Let’s say you are preparing for a trip to nature, maybe even to the Plitvice Lakes National Park, or for adventurous hiking in the mountains or you are simply embarking on a journey wherever your heart leads you to. In doing so, you have prepared your favourite sandwich for the trip, indispensable snacks, maybe (along the way) you buy juice or water, and finally store everything nicely in a plastic bag. And so, while you are enjoying your well-deserved vacation, wherever it is, don’t forget to stay environmentally conscious and recycle waste, especially the plastic one.
The basic travel rule is to leave the place behind yourself untouched as you found it!
Since July is celebrated all over the world as a month without (disposable) plastics, it is an opportunity to adopt ecological habits and reduce the plastic footprint. By that you are not only helping to preserve nature beauty, but also your health. You should know that if you keep drinking water in a plastic bottle, it has changed structure due to harmful plastic substances which that bottle releases, such as the BPA (Bisphenol A) ingredient. Various cosmetic products such as body creams and emulsions contain harmful synthetic polymers (plastics), and one of them are phthalates. They cause problems such as hormonal imbalance, reproductive problems and infertility, impaired immunity, diabetes or cancer.
So, a month without plastic, in our opinion, is quite enough for a little (but big) changes and positive impacts on the environment and health.
Since around a thousand billion plastic bags are produced annually, of which only 1% is recyclable (because it is unprofitable, and by the way harmful), the European Union has brought into force the law on the prohibition of the use of all disposable plastics until 2021. You can replace plastic with durable, recyclable or even better biodegradable materials. If nothing else, you can just reduce plastic consumption and replace some similar products with one universal product, whether they can be used in a bathroom, kitchen or shopping.
So, when you will be preparing for the trip next time, take into consideration these suggestions on how to use less plastic:
1. Use a glass bottle for storing a drinking water, lighter BPA-free plastic or stainless steel bottle.
2. Replace disposable plastic bags with canvas bags, which are also more durable.
3. Use stainless steel or silicone food containers, such as metal lunch boxes. Silicones have a common resistance to heat, so you can cook in it as well. Your favourite sandwich can be wrapped in a beeswax or silicone bag wrapper that is 100% plastic-free, impermeable and reusable.
4. Replace plastic plates and cutlery with metal (stainless steel) or bamboo. A great alternative to plastic straws are the ones made of metal, glass or bamboo.
5. Coffee or hot beverages can be stored in a thermos bottle, because even paper cups often have plastic in their mixture.
6. The average disposable sanitary napkin contains about two grams of plastic as well as “wet wipes”, so it is better to replace them with the linen ones.
7. Replace dishwashing detergents, hair shampoos and similar products with those in solid or powder forms because you’ll reduce plastic packaging in this way.
8. Replace some other products that could be used on a trip, such as chewing gum or (filter) cigarette with ecological alternatives, or even try not to use them.J
Join the global movement “Plastic-free July” this month, and let’s spread together the awareness on reducing disposable plastics. Start adopting ecological habits*, tell a friend or share this article. The first step always starts with ourselves. So let’s start!