Travel Tips for a Better World - dewerstone

Travel Tips for a Better World

Like many outdoor people, I'm becoming a bit of an eco-warrior in my old age. But it's hard. Just breathing contributes to our carbon footprint, and don't even start on me about eating; unless you're a hunter gatherer or a subsistence farmer, the very act of getting enough to eat is trashing the place too, apparently! And planes. Global adventure and plane rides are inextricably entwined. We are all paying extra for that tree-planting footprint minimising ticket, right? But just realising these issues exist is half the battle. We can work towards having a minimal carbon footprint just by thinking about it. What's a bit more insidious, is the way we are cluttering up (and poisoning) our playgrounds and our food chain with pointless bits of plastic we never really needed in the first place. So with that I've adopted an eco-extremist approach to travelling that I wanted to share with you.

Not just big travelling. Micro-adventures are good too. But pretty much wherever you are you're going to want the same things. I have this plastic protocol; if I'm going to use something indefinitely, it's OKish for it to be plastic. If not, it needs to be swopped out for something non-plastic. With this in mind here's what I recommend:

Stainless steel straw. Straws literally suck. Plastic ones get thrown away and make turtles and whales sad, or just clutter up Cornish beaches. Cardboard ones are a bit rubbish and if they end up in landfill, that's worse than plastic (methane output) so get a stainless steel straw for £1 and take it everywhere. I bet you end up using it to get out of a sticky situation one day (like mending a car's fuel line with one), and you'll thank me!

Bamboo and steel safety razor. I always thought “safety razor” was a misnomer – I associated the old-school razor blades with tricky shaves and razor cuts. Now I realise I was wrong – best shave I ever had, no dramas, and I'm wondering why I was for years taken in by ads for cheap plastic razors with really really expensive blades. No need for them at all! Safety razor blades are about £2 for twenty and I assume the razor will outlive me. If I lose it somewhere, yay! It's not plastic!

Ulefone. Bit of a side-step, this. You may wish to affirm your life-status with the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy costing upwards of £750 in the UK. They are very beautiful. But I like my fully waterproof, shockproof, rugged Ulefone Armor, which matches them for performance, is dual SIM, expandable memory, user-replaceable battery (for about a tenner) and cost about £100. Call me old-fashioned. This is an eco-decision too. It's got a bit of plastic on it, but I didn't pay an extra 700-odd quids for Western middlemen to drive big cars.

2009 Macbook Pro. You know what? Lithium mining sucks almost as much as burning fossil fuels. But buying a £2000 laptop and then throwing it out after a few years sucks even more. So I upgraded my computer which is nearly a decade old with a solid state drive (SSD), maximum memory, and lo! It is suddenly blisteringly quick just like the newer ones!

Wooden sunglasses. Continuing the plastic-avoidance theme, of course I have Dewerstone wooden sunglasses. Sunnies are not forever, however much we might love them. So bamboo makes sense. Also they float. What's not to love?

Wooden toothbrush. Same deal. You don't need me to bang on about plastic any more, right?

A few of my travel essentials

One more thing, though. Wherever you go outdoors, be it Dartmoor, Cornwall or Tahiti, if you see plastic rubbish, please take it home with you. Even (especially) if it isn't yours. Be the change you want to see in the world. OK, it's the change I want to see, but I think we're on the same page!

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