Sustainability Starter Kit - Travel Edition

I truly believe that travel is one of my single greatest sources of joy on this planet, solo trips, girly surf adventures, nice getaways with the fella or work trips, I love them all. But I'm also aware that this (along with my diesel van and rural style oil central heating) travel is one of the biggest contributors to my carbon footprint and consumption of single use plastic (due to last minute food buys, coeliac restrictions and airplane food). So with that in mind i want to share with you my “kit” - its not perfect, but i hope to refine and improve it as i go along. If you have any sustainability travel hacks please share them with all of us in the comments below or over on instagram!

Basic kit for your bag;

Lightweight coffee cup - I use this clean coast clean cup below, but something like a stojo would be great for folding up

Cutlery set - mines got a bamboo fork, knife and spoon set and I added chopsticks, a fabric napkin (having a few of these in rotation can be handy) and a steel straw

Steel water bottle these are great for keeping your water cold, they're sturdy and you can just fill them up once you go through airport security 

Soap, shampoo and conditioner - for all these I've swapped to the bar version that can be kept in a little metal tin, these are great for cutting out plastic but also because the don't have to go in your tiny liquids bag for security


Upgrade - BYO comfort kit

You know those little kits you get with longer distance flights? They so awesome for making your flight more enjoyable, but usually each item is a single use plastic wrapped in a single use plastic! So I've thrown together a quick kit of my own that I always keep in a little fabric bag ready to go for long journeys, its great for making your flight feel a little “extra” but drastically minimises the plastics you consume

Bamboo toothbrush & your own toothpaste I buy one that comes in a steel tube with a recyclable lid

Eye cover (I just kept one from an emirates flights ages ago

Ear plugs - I get the foam ones (they are plastic) but they come in a little cardboard holder so you can use them again

Your own earphones (usually better quality & you can leave the inflight ones in the wrapping), most flights now work with normal earphone jacks and don't require a converter

I bring my homemade lip balm and deodorant in little glass containers check out my lip balm recipe on here!

Neck pillow (so you can leave their one for the next customer) - I actually made mine out of some fabric off cuts and torn up cushion foam (hate the styrofoam ones that they sell in the airport)

A big soft scarf - keeps you warm on the way to your early morning flight and then doubles as a blanket

Soft loose socks - great for when you kick of your shoes but keep you cosy (and there handy if your feel swell a little on long flights as they don't cut off circulation 


Some final ideas would include meal prepping and offsetting air miles. For the first as well as my usual go to snacks I really like the videos that both Pick Up Limes and Ellen Fisher have up on YouTube on meal prepping for flights so I'd highly recommend you check those out. 


For the plane don't be nervous to whip out your keep cup, cutlery set etc and ask the stewards to give you less plastic on our flight over we had great chats with the crew about trying to reduce our plastics (and we got lovely big teas and coffees for using our keep cups!).


If you find you're travelling a lot for work or even just same as myself enjoying exploring the globe some great ways to reduce your carbon footprint would be;

Eating more plant based meals vs meat (generally)

Packing as light and lean as you can for your flight

Use Ecosia as your search engine - searchs = trees planed

Taking public transport as much as possible vs driving as part of your journey (e.g. We usually get the bus to dublin airport instead of doing the 3.5h drive in the van).

If you'd like to go a step further you could also support a tree growing effort to reduce your footprint further www.grown.ie or use this site where you can directly convert your miles to trees!

This is a handy lightweight coffee cup to keep in my bag

This is a handy lightweight coffee cup to keep in my bag

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My cutlery set with steel straw and I usually add a wooden chopstick set to this too

Such an easy little bathroom set and so light and portable - solid shampoo, conditioner and soap. Homemade dry shampoo, a safety razor, homemade deodorant and a bamboo toothbrush

Such an easy little bathroom set and so light and portable - solid shampoo, conditioner and soap. Homemade dry shampoo, a safety razor, homemade deodorant and a bamboo toothbrush

Stainless steel water bottle - a little heavier then a plastic one, but sturdy, keeps drinks hot or cold and no worries about nasties leaching out of the plastic and into the water

Stainless steel water bottle - a little heavier then a plastic one, but sturdy, keeps drinks hot or cold and no worries about nasties leaching out of the plastic and into the water

This scarf (from oxfam) doubles as my blanket for flights so I don’t have to use the airline one wrapped in plastic - equally this photo shows not always getting it right! I forgot to hand the steward my cup before getting plastic but at least managed to reuse this cup for the rest of the flight

This scarf (from oxfam) doubles as my blanket for flights so I don’t have to use the airline one wrapped in plastic - equally this photo shows not always getting it right! I forgot to hand the steward my cup before getting plastic but at least managed to reuse this cup for the rest of the flight

Finn Ni Fhaolain