5:21 PM The last months I was travelling a lot – Paris, New York, and now South Africa – different countries, different rules. While I am actually a really passive traveller, I became more conscious the last months when I visited different destinations. This might be because of the oceans and the plastic issue I am studying – maybe I am just growing up and I start caring about our environment more. I don’t know…it just naturally happened. It may be our different standards or rules concerning the environment, but I was shocked when I saw how the cities behave themselves towards Mother Nature.
In New York, for example, I know about the streets, I know the citizen’s approach to plastic, but I felt weird with all the plastic around me.

I changed my lifestyle and I try to „escape“ from plastic so now with my travels, I also try to stay away from it.

It’s easier to practice this during the daily, but when you travel to far destinations, it’s not easy taking all your equipment with you. How can I travel ecological? Carrying glass boxes, glass bottles for water…bags, no plastic hygiene products. Oh boy, can I do this? Let’s go deeper.
In the city I want to eat, drink, shop. Where can I get my desired food without any fancy plastic extras? Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts still treat us too well with plastics…shall I bring my reusable tumbler? Too heavy form my bags…

After my first day in the city (New York) I felt stressed. Discussing at every store I went to that I would love to refuse taking the plastic bag – I got my own. Every food store gave me extra plastic things which I really don’t need and want. I was helpless! Since I wasn’t in the mood to carry all my stuff with me, I decided to go simple: I brought my tote bag for shopping, my titanium cup from Snow Peak for drinks and tea (I brought my own prepared tea bags), spoon and fork for eating – that’s it. My second day in the city, I bought a lemonade which is sold in a glass bottle – the perfect investment in something ecological which I can recycle and reuse during my trip. I felt better.

While I still needed to discuss with every retail person if I needed a plastic bag, I said thank you and showed my tote bag. Some corners in NYC shocked me since I never saw a person with a reusable water bottle or tumbler – plastic bags everywhere no matter what the person was buying – tiny or big things, everything needs to be carries in a plastic bag. At Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s I was happy again that so many customers took the paper bags or they invested in reusable totes. During my trip, I was happy that I found MY way of travelling ecological.

I can’t say that I was totally off plastic because it really depends on what city you are visiting and especially how much equipment you can take along. But there is always a way to start small. Say no to plastic bags. Say no to plastic cups at the coffee houses. Say no to straws at Starbucks, Mc Donalds, or wherever you go. Buy drinks in glass bottles – there’s a lot to choose from! In New York I magnified my ecologial travel equipment and I am so happy I invested in something practical again: a reusable silicone straw that I got at the package free store in Williamsburg. No more straws and no more worries! :)

After I arrived in Europe again, I was happy seeing my fellow people using totes and bringing their glass bottles along – but somehow I still thought about the places which don’t understand what I am talking about. In NYC I talked to many people about the plastic issue and they just laughed… Now I am in South Africa and I try to be as ecological as I can – taking care of Mother Nature. I will definitely give you a report on that as well… For now I want to share a video which I did after my NYC visit. A video that could inspire you for your next travel adventure as well!

Ever wanted to be more ecological during your getaways? This is how you can start!