Every year on April 22 since 1970, the world celebrates Earth Day, with each year hosting a different theme. 2021’s theme is RESTORE OUR EARTH.
The earth is our home, and this day is just a special reminder to protect and love that home! As travelers and travel lovers, we all should take special pride and care of our earth as we marvel in its beauty at each new country/state/city we visit! Protecting the earth and being mindful of things like deforestation, air, and water pollution, amongst other issues negatively impacting our planet.
You can easily find activities and events happening around the globe for Earth Day by visiting EarthDay.org. And while I encourage everyone to get active on each earth day, I want to share ways to become a more sustainable citizen of this planet and traveler everyday. Below are a few, simple changes that I’ve been trying to incorporate into my life:
- Using a reusable bottle
This is probably the easiest firs step to living a more sustainable travel life! Reusable bottles can be purchased at almost any major retailer or online and prices can range from $1USD to more premium bottles in upwards of $30USD. I’ve purchased $1 Bottles at Walmart that have held up for years and also have a few Camelback bottles from Amazon that I love! At home, I use a Brita filter to keep fresh water on hand which I use to refill my bottle. While traveling, I find a water bottle filling station or pre-covid, would ask restaurants to fill my water bottle (which most would with no problem). During Covid, admittedly, I’ve been having a tougher time as a lot of water bottle refill stations have been closed off and a lot of fast-casual restaurants are closed, however, I have had some luck at a few sit-down restaurants by asking politely. The more we begin to normalize using reusable bottles, the easier it will be to find ways to keep our water bottles full!
Check HERE to purchase your own reusable water bottle or HERE for a list of the 14 best water bottles of 2021.
- Refusing straws/Reusable straws
It is estimated that 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world’s beaches, that’s BILLION. 8 million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean every year. So by starting with my first change, purchasing a reusable bottle, you’ll be helping to eliminate plastic water bottles from the ocean and by leaning in for change 2, you can help with decrease in disposable straw usage.
The first way to go is probably the most obvious, just refuse the straw! But I understand the hesitation to put your lips directly on a glass in a restaurant or bar, but fret not, you can purchase and carry a reusable straw! There are so many to choose from, and you’ll have options for travel sized/friendly straws that also include a carrying case to be easily used on the go! You can choose from metal straws, silicon straws and even Bamboo!
Check HERE for a list of the 14 best Reusable Straws or HERE to purchase from Amazon (Can also be found at retailers like TJMaxx/TKMaxx).
- Using reusable masks over disposable when possible
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve all been using and wearing masks, and I don’t foresee this going away in the near future, but just like the humans we are, we’ve turned this solution of protecting us from a deadly disease to our planet’s next plastic problem. Disposable mask production is now estimated to be in line with that of disposable/plastic water bottles, however there is no current guidance for recycled masks (not that everyone is recycling their water bottles either), so that means every minute of every day, we are throwing away 3 million face masks around the world, which often end up on in our oceans! Buy and wear a reusable mask, it will actually be easier on both the environment and your pockets! Masks are now being sold at almost every major retailer and ecomm site and prices can range from $3USD to more premium prices, just pick your poison! Personally, I’ve purchased a few masks from Etsy, Amazon, Anthropologie and even Athleta.
Check HERE for a list of the best fabric masks to buy in 2021. The alternative is to make your own mask with a piece of cloth or fabric, HERE is a YouTube video on easy DIY masks! !
- Shopping sustainably
Becoming a more sustainable clothing shopper is something that I am trying to work toward, getting out of the fast-fashion world, but I get it, it’s not easy. I do not have unending, disposable income to spend on all of my fashions, and while I enjoy looking good and creating content for my blog, I don’t have a huge budget to dedicate to this. However, I have been making strides. I’ve been following more fashion bloggers like @tenickab for not only store/brand suggestions, but also for ideas on how to slowly transform my closet to more sustainable/quality pieces and how to style them!
HERE is a list of 14 sustainable stores to shop at online. And HERE is a list of 35 ethical & sustainable clothing brands. Note, buying sustainable does not have to be synonymous with expensive. Some of our favorite brands are becoming more conscious, like H&M, who’ve created a new line with our planet in mind with at least 50% of each item being made from sustainable materials, check that out HERE. And you can always try thrifting! And for my content creators/travel bloggers- you can and you should re-wear that outfit our swimsuit!
A few other, small acts and changes you can start with. Switching to cotton towels vs. paper towels, HERE is my favorite brand that I’ve been loving. AltLinen has cotton linens that you can purchase once, reuse over and over and have replaced forever, for free, once they’ve been too worn. Use reusable bags when shopping and ditch the plastic, I get mine from Trader Joes for my groceries or TjMaxx/Marshalls for general shopping and for only $.99 USD, you can find reusable bags just about anywhere, including HERE on Amazon. And as always, recycle when and where possible!!
I often hear people say, ” I am just one person, how can I make a difference” and I get frustrated because if every 1 person has this same take, we will never achieve change. Just by us making small changes, every day, and then encouraging others to do the same, either through action or encouragement, we can begin to make a true difference!
Let me know how you plan to make a difference this Earth Day!