By Carly Eisley
It’s no secret that travel has an impact on the environment. That definitely doesn’t mean that you should forgo all plane and car travel – there are just too many beautiful places to explore and adventures to be had. When it comes to eco-friendly travel tips, here are some packing (and shopping) items and ideas to help keep your Escape Campervan adventure as eco-friendly as possible.
Try using an insulated cup or mug
Ditch disposable cups and carry along a cup of your own for your early morning airport coffee, daily campsite coffees, and post-adventure libations. We love our hydroflask insulated pint glasses, but any reusable drinking vessel will do.
Think about an eco-friendly water bottle
From the airport to the trails and back, a water bottle is an essential item that should be on your eco-friendly travel tips packing list. If you don’t have one at home, pick one up and carry it with you all the time! A one-liter capacity is a great size for staying hydrated without feeling like you are carrying around a milk jug. Insulated bottles are great, but can be a little heavy, so weigh (get it?) the pros and cons before adding one to your carry-on.
Reusable bags are the earth’s friend
Another eco-friendly travel tip to consider while you are on your adventure is to consider limiting single-use plastics, as a major way to reduce excess trash. There are many options available that pack up into tiny squares or pouches and can be easily stashed in luggage. You will avoid excessive plastic bag usage, in addition to being ready for the cities and towns that require you to have your own bags. Forget your shopping bags? Don’t even bother with grocery bags at all! Put the groceries back into your cart after purchase and then just load them straight into the storage bins and refrigerator in the van.
But what about snacks? Here are a few eco-friendly travel tips for packing snacks:
- Bring a reusable sandwich-size bag from home to use. Stasher bags are a popular brand, but there are others out there as well. A couple of regular plastic sandwich or quart bags from your home stash are also a reasonable option – stick them in your luggage and reuse them throughout your trip.
- Paper bags are great for packing up dry snacks such as trail mix, or even sandwiches.
- Aluminum foil can be used to wrap sandwiches or form little packets for snacks. Re-use the pieces, then clean and recycle them when you are done!
What about eco-friendly bar soap and shampoo
Eco-friendly travel does not mean unclean or unhygienic. Some eco-friendly travel tips to think about when it comes to hygiene includes, ditching the plastic packaging and picking up a bar soap to use for your campsite bathing and cleaning. You can easily find a castile soap (like Dr. Bronner’s) in bar form, especially if you plan ahead and order one to take with you. United by Blue also makes a biodegradable bar soap. Make sure your soap is biodegradable and if you plan to use it outdoors, never use soaps within 200 feet of a natural water source such as a lake or stream.
Eco-friendly travel and feminine hygiene
Menstrual cups have been getting a lot of attention lately as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional pads and tampons. They are easy to use and eliminate the trash associated with more traditional products. The cups are small and easy to stash in a bag, so there will never be any surprises (no one wants to be looking for a store to buy feminine products in the middle of nowhere during a camping trip). They also eliminate the need to pack out used feminine products during a long hike or backcountry camping trip (yuck).
Find a non-toxic sunscreen to protect yourself
Sunscreen is incredibly important, to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer from unprotected sun exposure. Many traditional sunscreens, however, contain chemicals that are dangerous to the environment – especially aquatic environments. Fortunately, there are some safe sunscreen alternatives that can be used while traveling and are equally eco-friendly. Seek out sunscreens that are free of oxybenzone and octinoxate, chemicals that are damaging to coral reefs and other aquatic creatures (mineral-based sunscreens are considered effective and more environmentally friendly). Use UPF clothing and wear a hat to help to block harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun, cutting down on the amount of sunscreen you will need to apply to exposed skin.
These eco-friendly travel tips are easy to incorporate into your adventures, as well as your everyday life! Check out the current Escape Campervan specials for some trip inspiration and put these ideas to use when you book your next Escape Campervan excursion. Happy Camping!