We all know that we should be taking care of the world around us by being greener and reducing our plastic waste, and this shouldn’t just be when we’re at home, but also when we’re on holiday too. Sustainability is a very important issue and we should all be more considerate of the way we live, work and travel.
To help you travel more sustainably whilst holidaying in Dartmouth (or anywhere else!) we’ve put together our top 10 tips for reducing and avoiding plastic usage while on a holiday, day trip or short stop off in the town.
As well as re-useable water bottles and fabric bags, there are a huge number of great plastic alternatives on the market. You can get bamboo toothbrushes, shampoo blocks which are wrapped in paper, paper and metal straws and even natural beeswax coated cloth wraps which can be used instead of plastic food wrap. Whether you bring these items with you or pick them up while here, adding a few of these alternatives into your life can make a huge difference to the amount of plastic you use. Using reusable items also means you won’t have to keep rebuying these items which will also save you money in the long run. It’s a win-win situation!
Buy in Bulk and Bring Things From Home
One way to cut your use of plastic, packaging and trips to the shops is to reduce what you buy. Buying in bulk and bringing things like tea bags, washing powder and shampoo from home will help cut down the amount of plastic you consume. Picking up and packing those travel size sunscreen tubs or the little bottles of shower gel in the hotel room might be handy, but it’s just extra plastic which could be avoided by bringing the full size bottle with you, or by decanting some of the content into a re-usable tub. But if you do have to use the travel sized tub take them home and finish them, you can then keep the bottles to re-fill and use next time you go away.
Plan and Pack Carefully
Leading on from the last point, things that can be brought in bulk aren’t the only things you should think about bringing with you. As your holiday approaches make a list of all the essentials you use every day and have a think about the activities you might be doing whilst on your holiday. I’m sure we’ve all packed in a rush before and when you’re unpacking at your destination realise you’ve forgotten your toothpaste or need to buy a new bucket and spade for the beach. By using a list when you’re packing you should have everything you need and there’s no need to re-buy things, as well as cutting down on unnecessary plastic, you’ll be saving money too.
Make Wise Choices When Eating Out
Eating out and grabbing a takeaway is always a firm favourite when treating yourself to some yummy food while on holiday. Limiting your plastic usage doesn’t mean a takeaway is off limits, but you might want to think about what you’re ordering or where you’re eating. Fish and chips are a staple holiday treat, but gone are the days of little plastic forks, many shops now offer cardboard and biodegradable boxes and wooden forks or you could just use your hands instead! Other great ways to cut down on food packaging is opting for an ice cream cone instead of a little tub or an ice-lolly wrapped in plastic. One tip we’ve picked up when travelling is bringing condiments with you instead of buying the little packets of ketchup and mayo. Yes, you might look a bit strange whipping out a full-sized bottle of tomato sauce at the beach, but you’ll save on plastic and money!
Find a Re-fill Shop or Use Re-usable Tubs
Across the country more and more re-fill shops are opening up. So, if you’re going on a self-catering break heading to a re-fill shop will allow you to buy the amount of pasta, beans, cereal, rice or wide range of other products that you need for your stay, whilst using your own reusable container. But it’s not just re-fill shops where you can use your own containers, fruit and veg shops, local butchers, independent deli’s, farm shops and farmer’s markets will be happy to put your purchases in your own tubs.
Don’t Throw Stuff Away
Just because something might get ripped, get a hole, or break whilst you’re away and you don’t have the materials to fix it there and then, it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to mend it when you get home. If you empty the shower gel bottle and can’t find a plastic bottle bank to recycle it, don’t just throw it away, ask at reception where the recycling can go or take it home to where you know the recycling options. Being responsible with your rubbish and not just throwing stuff away will save it from ending up in the landfill when it can be recycled.
Think About Your Souvenirs and Holiday Keepsakes
You might want to buy a souvenir or keepsake to remember your holiday by or buy a present to say thank you to someone who watered your plants, and you’ll find a great variety of fantastic gifts and mementos to choose from within the town. But try and think about what you are picking up, will it break easily or get forgotten about or quickly end up in the bin? Is it wrapped in unnecessary plastic? Why not find a souvenir made from sustainable or recycled materials which you can pick up instead. Or if you’re travelling home soon and don’t have far to go, why not choose an edible, locally produced, present instead which will be enjoyed and the wrapping recycled or composted.
Reusable Shopping Bags
When you’re making your list, which we mentioned above, make sure to add your reusable and fabric shopping bags. We’re sure that you’ll be doing a spot of shopping or will need to carry stuff in a bag at some point during your holiday to Dartmouth. But it won’t be just popping to the shops that you’ll need them for, if you’re getting a takeaway with multiple items or coming back from the swimming pool with wet towels then a reusable bag will come in very handy. Many tote and canvas bags can simply fold up in your pocket so they won’t be taking up much room either. ￼
Shop Local and Independent
Visiting and shopping in local and independent shops can not only help reduce plastic but also transportation miles as less fuel is needed. When things are transported locally it can mean that less packaging is needed and therefore less plastic. A well as reducing transportation emissions, shopping locally will help the local economy by supporting local jobs and supply chains. Picking up items from independent businesses are often made with more love and care than their cheaper high-street counterparts so whatever you buy will likely last a lot longer too.
Finally, one of the most talked about ways of reducing plastic, not buying bottled water. It’s one of the easiest things you can do to limit your plastic usage. When you’re packing to come away, either for a holiday or day trip, make sure you pick up your water bottle and start by filling it up for your journey down. When you’re out and about you’ll find plenty of places to fill up again, many attractions have water fountains or cafés and pubs will be happy fill it up for you, even if you haven’t bought anything, so don’t be afraid to ask!
At Discover Dartmouth sustainability and green tourism is incredibly important to us. We’ve developed a sustainable travel blog section with a great number of tips and tricks to have a environmentally-friendly holiday. Click here to find out more.
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