With international travel still looking uncertain in the coming months, you may be considering a staycation nearby or road trip to some of the most iconic destinations in the UK. From camping in Cornwall to hiking in the Scottish Highlands, If you’re staying on British soil this summer and are looking for the most sustainable way to get from A to B to C, then you’ve come to the right place.
The cardinal rule of sustainable travel is to leave no trace. By finding a way of being a tourist in our own home without harming our natural environment, we can maintain our beautiful travel destinations and ensure that they can be enjoyed for centuries to come. One way of doing so is by reducing waste and opting for products that don’t contain excessive amounts of packaging or plastic. Solid toiletries are a great way to reduce waste while on the road as they gradually disintegrate with use and thus leave no trace. Luckily these products are becoming increasingly available, with popular brands such as Lush, Ethique and Georganics providing everything you might need in the bathroom – excluding the bottle – from shampoo to mouthwash.
Solar powered charger
Charge up your phone using the sun! Solar powered chargers are super handy tools to have with you while on the road if you don’t want to drain your car battery or fight over the wall plug at the nearest Starbucks. There are hundreds to choose from, all boasting impressive features adaptable to your needs. Check out BigBlue’s hefty 28W USB charger or opt for Nuzama’s affordable solar charger designed to top up your vehicle battery so you can charge your electrics without running the engine.
There’s nothing worse than spending hours in the car without proper road trip snacks to munch on. Whether you’re headed to the nearest drive-thru or grabbing some grub at a service station, it’s likely that you will end up with more rubbish than you’d like. Before you head off on your road trip, grab a couple forks and spoons from the kitchen drawer or get yourself a dedicated travel set of reusable utensils like this bamboo kit from Wild & Stonethat comes with a reusable pouch. Time to ditch the plastic spoons from M&S and make sure you’re equipped with the right tools that will keep you fed again and again, no matter where you are.
No matter how sustainable you’re hoping to be while on the road, you’re hardly going to bring along a whole set of ceramic plates, bowls and glasses to eat your meals from, so look out for some storage-friendly solutions that can easily be used and washed during your travels. We love these collapsible bowls from Stojo that come with matching lids and take up just 3cm in height when collapsed.
Some of the best destinations in the UK also include the best wild swimming spots, so you’re bound to dip your toe in the water if you’re out and about in the hot summer months. A great accessory to keep with you while travelling is a towel – not your standard department store bath towel, but a quick-drying one, designed for life on-the-go. These microfibre towels are super lightweight and won’t need space to dry – but make sure you get yourself one made from sustainable fabrics, like Anaskela or Evolve, as plastic microfibers can often end up in our waterways. If you’re looking for a long-term investment, you may even opt for a dryrobe, designed to dry you off, give you a space to change and keep you warm while you wait for the others to get out of the water.
For those spending their days as well as their nights on the road this summer, a solar lantern might just be the perfect accessory. Whether you’re camping out or bunking up in a van, you can make those late-night fireside chats infinitely more cozy (and convenient) by grabbing a couple rechargeable solar lights. They come in all shapes and sizes so the choice is yours but we love the look of these inflatable solar lights by B-corp MPOWERD that are lightweight and easy to store – all whilst being kind to the planet and others!
Biodegradable wet wipes
Getting access to a shower can be fairly tricky while you’re on the road, so it’s always handy to have a bundle of wet wipes with you for what the Germans call a “Katzenwäsche” – or cat bath – in other words, wiping down without actually taking a shower. Before you set out on that road trip, make sure you’ve got a packet of biodegradable wet wipes made from bamboo or vegetable extracts with you – you never know when you might need them!
Pick the right vehicle
Granted, your road trip vehicle isn’t really an accessory, per se, but it’s still an opportunity to choose the most environmentally friendly mode of transport you can. Aside from getting yourself an all-out electric vehicle to do the trip with, there are a few other options that can make you drive off into the sunset without feeling like you’re doing too much damage to the earth. One of those is car sharing: by renting a vehicle from members of your community, rather than hiring a car from traditional rental providers, you are making use of something that already exists. Car sharing can unlock a fleet of unused vehicles without adding more to our streets: for every 1 car shared, we can take 14 off the road.