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DON'T WASTE YOUR VACATION!

We consume many disposable products when travelling: our toiletry bag is filled with cosmetics in tiny synthetic containers, while strolling we use plastic forks to eat Pasta-To-Go, and at the beach bar we relax by sipping cocktails topped with straws and umbrellas.

Engel Beutel Mali Paede
Illustrationen by Mali Paede

REUSABLE IS THE WAY TO GO


Having your own glass or steel bottle is a good idea for numerous reasons: you save money, garbage – and it’s more fashionable than any plastic bottle. Besides, it takes four hundred and fifty years for a plastic bottle to disintegrate, and even then, it isn’t fully decomposed. In Europe, you can refill your bottle with tap water without worrying about your stomach. Elsewhere, taps may be dirty, so consider a bottle with which is easier to recycle than cans or plastic bottles. Some places even have a deposit system for them.

HOT, BABY, HOT
In 2014 Germans drank an average of eight litres of coffee – from disposable cups. Pretty stupid, because not only does that produce a ton of garbage, the coffee also gets cold quicker. Honestly, do you really want cold brew to ruin your trip? A thermos prevents unnecessary rubbish and a foul mood.

SMARTPHONES SAVING FORESTS

Every German uses about 250 kilograms of paper annually – that’s more than three trees. Yet wasting less paper is easier than ever: Save travel tickets onto your smartphone and just show that instead of a printout. This also works in many cinemas, museums, and other cultural institutions and reduces your risk of losing tickets. Also, digitizing your books, magazines, and newspapers won’t just earn you a medal for sustainability, it’ll also save you the hassle of lugging around dead trees.

USE YOUR OWN BAG YOU HAG

Even your great-grandma knew about environmentalism and always carried a cloth bag in her purse. Be like her and you’ll always be prepared for planned or unplanned shopping sprees, whether at the market, boutique, or souvenir shop. If you do forget your cloth bag, opt for a sturdy paper or plastic bag. Keep your hands off those small, thin bags from the vegetable section, even if they are free. They are so light that they easily fl y out of the bin and into nature, where they disintegrate into harmful microplastics.

PRISTINE WITHOUT POLLUTION

Low-waste cosmetics keep your skin and the environment clean. They’re also small and light, so no hassle lugging them around.

RENEWABLE TOOTHBRUSH
Did you know that your toothbrush belongs in the black bin and not the yellow one? The material is so difficult to recycle that it’s incinerated instead. But recyclable toothbrushes made of bamboo, wood or corn starch are cheap and available at most German and Austrian drug stores.

SOLID PERSONAL HYGIENE PRODUCTS
Conventional shampoos, lotions, etc. contains microplastics that seep into the sewage system and other bodies of water. Natural cosmetics avoid this problem and are also available in solid form, they’re just as cleansing as their plastic clad counterparts but don’t require packaging.

DEODORANT CREAMS FROM A CAN
Deodorant creams are less irritating to your skin – and more sustainable. The white cream is made of deodorising ingredients such as coconut oil, starch and baking soda. Deodorant creams are packed in reusable, refillable aluminium cans.

MENSTRUAL CUP
Women’s cycles are sophisticated systems with their own rules. If you’re heading to the beach at that time of the month, consider a menstrual cup. The cup creates pressure, preventing blood from leaking out and (chlorinated) water and the bacteria it carries from entering.

BUY LESS, THROW LESS AWAY


A glowing miniature Eiffel Tower from Paris, a straw hat from Bali, or clogs from Holland. Who doesn’t own souvenirs that seemed like a must-have abroad and only collect dust once you’re home? Next time, consider if such things are a worthwhile investment. Shopping second-hand might be a better option if you’re trying to consume sustainably.

See, it’s easy to produce less waste while travelling – and maybe even more rewardingly: you save resources, the environment, and our health.

GUILTY CONSCIENCE?

Get your products at Lunzers Maß Greißlerei in Vienna or Stückgut in Hamburg St. Pauli! Don't worry, we love you even if you don't travel completely green. We just don't know how long yet!

About the authoress …

Mali liebt Texten, Techno und Tanzen. Meist feiert sie im Bunker auf St. Pauli. Als sie über dessen Geschichte schrieb, gaben ihr Elektro-Beats den Tipp-Takt vor.

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