We have been practising a zero-waste lifestyle at home for some time now and this time I adopted the same while traveling to Pondicherry with my 3 years old son. We have been trying to lead a sustainable lifestyle by adopting green methods like a composting wet waste at home, buying plastic-free packaging materials, making our own cosmetics/toiletries, floor cleaner, using reusable straws, cups, cutlery, etc. giving away all kinds of plastic items and food pouches for recycling.
One of the most important things, we can do to protect our environment is, to find ways to reduce waste. There is not a perfect zero-waste solution, but there are some little things we can each do. It just requires some advance planning.
Single-use items like- water bottles, cups, straws, have an impact not only on the environment but also on us.
Here are my zero-waste travel tips ideas that I followed:
Packed our own food in reusable containers (or reusable food wrap) instead of buying that are wrapped in plastics
Carried our own water bottles and refilled them after security check-in. Refilled at regular intervals from drinking water station
Cloth pad and mensuration cup (in case of emergencies) (cloth pad)
Loose green tea leaves
Carried toiletries like- shampoo bar, detergent powder, soap,
Steel straws, spoons, snacks in small containers for the little one
Requested the hotel staff to provide drinking water in a jar instead of water bottles
As a result, I could save 10 single-use straws from going to the trash. No unnecessary buying of water bottles.
Trash that we generated:
One water bottle was kept in the hotel room and my little one was feeling thirsty
2 chocolate wraps someone gave it (which I got back with me)
I am most guilty about the carbon footprints that I contribute while taking a flight. I know flying is bad for the environment and all, but unfortunately, it was my only option. Otherwise, we mostly travel by public transport or on foot.
Planning ahead for the trip will not only help you lessen your environmental impact, but it will also make your whole traveling experience more enjoyable. It was my first attempt at making a zero waste travel and I am glad I could attain it to some extent.
My husband and I love to travel on any given day. After traveling to different places in India and the US between Nov to Feb(4 months) including visits to our native places in Assam (including some solo trips ), it was time to take a rest.
And within a month I conceived. I guess traveling helped my mind and body to relax, as we’re trying hard for the last year for a baby, followed by a miscarriage.
My pregnancy went smoothly and we had a lovely baby boy. Life became a roller-coaster ride for us. But the travel bug was crawling inside me and pinching me from time to time. Travel bug doesn’t come and go, it resides permanently inside you.
I desperately needed a break from the daily routine. Oops did I say daily routine? The daily routine doesn’t change whether you are home or on a vacation when you have a baby.
Our son was approaching his 1 st birthday, and 10 days after that we had to leave for our native place in Assam. Before going home, we took a short 3 Days Trip to Goa with our 1-Year-Old.
One week before our trip, I introduced my son to formula milk (he didn’t have outside milk before). So in public places, I don’t have to cover him or look for a secluded place to breastfeed him.
I even made a checklist of items like his daily essentials and food items to carry for this 3 Days Trip to Goa with a 1-Year-Old. This helped me with what to pack and when to feed him what.
Breakfast: Bread dipped in milk/warm water or cerelac or oats or powered cornflakes
What to pack for goa with a baby? Below is the list of items to pack for a short trip:
Extra set of clothes,
Toys and books
Formula milk powder
2-3 feeding bottles
Below is the list of items to carry when out for the whole day:
Extra set of clothes,
Formula milk powder,
Hot water in a flask
I tried to maintain his schedule, which includes his meal time and nap time.
One day of our journey the flight was scheduled to depart at 4.30 in the evening from Mumbai airport. Our son got up at his usual time in the morning, had breakfast, played for some time, took a bath, and went to sleep. While he was sleeping we had our lunch, washed the utensils, got ready and everything was done. In the meantime, he also got up, dressed him, breastfeed-ed him and we were ready to leave for the airport.
After checking in he had a banana. At this age, they need to eat something at a gap of 2-3 hours. We still had time for boarding. Before boarding the flight I prepared his formula milk which he had during takeoff. And he slept and got up just before we landed.
We had a nice time together, though most of the time my concern was, whether he is enjoying it or not, is he hungry or sleepy?
What I understood from this trip at this age is that we need to maintain his meal and nap time, so that they don’t become cranky and we all have a memorable vacation.