“It’s not about cleaning” – one change at a time. We can do our part to make this world a better place. The more people care and make the right choices, the more governments and corporations have to feel the pressure to adapt.
If you are part of a project / sustainable business or have some sustainable ideas, let us know, so we can improve this list constantly! (TheTrashTravelerTeam@gmail.com)
Our first tip: Use the 10 % discount code “thetrashtraveler” at the Zero Waste Online Shop “Mind The Trash” in Portugal. A very nice project to find inspiration for reducing plastic in your life and The Trash Traveler is their happy ambassador since 3 years already.
Clothes & other material goods
USE A REFILLABLE WATER BOTTLE
Always have your water bottle with you, so you can refill it in water sources.
Did you know, it takes 5,3 liters of water to produce 1 single use water bottle? (footprint.org) Moreover, multiple comparison studies have shown that the carbon footprint of tap water is about 1/300 compared to bottled water (Botto, 2009). Impressive! The amount of plastic pollution and microplastics found in water, would be enough reason for a refillable water bottle. Make sure it’s not mainly out of plastic.
MindTheTrash.pt has some and you can get 10% discount with “TheTrashTraveler” code.
TAKE BAGS FOR GROCERIES
Bags to put fruits, veggies, bread… Having always bags with you doesn’t take space and can make a huge difference, because you avoid the production of a new bag, plastic or paper.
TAKE VESSELS FOR FOOD
Try to take your own vessel when you go for take-away, restaurant leftovers, butchery, charcuterie, cheese… You’ll avoid the production of unnecessary disposable vessels.
REUSE PLASTIC / PAPER BAGS
If sometimes you really need a bag and didn’t take your own, keep it and reuse it as many times as possible.
Glass jars from beans, sauces (…) can be reused to keep your nuts, seeds, cereals dry and protected, or you can also make preserves of food, fermentation… The options are endless, and also the lifetime of this resource!
BUY IN BULK
Buying in bulk doesn’t only permit you to pick exactly the quantity you need, but it can also save useless packaging. Check out this website that reunites the places all over Portugal, where you can buy in bulk: agranel.pt.
REUSE ALL PACKAGING THE MOST YOU CAN
If you have no choice but to buy a plastic bottle or a plastic container at the supermarket, reuse it instead of throwing it away. A bottle can be filled up as many times as you like and containers can be used to store other food.
BUY LOCAL FOOD
Get to know where your food is coming from, and try to choose the ones produced closest to you. It’s best to consume food that can grow in the area around you because you reduce the footprint of transportation, you support the nearby business and you also eat fresh and therefore healthier food.
BUY SEASONAL FRUITS & VEGETABLES
Get informed and try to consume more fruits/vegetables in its natural seasons’. Nature is smart and it gives you what you need when you need it. Besides being healthier, consuming seasonal fruits and vegetables avoid the use of artificial mechanisms to grow food, like greenhouses.
BUY FROM TRANSPARENT & RESPONSIBLE PRODUCERS
Another step is to get to know more about the producers of the products you acquire, what are their motivations, how fair are their trades, where are they getting the primary resources, do they have any certificate…?
REDUCE YOUR FOOD WASTE
The production of each piece of food has a cost of water, transportation, labor… So everytime we put food in the trash we should consider the impact of that cost being wasted. You can also explore the benefits of the complete aliment – some fruit/vegetable skins, for example, are very nutritious – and like that we optimize its production cost.
COMPOST YOUR ORGANIC WASTE
Sort the parts of the food you don’t consume for compost creation. Organic residues are a precious resource to give back nutrition to the soil. By sorting them in the right bin, giving them to farmers or even returning them back to any soil, will avoid them to be wasted inside of plastic bags in the landfills.
REDUCE MEAT CONSUMPTION
Try to reduce your meat consumption, as its industry is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. Even the smallest reduction is already a big step, because the problem is in the excesses. A small change from everyone can become a big change for all.
CHOOSE NATURAL JUICES INSTEAD OF SOFT DRINKS
Sustainability is expensive? No, it is cheaper and healthier. Take a lemon and squeeze it in water. Make your own cold teas or juices and place them in the fridge in reused glass jars!
TAKE YOUR REFILLABLE CUP
Take your own cup for the night out! Parties, festivals are not the same without your bestie cup
REFUSE UNNECESSARY DISPOSABLES
Refuse exceeding napkins/straws/other items offered in cafés/restaurants (or use it well afterwards) and ask for solutions for disposable items (ex: sauses, sugar…)
GET A WASHABLE NAPKIN
Find a nice tissue napkin that you can wash and reuse multiple times. You will reduce your trash considerably and save lots of resources used on the production of disposable napkins.
FIND A BIODEGRADABLE SPONGE (EX.LUFFA)
Prefer biodegradable sponges to wash the dishes instead of the ordinary ones that contain plastic. The fruit luffa, for example, after being dried, gives a very good natural sponge. You can buy it or you can maybe find a friend who has the plant and get it for free!
USE BIODEGRADABLE SOAP
All water will eventually end up in Nature and not everything can be filtered in the water treatment centers. Some dishwashing products contain toxic substances that will contaminate the water courses, the ecosystems and therefore ourselves.
OPTIMIZE THE WATER USED
You can save water by using the same for several cookings – ex: water from cooking vegetables to cook rice/pasta… Also using bowls to wash dishes, when you can even reuse the water to water the plants, in case of biodegradable soap.
CHOOSE SOLID OR BULK SHAMPOO
You can find many options of solid shampoos – or liquid ones you can buy in bulk in some stores -, which will permit you to avoid disposable packaging.
USE PLASTIC FREE BRUSH & TOOTHPASTE
Brushing the teeth is a daily task for everyone and so resources are consumed continuously. There are many options for plastic free toothbrushes – mainly bamboo ones – than can be found anywhere now, as well as toothpastes with different formats, like tablets or soaps than can come on glass or paper packaging, so completely free of plastic.
SAVE WATER FROM SHOWERING
Remember all water is a precious resource. You can save the running water before it heats up in a jar/container for drinking/cooking… It’s clean! And the gray water can be used for the toilet, if you manage to save it.
HOW MUCH TOILET PAPER?
Be minded about how much toilet paper you use. The production of a toilet paper roll consumes 140l of water. You can even try solutions like bidet washing or mini/portable showers, where you will actually save water and end up very fresh and clean!
REDUCE TOILET TANK
If you put a filled 1.5l water bottle inside the toilet water flush tank, it will avoid filling completely and therefore you will flush less 1.5l of water each time!
USE REUSABLE MENSTRUAL PADS & CUP
AVOID COSMETICS WITH MICROPLASTICS
Check the ingredients of the cosmetics, because many of them has microplastics on its composition. Try to avoid those the most you can, and look for solutions with natural ingredients. And if you can choose one without a plastic package, great. The less plastic the better!
CHOOSE SECOND HAND
WEAR NATURAL FABRICS
REPURPOSE EVERYTHING YOU CAN
Download the Climatescience.org app. The most powerful way to help our planet is to educate ourselves first. Really cool app and easy explained.
SPREAD THE WORD
Make those around you aware of the importance of reducing the consumption of plastic. If, in addition to reducing your consumption of plastic, you manage to get your family, friends and co-workers to do the same by setting an example, the impact of your actions for the good of the planet will increase exponentially.