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Everyday sustainability in a throw away society 

  • Writer's pictureBrittany Ainsworth

Zero Waste Toiletries for Travel

Trying to pack for Zero Waste travel may seem intimidating but really it makes things a whole lot easier!

Zero waste toiletries beauty bathroom travel

Packing for any trip is stressful. You want to make sure you have an outfit for every possible occasion, that your shampoo and conditioner doesn’t leak and that your bag makes the baggage allowances.

Going Zero Waste can help to solve these travel issues.

A Zero Waste lifestyle aims for a minimalistic and waste free way of living, which means not having excess stuff or packaging.

Since beginning my Zero Waste journey I’ve finally simplified my skin care routine to just a couple of steps. It took a while to finish up all those excess products which I honestly didn’t really need, but now I’m left with only essential Zero Waste toiletries.

Below is a list of what I personally pack for a trip away, feel free to alter it to your own personal preferences.

(Nearly) Zero Waste Make Up

  • Lashes: I’m not a fan of mascara. It smudges during the day, takes a bit more effort to remove and even then there’s always a bit of a smudge the next morning under your eyes. Instead I opt to use an eyelash curler and have been using one for years. You can buy a stainless steel one where the only plastic is a bit of rubber which cushions your lashes.

  • Concealer: I have bags, yup I’m not going to deny it. I’ve tried a pencil concealer to avoid the plastic tube ones but it just didn’t work out for me. So here is where I fail trying to be Zero Waste, but I’ll use every last drop by cutting the tube in half then recycling it.

  • Eyes: Along with my bags also I need to cover up my eyelid veins. I use a neutral eyeshadow base which I have fortunately found in a glass container by Mac.

  • Lips: A lip pencil is perfect for Zero Waste travel as its light and compact, plus you don’t have to worry about it melting like a lipstick.

  • Foundation: Fortunately I’ve been blessed with good skin (thanks mum!), so I don’t worry about foundation, instead I use my concealer for any spots. You can find natural powders with plastic free refills here or find a foundation packaged in glass and recycle once it’s empty.

Zero Waste Skin Care

  • Cleansing: For a long time I had been using cleansers which dried out my skin, even changing to natural cleansing bars didn’t help. Until I discovered face scrubbies. These can be croqueted or made yourself with an old towel. I use one daily to clean my face at night with water alone, tough make up can be tackled with a bit of coconut oil. Face scrubbies are perfect for Zero Waste travel as you can chuck them into your bag and go, not having to worry about leaking liquids.

  • Moisturiser: Rosehip oil has been a savior for my dry and sensitive skin. Its not hard to find packaged in glass either.

  • Pimple Treatment: There’s no need for expensive treatments when you can use simple tea tree oil. It processes antibacterial and antioxidant properties which are great to treat those pesky pimples.

Zero Waste Toiletries

  • Shampoo and Conditioner: Stressed caused by the ever present travel nightmare of finding your shampoo and conditioner leaked all your bag are now gone. Plastic free shampoo and conditioner bars are the answer.

  • Body Wash: The easiest Zero waste swap is from packaged body wash to soap bars. Gone are the days of soap drying out your skin, you can now buy soap bars packed full of shea butter, coconut oil and other moisturising goodies to lavish your body with.

  • Deodorant: One of my favourite Zero Waste swaps has been from packaged deodorant to a crystal. No leaking, no melting and it works!

  • Tongue Scrapper: A now integral part of my oral hygiene routine is my tongue scrapper. It cleans like no toothbrush has before.

  • Menstrual Cup: If you haven’t gotten onto the reusable menstrual products by now, you’re missing out. A menstrual cup takes up minimal space and you don’t have to worry about having to find the right products in a foreign country.

  • Safety Razor: Another Zero Waste favourite is my safety razor. It feels fancy in your hand and it gives you a close shave without the worry of razor burn. Pack in your check-in bag, or if only travelling with a carry-on bag leave your blade at home and look for one at your destination. Otherwise just be open with the security staff and hope for the best, the worst they can do is take away you blade but they shouldn’t touch your safety razor. Check out my post on Zero Waste Hair Removal for more details on using a safety razor.

Zero Waste Extras

  • Sunscreen and insect repellent: Choosing natural sunscreen and insect repellent are important on any tropical getaway. Natural solutions not only protect you but also the coral you’ll be swimming with. Pick lotions packaged in glass or aluminium tins to complete your Zero Waste travel kit.

Do you pack any other Zero Waste toiletries with you when you travel?

Let me know in the comments below!

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