around the globe, ice sheets melting, sea levels rising and a drastic increase in extreme natural events. Although counteracting this has to be done on a very large scale, there are still small things that we can all do day-to-day that can at least help reduce our carbon footprints. If enough people take responsibility for themselves then that’s going to lead to us all achieving something incredible.
While on our travels Danielle and I thought we would make an effort to reduce our impact on the environment. At the very least we want to be able to leave places in the same condition that we found them. We made changes to our lifestyle that would help us do this...however you don't need to be travelling to think about doing the same. Here are some of the things we’ve put into practice already:
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SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS WE HAVE & LOVE
Comfortable reusable face masks: We opted for silk masks that are more comfortable when worn for long periods.
Reusable water bottles: The ones we selected come with a small cleaning kit to avoid bacteria build-up. There are tonnes of options available, which means there are no excuses for not looking into it. They can help save money on bottled water, as well as reduce how much plastic you use! They're great, and most are made now to keep your drinks at your ideal temperature too...it's a win-win!
LastSwab Reusable cotton buds: I dread to think about the total number of cotton swabs I've thrown away in my lifetime...at least I am looking to correct that wrong now. After using this I can honestly say it's great and this works better than its single-use counterpart!
Bamba Reusable cotton pads: The same as myself with cotton earbuds, Danielle can’t help but think back to the number of cotton pads she has thrown away and where that large pile might be to this day. We found these reusable cotton pads on Amazon and Danielle hasn’t looked back since. They’re made with a type of bamboo fabric and arguably work incredibly well.
FABCARE Eco-friendly face towels: Face wipes are another. There must be heaps of these things the size of MT. Everest somewhere! Switch out the single-use wipes and swap to a flannel or towel... it's so easy. This is the one Danielle recommends.
EAT FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
Danielle and I began actively reducing our meat consumption over the last 18months. We’re not vegan, but we wouldn't rule that out in the future. I’m very much of the opinion that these types of radical diet changes are a marathon, not a sprint.
Whenever I’ve made significant dietary changes too quickly they’ve often crumbled spectacularly. We started with the simple step of deciding we would eat vegetarian meals 2 or 3 times per week. Once we’d found some recipes we enjoyed and realised how easy it was, that quickly increased to being vegetarian Monday-Friday. After some weeks of gorging on meat at the weekends, we noticed the dietary benefits. Our bodies felt bloated and sluggish on the weekends compared to during the week, so we decided to go for it full-time.
We thought that travelling around South East Asia could make it difficult to be vegetarian full-time, but actually, it's quite easy. Most restaurants will do vegetarian versions of almost any dishes on their menu. We've been in some very remote places, and still not found it to be an issue...they simply ask whether eggs are okay or not.
HOW TO GO THE EXTRA MILE
Go Green: While at home Danielle and I switched to "Super Green" with Octopus Energy, which provided 100% renewable electricity and carbon-neutral gas.
Go Paperless: Most companies that send you mail will often provide a paperless alternative. It will be time-consuming at first, but once it's done you don't need to worry about it anymore.
Go Economy: Unfortunately, there isn't a fully sustainable way to fly...but some airlines will offset carbon emissions. It may involve looking at flight routes or paying slightly more for a better airline, but in the end, you're helping to save the one planet we have.
I don't like being preachy, but it's ultimately important to look after the planet...it's the only one we have. With some very easy and simple changes, you'd be surprised at the difference you can make.