Ughh…. I know. Another blog post on how to live a more sustainable life. It’s 2022! We all know what we gotta do for our planet by now!
I know you do, and I promise I’m not going to tell you to bring your own water bottle, reusable shopping bags, or even metal straws because, well, you know it all by now.
However, there are some products that will make your life easier when traveling, while saving you money and space, and that are sustainable. What else could we ask for?
Over the past 6 years, I have traveled all over Europe, overseas, and even moved abroad 3 times. And it wasn’t until my last trip overseas over a year ago that I fully mastered this list. So it took a lot of trial and error, unnecessary packing, bad surprises, and time to give you this list today.
But the good news is, it will save you time and all of the above, so without further ado, let’s get into it.
1. Washable pads or panties
If you are someone who has their period, this is a must! In fact, this is what I use every month at home even when I’m not traveling.
Ditch the tampons! PLEASE. They are so bad for you, for the planet, and unnecessarily expensive. Invest in period panties or washable pads – I actually make washable period pads so DM me on Instagram if you’re interested in buying some –
They can be a little pricey but they are seriously so worth it. I don’t think they have a diaper feeling, but then again it obviously depends on what brand you use. My favorite brand is Fempo. They are the most comfortable and true to size I’ve tried, but it’s a French brand and even though they ship internationally, the shipping costs might be a little high. I would advise you to look into more local brands.
PROS of using washable pads or panties:
• Easy to wash.
• Saves money in the long term.
• Eco-friendly, zero waste.
• Lightweight for travel.
• Stress-free because you don’t run low on single-use pads or tampons.
• Comfortable and seamless.
2. Reusable cotton pads
Stop using single-use cotton pads or face wipes. These will save your life, your wallet, and the planet – I didn’t mean for it to rhyme, but it makes it all the more dramatic! –
Instead, switch to reusable and washable cotton pads. I haven’t used a SINGLE single-use one in years. Think about how much money it has saved me, and how much waste it has avoided. Plus, they are so much gentler for your skin and cute.
I also make and sell those on my sewing Instagram account, you can dm me on there or on @romanedrake if you’re interested in buying some. I make them upon order so you can choose how many you want, and how many different fabrics you want on them – YES, you also get to choose your fabrics –
For traveling, they are also lightweight, and you don’t need to worry about running low, as they will always be just one wash away.
Trust me, your skin & finances will thank me for this one.
Pros of using cotton pads:
• Cheaper than single-use.
• Sustainable because no waste.
• Usually support small businesses and are ethically handmade.
• Lightweight and easy to pack.
• Softer and better for your skin.
Okay. Hear me out!
Books are SO heavy, and you can only carry so much when you travel.
An e-reader will change your life. You can buy any book you want, in any language, and have it with you anywhere you are.
The battery literally lasts forever! You don’t have to worry about charging it often. I love to read when I’m waiting, like at airports or even on a flight. It fits in any purse I own and is super lightweight.
I know Kindle is the most famous one but I personally try to avoid Amazon for sustainable and ethical purposes, so use Kobo and I love it! Shop around, make sure what you buy fits your values and have fun! Reading while traveling is really awesome.
PROS of using an e-reader:
• Lightweight – you don’t have to carry books –
• Easy to carry around.
• Easy to use – you don’t have to go to a store to buy a book –
• You can get books in any language.
• You can get any book you want with only a couple of clicks.
With that being said, I LOVE buying physical books every now and then because the feeling never gets old!
4. Reusable coffee cup
This one is one of my favorites! It’s not the most convenient, but I personally believe it’s 100% worth it.
Bring. Your. Own. Reusable. Coffee. Cup.
I have several and they’re all from Starbucks, but you probably can find them at any coffee shop. I love the hard-plastic ones because they are so lightweight but they don’t break – like pictured above –
Packing it is actually way easier than you may think. I usually take the lid off, put it somewhere else in my luggage, and stuff the cup with panties or socks. It is not heavy at all so it won’t affect your luggage weight either.
PROS of using a reusable coffee cup:
• Most places give discounts on drinks for bringing your own cup.
• Sustainable and reduces waste considerably.
• It’s cheap – usually $2 to $4 –
• Lightweight for packing.
• Will give you an extra daily smile from the baristas 🙂
5. Shampoo and soap bars
This one. Right there. It is a lifesaver. It took me SO long, TOO long to realize how horrible it was to pack soap and shampoo bottles.
Seriously, how many times have a shampoo bottle exploded in your luggage? How many times have you had to throw it away at the airport because there was too much liquid? How many times did your shampoo and soap bottles make your luggage overweight?
The answer to all of these problems is the shampoo and soap bar.
PRO TIP: don’t forget to invest in a little box to carry them when they are still wet! You usually can purchase one with the bars. You only really have to buy it once and then you can use it for every single bar you buy in the future.
PROS of using shampoo and soap bars:
• Lightweight for packing.
• Reduces plastic waste considerably.
• Prevents leaks.
• Avoid TSA liquid regulations.
• Usually sustainably, ethically, and locally made by small businesses.
I really hope you got inspired by these resources today and that you actually learned something new. I invested in all of these products and it makes my life so much easier while I travel now. And even if you stay put and don’t travel much, they are still really convenient for your daily life and sustainable.
Save the planet.
Save your wallet.
Save yourself and your health.
Thank you SO much for reading and for trusting me.
As always, my Instagram DMs are always open to chat, and let’s be friends!