Plastic free travel. Utopia or totally possible? In these days where convenience is key, it seems near to impossible to cut out all use of plastic in daily life, let alone when you travel. But us being the hopeful bunch we are, we are going to give you plastic free travel tips. Because if all of our 100.000 guests that stay at the Amstel House Hostel would give it a try, we’d be making major impact! So let’s not waste (pun intended) another minute and dive in to do our share.
Get a cup
If nothing else, please do this. Get a nice (it has to look nice!) drinking cup that you can use for coffee, tea, and water to use on the road. On average, each person throws away 50 single use plastic cups per year so image the savings. You can now often fill your cup up right before you board an airplane, train or bus. And many baristas will give you a discount when handing them your own cup. Be sure to use it for a long time though as the making of a durable cup takes more energy than 100 plastic cups. So even if you’re not wasting single use plastic, you’d still be insulting Mother Earth if you keep buying nice cups every trip.
We are big fans of the Huskee Cup, travel proof and made entirely of coffee waste. Talk about full circle!
Bring a foldable bag
For your laundry, your groceries, a day to the beach. Bring a bag that you can fold up to a tiny one. You’ll need it. And every time you use it you don’t waste a plastic bag. Again, be sure to buy a good one that you really (!) like and use a lot. Because same as for the cup, it takes a whole lot more resources and energy to produce a durable bag than a plastic bag.
We are especially smitten with these super strong and sexy bags by Dutch Designer Susan Bijl. They fold inside any backpack, last for years and look so fancy, they make grocery shopping fun.
Pack a soap and shampoo bar, reusable razor and bamboo toothbrush. We use hundreds of shampoo bottles, tooth brushes and razor blades during our life time so why not make a more planet friendly decision here? They go a long way and believe us, once you find the right soap bar, you’re hooked. They are also often without all the chemical stuff in them so better for your hair and skin. Deodorant bars and creams are also much better for your skin and most of the times, their packaging is plastic free.
Bring a container
When you eat out or cook at your hostel, you will often have leftovers. Such a waste for your wallet and the environment to throw away good food. So invest in a nice Tupperware box that you can bring along. You’ll save loads and can enjoy that nice meal again later. And those single use plastic boxes and cling wrap are taking over our oceans. One more awesome thing about the container; skip the in-flight meals. Let your airline know upfront that you will not be using the meal service. Make yourself an awesome meal and bring on the flight. Win-win. You don’t have to eat their crappy food and there will be one less use of plastic wrapped utensils, butter cups, containers etc.
Bring a knife, fork, spoon and chop sticks. You can use it with every every meal and save loads on plastic cutleries of take away place. Knives and forks will be confiscated at security so be sure to pack them in your check-in luggage if you travel by plane.
Bonus: Eco Sexy
We’ll throw in a complementary bonus tip. Because we’re nice. Be sure to stay at hostels that do their share to cut out plastic in their day to day as well. At the Amstel House for instance, we replaced plastic straws with natural straws. We use ceramic plates and durable, reusable cutlery in our guest kitchen and our restaurant. And we continue to look closely at our everyday practices in order to cut out and replace the use of plastic. We call it Eco Sexy. Because it is super attractive and contagious to show your love for the planet.
Do you have any great tips for plastic free travel? We’d love to hear from you! Drop us a message so we can share with our guests!
Stay eco sexy,
xoxo Amstel House Hostel Berlin