Written By: Brenda Pomponio
This upcoming trip to Italy will be with an added challenge to becoming increasingly aware of steps we can take to be more mindful about the resources we use when we travel.
Like at home, we put in measures to reduce waste, to recycle and remember to take those reusable shopping bags to the supermarket. What about when travelling? Surely that just doesn’t stop just because we are on holidays?
Well, this upcoming month that we will spend in Italy will be a challenge to increase our sustainability focus and do our part in caring for this planet, whilst we enjoy travelling through it. The reason is pretty clear and as a family traveller seeing the joy of travel through the eyes of my children the thought of having our planet slowly deteriorating and suffering because of careless travel choices or disrespect for rubbish and other cleaner alternatives has me very conscious of making a good role model for our children.
So, how is this sustainable challenge going to work?
Well, we have teamed up with Dalcheri to showcase just how easy it is to make some slight adjustments to the way you travel.
#oft_sustainabletravel has begun and we want you to join in as well. Please share with us your tips and tricks for making any change, big or small towards improving your environmental impact as you travel.
Here’s what we will be working on.
Reducing single-use plastic
One thing we noticed a lot when we were last in Italy is the use of water bottles. They were overflowing out of every bin, and it seems that even the locals love to buy bottled water and the water bottles themselves are so thin and flimsy you really can’t use them a second time. So we will be travelling with a reusable water bottle this time and fill up when we need rather than buy a bottle of water.
Bringing out own bags
We will also be bringing some of our own small bags that can fold up in our backpacks for when we are out so we can say no to the plastic bags at supermarkets.
Saying NO to that little spoon
Of course, we will be in Italy in their Summer – yes we will eat gelato, but as a family, we have decided to opt for the cone (um, it edible) instead of the paper cup and we will try and say NO to that little spoon. This will be hard as the servers behind the counters automatically add one to each gelato, so I’ll have to get in quick!
Wearing ethical fibres
This has been a gradual shift that we have been adopting over the last few years. Travelling can put a long of strain on your body and of course your skin. Wearing fabric that doesn’t allow your body to naturally breathe can leave you feeling too hot or too cold and irritate your skin. Natural fibres are better for your body, and choosing ethical clothes that have been made in a sustainable way means there is less impact on the environment. I’ll be taking some great pieces of Dalcheri ethical apparel with me on our travels, some I have had for years (which goes to show they really do last).
Just think of a typical toiletry bag being filled for travel and I can think of so many nasty chemicals being added! This trip we are really focusing on ensuring that items in our bag are more considered choices. Here some products we will be trying:
- A natural deodorant
- Organic + botanical Hair Care Travel Pack
- Feel Good preservative free Sunscreen
- Electra Magnesium Cream – which will be great for the relief of Stress, Anxiety, cramps and sore muscles. Also I think this might help with jet lag! Let’s see.
Using public transport
We often use public transport whilst travelling and have already booked trains for our travels. We hope this reduces our impact by relying on a service already available rather than searching out taxi’s and transfers all the time.
Walk it baby
We love to walk – we are a family that can easily walk around a town for the day, stopping when needed to hopping on a bus if we’ve travelled too far. Walking is such a great way to see and discover and has minimal impact especially when in cities. When in remote area’s stick to paths and respect the native flora and fauna.
Ahhh…the old shop local even whilst travelling is SO important. Yes, you can buy that mass-produced souvenir that was actually made in a completely different country or you can support a local artisan. This will be a struggle for us, I’m happy to admit. Our children love to collect various souvenirs and there is part of me that loves this process for them, and another tries to consciously work out who to support locals in the process. When we see a stall or affordable souvenirs that the children like made by a local we jump at the chance.
This whole sustainable journey is exactly that – a journey. It is not all in or all out so if you are also trying to improve your sustainable travel choices start small and work towards each goal slowly. If we forget our water bottle on one day, so be it. We’ll try and remember it the next. Getting into a routine and seeing what small changes can be made is the key.
If we all make these small changes the world will certainly be a better place.
Follow the hashtag above to follow our journey!
Thanks to Dalcheri for supporting us on this challenge.
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