Zero Waste Travel, It Gets Easier

I’ve been traveling around with a focus on zero waste for a few weeks now. As you can see in my last post, I didn’t do too well at first. By now I’m managing to stay *mostly* waste free. I have been buying foods in bulk at a Whole Foods location in NYC and been eating out in restaurants, refusing single use items.

Buying in bulk is also cheaper…

After NYC, I took the train to Philadelphia and stopped by at a startup event at a co-working space, which was run by friends of mine.  I got offered a bunch of water bottles there, but declined and filled up my bottle with tap water – easy. I also didn’t touch the packaged chips and other snacks that were on offer. That wasn’t very hard, since I brought my own freshly ground almond butter and some fruits as a filling snack. I’ve mostly stuck to drinking tap water, and juices, which I’d get in a glass.

Last night I flew from Philadelphia to Vegas for the Life is Beautiful festival, and the trip went really well, even though it wasn’t perfect. I’m super relieved. I ate sushi at the airport at a sit-down restaurant, together with a friend. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to avoid all waste there – the sushi came with wooden throw-away chopsticks. From now on I’ll just bring my own chopsticks though. It was pretty easy to top up my mason jar with coffee from a tap at one of the shops in the airport and just paid for a “medium size” to-go coffee. All it took was asking the cashier if she thought the jar was about equivalent to a medium size, and her reply was “Sure, we’ll just charge it as a medium” – and that was it. So easy. No further questions asked.

One main thing I haven’t conquered yet is avoiding plastic straws. I just purchased two of these metal straws at a West Elm and am hoping that will make a difference. I forget to ask for “no straw” about half of the time, and a couple of times I got a straw anyway, even though I asked them not to give me one! Maybe it’s my German accent? Or the servers are just too busy to recall… Anyway, I am hoping that it will help if I pull out my own metal straw, and tell them I’d like them to skip the straw, because I have my own… Can’t wait to try it out 🙂

I asked for “no straw”, but got a straw anyway 🙁

Edit:
Based on my experiences with zero-waste travel, I wrote up this post “10 Tips for Travellers who Want to Stay Zero Waste While Road”. Take a look, if you’d like some more insights.

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