Low Waste Travel: Off To Africa
Recently one of our founders, Naomi, took a trip to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia & Zimbabwe! While soaking up the sites and all of the sunshine, she stayed true to her roots and wanted to travel as sustainably as possible.
Getting Ready To Go
On her way out she brought some essentials with her. We all know she loves her Beauty Kubes. These little guys are great for travelling as they’re super compact, zero waste and free from liquid. They were also a hit amongst other travellers who couldn’t wait to give them a go! She also brought along some Friendly Soap conditioner in liquid form, so it was ready to go. Other items included White Rabbit cleanser, a lovely Lush face scrub, Shade sun cream and Kite nest lip balm. Once her bags were packed, she was ready to go!
Low Waste Travelling: Offsetting Flights
Low waste travelling comes along with its own set of challenges, especially when going to another country. Something we absolutely can not ignore when it comes to travel is the environmental impact of flying.
Whenever possible, choosing to travel by train, bus or public transport will always be the best option for the planet. But, sometimes, you need to get somewhere quickly or you simply don’t have those options available to you. That’s where carbon offsetting comes in to play.
Carbon Offsetting is a scheme where you can calculate the amount of carbon produced by your travels and choose to fund a project that is actively reducing carbon emissions somewhere else in the world.
One of the biggest struggles here was the number of flights Naomi took due to a lack of indirect options. For offsetting she used Carbonfootprint.com and it cost about £20 to offset 3220kg of CO2e (including radiative forcing)!
Water We Doing?
One of the toughest things Naomi had faced on her time in Africa was finding drinkable water that wasn’t contained in single-use plastic.
Luckily she went with a group where they could all go in together and buy a big five-litre bottle to then refill their refillable bottles from that. Yes, it was still coming in plastic, but finding ways to reduce your waste will have a huge impact.
“Maybe in hindsight I would have brought a filter bottle with me” - Naomi
It was very apparent that there was a serious drought going on. Shower time was very limited and it only rained for about one day during her time there (and it was the rainy season!).
In some places, the water used for cleaning was yellow and brown, so drinking from taps was highly unadvised.
One of the first things she would’ve changed during her travels to make it more sustainable would be to have a water cooler/dispenser available on the bus for everyone to share.
The tour with Acacia was an incredible one. This tour of 17 people travelled around to meet the animals and stopped at different national parks - Etosha, Okavango Delta, Chobe, Matobo and Kruger.
One of the best things from a sustainable standpoint was the way that meals were had. As most of us know, food waste plays a big role in climate change, so having big shared meals meant very little, if any, went to waste.
Not only is that a great option for the environment, but it was also a great way to make friends! Sharing thoughts, feelings and stories over a meal has always been a way to bring people and communities together and this situation was no different.
“The people were the best part of the trip, (it was) the best group trip I’ve ever been on” - Naomi
Low Waste Travel & A Low Waste Life
Travelling sustainably and consciously has a way to make you appreciate what you’re experiencing a little more. While travelling around the continent Naomi got to meet some pretty impressive animals face to face, and feel good knowing she was doing her part to make sure their habitats were being looked after - even by the choices she makes all of the way back home in England.
Every decision we make has an impact on every bit of life around the globe. The animals, trees and people all rely on us making a shift in our daily habits. Cutting down your waste can be hard, especially if you don’t know where to start. That’s why we put a lot of love and care into education and accessibility, making it possible for everyone to make conscious choices - with the planet in mind.
- Make sure to pack your zero waste essentials. Solid shampoo & conditioner are a great place to start.
- Bring a refillable water bottle with you everywhere you go.
- If tap water is not drinkable purchase a very large container to share with others to reduce your waste or even better look to buy a filter bottle before you travel.
- Look into carbon offsetting schemes when taking flights, there are a lot of choices available!
- Minimise your food waste by cooking group meals.
- Cook from fresh ingredients, not ones wrapped in plastic.
- Remember that no one is perfect - just try to make conscious choices.