Sustainable travel ideas for traveling families
Even though sustainability is getting more & more attention, for some reason I still feel a sharp line between ’being green’ & everything else. For example, there are solo female travel, luxury couple travel, backpacking travel – but they all fall into the broad category of Travel. On the contrary there’s sustainable traveling on the periphery.
Although I won’t run for ‘ambassador of sustainability’ position - it’s a lot deeper ocean than I can swim through -, but I genuinely think there are many-many sustainable travel ideas for traveling families. To clarify we aren’t zero-waste - just to be transparent -, but we’re making baby steps with a baby to heal what we’ve borrowed from our kids - our planet.
Even if it's hame or not, I began to incorporate consciousness into my life in my late twenties. For instance we have a few stable points, and some casual ones – there’s always room for improvement. However last year I started to think about what we can do to travel eco-friendlier. How we can smuggle some sustainable travel ideas for us, as a traveling family? The products mentioned in the article are not sponsored in any way. We have purchased them based on personal preferences - Honest list, what we found manageable:
For the MINIs:
Reusable cloth nappies & changing mat
It isn’t the most attractive thing on a long road trip. BUT if you’re planning to stay in one place for a longer time with washing machine, it’s really not complicated at all. Also let me tell ya’ll, if you are having second thoughts because of the ‘poop scraping’ situation, here’s the secret: you have a baby. In other words there will be dozens of disgusting things you have to deal with. Cloth nappies are not even close to the worst. We have been on cloth nappies for 0,5 year constantly, and then did a hybrid way to mix regular and cloth nappies. I have purchased 2 brands I’m fully satisfied with them: @econaps & @bambinomio.
Washable swim nappies
After we covered the nappies, we have to include the swimming ones too. We used the same brand, but feel free to choose one you resonate with the most!
Reusable squeeze bag & zipped bag
You either head to a fix destination where you have kitchen supplies or you make day trips, making the perfect fruit pulp for your baby is just so cool. Moreover you are even exposed to local produce (also supporting local businesses). In the zipped ones you can store the snacks. Ours are from @twistshake.
This collapsible anti-spill cup was our favorite gadget in the beginning of the toddler phase. Firstly, most versions are made from BPA-free silicone. Secondly, they are dishwasher safe, as the name suggests – the content is safely secured, yet the minis can access them easily. In addition it comes in a variety of shapes, colours, price. We bought ours from a trendianyu.hu. Our is even collapsible, which is just an extra touch of comfort when we carry it empty.
Recently, this has moved to the car & we have a new gadget for our everydays. I ordered a SnackDisc from @minett.hu & let me tell you this is the new star of the snacks. I love that it's compact but also the lid perfectly closes so nothing will spill out. On top of that, thanks to the multiple compartments you can fill it up with various (& healthy snacks), like millet balls, dried fruits etc.
Coral/Reef safe sunblock (not just for babies)
I’m not a professional, but what I found in most articles that the 2 most harmful elements for nature are oxybenzone and octinoxate. Therefore let’s exclude these sunscreens, including those which contain parabens or pthalates.
Instead look for sunblock with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in the ingredients list. Opt for mineral-based (physical) instead of chemical-based products despite that fact, that this type can leave a thick unwanted white layer on the skin.
Fun fact: if you are big travelers search beforehand as some of the destinations already banned the usage of chemical-based sunscreens. I know it was a lot of information, but here are 3 great articles to further deepen your knowledge:
For the MAMAs:
Reusable breast pad
If you’re still in the breastfeeding phase, choose washable pads. Although I tried disposable too, but not only there is no difference wearing them, but the washable is cheaper in the long run (I used @lansinoh). Also I didn’t have any irritation and 2 pairs were enough for my whole breastfeeding journey.
I stand up & declare: 10 years ago, I found them ugly. On the contrary today I have 4 different ones grabbing one of them on a daily basis It’s easy to carry, relatively large, super durable & trendy.
For the whole FAM:
Eating (& drinking) is essential – why not take it to the next ‘greener’ level?
- Firstly, our Water bottles are from @myequa – a long time favourite of ours, our daughter’s is from @minett.hu – which has a built in straw safely locked away when it’s not used. All of them are durable yet trendy.
- Secondly, I’m not saying I’m always carrying my coffee mug(@frankgreen / @nespresso), but if I have the possibility, I definitely consider taking it.
- Boc'n'Roll sandwich wrap. It's reusable, washing machine friendly & it comes in super nice patterns & colors. You can use it for wrapping food, but also we use it oftentimes as a mat when we're in restaurants. Pro tip: if you're baby is young in certain cases you can even use it as a mat for changing nappies.
- Also luckily today it’s easy to put your hands on some metal / bamboo straws. Even in my regular mini backpack I have a set of straws & chopsticks – just in case.
- And for our daughter we bought a set of reusable cutleries in @Ikea, but even for some shopping mall trips it’s handy to have them in the backpack for everyone.
- In addition we keep 1 or 2 silicone bags / food container in the car as well, if we need to store something real quick.
While the above sustainable travel ideas are more for traveling families, here are some other sustainable travel goodies you can use with or without children during traveling.
- Use local transport instead of rentals
- Buy fresh produce on local markets
- Climate compensate if you fly to offset carbon footprint
- Use solar charger
Think about not only in sustainable products, but also programs. It is equally important to educate/teach the next generation (our children) how to be sustainable, and being 'green' is cool. Look for programs, exhibitions, where sustainability is showcased in a creative, entertaining but at the same time educative way. We attended the PlanetExpo in the fall, which was a super fun activity, yet the message was super serious. I leave here my IG post about this event.
The technology & mobile application are living their Renaissance. Use it for our & for the environment's advantage:
Munch: We get rid of so much food. Food waste is a real thing. With this app you can buy those leftover food online which has just the same amount of quality as the one you would order earlier. Plus, you can save some cash too.
Vinted/Marketplace: In the name of sustainability sell your things in good condition on Vinter or on Marketplace.
Olio: If you have some stuff you bought/got but haven't used, you can donate this via the app and make another person very happy.
Conscious Consumer: If you're uncertain in the shop that the product you want to buy is good for the environment check it on the app. It guides you through which one is okay, which one is not that much.
Also, in the name of sustainability, once you don’t use something but it’s in a good condition, gift it, or sell to someone who can still use it.
In conclusion I would say roughly these ideas cover the ‘how to green travel…’ part. Also lots of them can be used without having a small child in the family too. Nevertheless, if you need some more help, subscribe on my website HERE, and as a token of my gratitude I’ll send you the ALWAYS PACKING LIST, tailor made to travel families with baby/toddler, highlighting the options where you can go for a sustainable option. 🙂
Finally if you are interested I leave here 2 Instagram post as well, which were inspired by sustainable traveling.
To sum it up, it’s not that difficult. First, start with one or two sustainable travel ideas for traveling families, then improve as time goes. After all remember: