What A Recent Vacation Taught Me About Zero Waste

We recently took a family trip to Hawaii. This was our big gift for Christmas this year as we decided we wanted to spend money on life experiences instead of stuff. Before and while traveling this time I noticed a few things about my own personal habits that made me think.

The clothes you have are enough. My partner Steve pointed out I bought new clothes before vacation. “You always buy new clothes before vacation”. He was right! Every vacation that I can think of in recent time I bought something to wear beforehand, whether it was a cute dress, hiking shoes, or a beach coverup. I need to watch out for this the next time. I shouldn’t need to buy anything before I go on a trip.

You don’t need to prepare for everything. My initial inclination is to pack more than what I needed. I even cut down and repacked half way through, but looking back there were a few more things I could have done without. Smaller/light luggage is the way to go! I had a carry-on and backpack, but would like to get down to only one bag in the future.

Always bring your own water bottle. We did this in Europe over the summer but for some silly reason I thought bottled water would have been easier in Hawaii since I read an article that recommended buying bottled water because you shouldn’t drink the water that was collected by the rain. Turns out we would have been fine with our own bottles because there was plenty of access to city tap water.

Bring your own a shampoo bar and homemade toothpaste. A shampoo bar would have worked for this trip. If you don’t know about shampoo bar they are a good zero waste replacement for shampoo and conditioner. Also I had recently made my own toothpaste, but didn’t bring which I immediately regretted. Recipe is below.

Cooking your own food will always be cheaper, healthier and in most cases a tastier option. We stayed at a house through AirBNB the majority of the trip and made several breakfasts and dinners at “home”. It was well worth the time and saved us money.

And above all else life experiences are more important than material objects.

Life experiences are more important than material objects


UPDATED Homemade Toothpaste Recipe

Measure baking soda and coconut oil and place into small storage container. Use a spoon or spatula to mix into a paste. Add 5 drops of peppermint extract or oil. Mix again. Use a pea size amount each time you brush.