Want to travel while respecting the environment? Better manage your energy expenses? Then you’ve come to the right place. Here, we offer a multitude of tips to help you prepare your road trip by aiming for a balance between practicality and ecology. Some will even save you money. Take what pleases you, the main thing is to make regular efforts. And if you read these lines, it is that you feel ready to participate in this great adventure of human respect to the environment. Well done! Discover without further delay all our advice to reduce your ecological footprint on a road trip.
Hygiene: simple, effective, and organic
#1 Prepare your toiletry bag
Travelling in an ecological way is reflected from the moment of packing for your road trip. We don’t necessarily think about it, but the content of our toiletry bag is as important as recycling. This is why we invite you to pay attention to the impact of the hygiene products that you decide to take with you.
Here are some ecological alternatives for your road trip:
- Bamboo toothbrush (let’s avoid plastic)
- Natural toothpaste such as licorice stick (very practical for brushing teeth) or lozenge (available from Lush)
- Limit makeup and choose the most natural (obviously, we let you choose the most suitable brand)
- Natural soap (to replace shower gel)
- Solid shampoo (easy to store, you can use it for months without worry)
#2 Doing your laundry on a road trip
The composition of washing powders includes many chemicals. Here too, we can act. Just favour herbal soap. What alternatives do we have in mind? Soapberries, or Ecostore, there are many products on the market. Obviously, there are other soaps just as beneficial as these last two.
This means taking the time to wash your things by hand. You will save money and make a good gesture for the environment by consuming less water, electricity and harmful products. Nice, right?
But that’s not all, we have 2 more tips! If you are travelling in a group, consider doing your laundry together. And in general, let’s limit our laundry. Cleaning only the clothes that need it is a good start on the path to ecology.
#3 The menstrual period on a road trip
Attention gentlemen, this article may make you look interesting and cultivated with the opposite gender. Do not read, you could earn points 😉
A simple and ecological solution is currently a hit: the menstrual cup (or cup). It avoids the purchase of tampons or sanitary napkins, which unfortunately we cannot recycle. For those (and those) who have questions, we invite you to consult a very useful site: https://www.menstrualcupsaustraliaonline.com.au/
And for those who are not comfortable with this idea, no panic! Another solution is possible: menstrual pants. It protects you for approximately 12 hours (being all different, the duration of protection may vary). You just need to clean it, preferably with cold water, and then presto! Here we go again…
#4 Take solar showers
During your road trip, you can easily do without a shower for a day (or more for the more daring) for lack of means. Obviously not pleasant…
Fortunately, you can avoid this. You just need to buy a solar shower to be able to wash anywhere, whether camping or hiking. Of course, you will always need a source of water. These portable showers are easy to install, and you just have to enjoy. As you can see, this solution takes advantage of the sun’s rays rather than running factories. So go for the solar shower!
Dress: better and differently
#1 The Op shops and free clothes
One of the first sources of pollution in the world is the manufacture of clothing. A well-hidden observation. Therefore, it is good to take into account the Opportunity shops, commonly called Op shops. These second-hand stores offer a wide range of good quality men’s and women’s clothing. But that’s not all: you will also have the pleasure of discovering camping equipment, books, shoes, accessories of all kinds, films, etc. A real gold mine whose articles rarely exceed $10. So check out The Salvation Army and Vinnies!
What about free clothes? Visit hostels. They have understood the way of life of a backpacker and usually reserve a space where they can deposit clothes for free. An excellent deal between donation and recycling.
#2 The traveller’s essential: the sewing kit
Here is a safe bet, accessible to all, practical and ecological: the sewing kit. Have you ever experienced this kind of situation where a simple needle and a thread would have saved you? At these times, most of us would have liked to be able to mend this garment rather than throw it away.
“Throwing” has become an act with far-reaching consequences. So how can we reduce this impact? Simply by thinking of repairing our clothes. Whatever your level is, the goal is to make a gesture for the environment and besides, your wallet will thank you.
Eat: in joy and ecology
#1 Buy local
In Australia, you will have the chance to enjoy many fresh products available by the road sides. Here, trust is essential. Vegetables and fruit crowded outside and a simple cashier to pay. A great way to support local communities and reduce the carbon footprint. In stores, we invite you to look at the local items offered. Easy!
#2 Eat more vegetables
Eating healthy and responsibly also involves reducing your consumption of meat in favour of plant-based dishes. In front of the veggie burgers, the Greek cheese muesli, the tomato omelettes and the leek fondues. In short, it is not the ideas that are missing.
Yes, it’s much more serious than you might think. Obviously, no need to become vegan overnight. For example, it is enough to limit yourself to one meat dish per day (and for the more daring, once every two days) to gain “energy points”. In any case, congratulations to those who try the experience!
#3 Choosing the right kitchen utensils
To reduce your ecological footprint, choose durable, that is to say, good-quality cookware for your road trip. And for better conservation of your shopping, do not hesitate to invest in storage boxes to keep your food away from temperatures and animals. You will avoid unnecessary waste and expense.
If you need disposable cutlery, opt for palm leaf cutlery. The essential tool if you want to be able to invite friends to eat without having to clutter heavy metal cutlery. We recommend the Australian brand Palmora.
In the same spirit, we advise you to favour reusable water bottles (if possible with filter) in order to avoid the purchase of plastic bottles.
#4 shopping in a sustainable way
Before you get into the big bath of Coles and Woolworths, we give you an easy and effective technique to set up to avoid mess.
Professional backpackers already practice it: plan their meals for the next few days and make a shopping list. Easy, mate! So you will be sure to know what you really need. Also, don’t forget to bring reusable bags.
#5 Deposit your cans in a sorting center
A nice little gesture that could bring you a few dollars. In fact, sorting centres sometimes collect cans for recycling in exchange for financial compensation. So, we invite you to inquire with the community where you live in order to participate in this awesome process.
#1 Mode of transport
Having your own vehicle is obviously essential during a road trip. However, it can be shared with 3 or 4 people in order to reduce its ecological footprint and travel costs on your road trip. In addition, it is often possible to use alternative means of transportation for short daily trips. Make your own mix!
In any case, consider swapping your car for a more environmentally friendly means of travel as soon as you have the opportunity. A good walk to buy a few errands is better than going back and forth by car. And cycling around is a great way to make your stay more authentic.
Please note: Hitchhiking is highly supervised throughout Australia. Some states are stricter than others. Take your precautions.
#2 Portable solar panels
Driving also has a cost in terms of electricity: we reload normally our laptops, tablets, external batteries, etc., when we hit the road. To minimise our emissions, why not purchase a transportable solar panel that will recharge all of our devices free of charge?
The time you go for a swim or to set up your campsite, and you’re done! Easy, efficient, and eco-friendly, you will have the happiness to enjoy a solar energy clean and free. In addition, in Australia, the sun is not missing. So let’s make.
These everyday gestures
#1 Eliminate the packaging
It’s a matter of everyday life, but choosing what you buy wisely is very important. The goal is to promote items with a minimum of packaging.
For example, you hesitate between two boxes of cookies. In one, each cookie is individually wrapped in a plastic bag. In the other, cookies are not wrapped. The second solution is of course the best. Well, this reasoning can be applied to all of our buying acts. Congratulations to those who already apply it.
#2 Refusal of plastic
We can go further by eliminating unnecessary waste. We invite you to refuse the plastic bags offered in stores and to replace them with reusable bags. The same goes for straws. If possible, enjoy your strawless drink or replace it with a pretty reusable straw, made of wood, bamboo, metal or glass that you can take with you everywhere! In addition, you will have style.
#3 Cigarette pocket butts
Dear smokers, here is a revolutionary tip for you. Did you know that cigarette butts are the main source of ocean pollution? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), between 340 and 680 million kilos of tobacco waste are collected each year worldwide. In addition, 2 out of 3 cigarettes are thrown on the ground, contaminating rainwater and therefore ultimately the ocean.
This is why, wherever you go (mountain treks, chill by the beach, cigarettes in the car, etc.), we advise you to bring a cigarette box for the butts. A simple gesture that would have an indisputable impact and would help future generations.
#4 Reinventing a garbage can
What is great about a road trip is that any unused bag can become a trash can! An empty bag of sandwich bread, an extra shopping bag, a bag of crisps, etc. No need to make any garbage purchase. And let’s not forget to sort our waste.
As you can see, an eco-responsible road trip requires awareness of our actions. Each gesture can be a beneficial or destructive mark for the planet. Here we are all actors.
The simple act of not throwing your garbage on the ground, and thinking about the usefulness and environmental impact of a product before buying it is virtuous steps that tend to reduce our ecological footprint during your road trip. In any case, we thank all the backpackers who decided to take this route!