On World Environment Day, I hope a few of these ideas can help inspire people to travel a little differently with the family, when we are able to do so again.
Seeing piles of rubbish left in public beauty spots has just broken my heart – how can people think that is OK to do? We can’t rely on other people to make this planet a better place, we need to do our own bit too.
I know we aren’t perfect either, these are just some of the changes we have made so if anyone can suggest anything else, please let me know.
When travelling with Lily, I used to pack so many things, from packets of wet wipes for long car journeys through to magazines for the train.
Not only was this not great for the environment, but also not great for my bank balance – nor the weight of the stuff I was carrying!
Lily loves her magazines, and can spend hours doing all the activities inside them. Now, they are a very rare treat, usually bought by her grandparents! Unfortunately, not only do they cost around a fiver each (you can buy a proper toy for that!), but the amount of plastic you’re peeling off is just crazy.
There are usually plastic toys, surrounded by plastic casing on both the front and back, and then the whole magazine wrapped in even more plastic. The toys aren’t played with for long, and what’s more, the wrappers only have one place to go – the bin!
So how do I keep my 4-year-old entertained on a train journey or when we are out and about, without the use of technology?
Here are just some of our eco-friendly travel swaps on our daytrips and adventures.
Activity toys instead of magazines
Her favourite toy (at home and when out!) right now is her Fuzzikins that have come on every adventure with us for at least 10 months now! They may be made of plastic, but they are washed and reused on every adventure.
She loves the little campervan with them too, meaning they are contained in one space, with the pens, and can easily be carried around. They go on adventures with her in the campervan, and she only dreams of a real one 🙂
Whether it is to keep her busy on a long train journey or to keep her entertained screen-free while we’re camping, Fuzzikins are probably one of our top travel swaps!
Find out more about the Fuzzikins here
We also make sure our Button & Squirt cards are always in our backpacks. They are educational, beautifully hand-drawn, and so easy to slide into our backpacks for a burst of distraction on trains, in restaurants, or when camping too!
We particularly love the Amazing Animals and Alphabet of Amazing Dinosaurs cards and colouring book, which even ended up with us on an Acropolis hike in Greece!
It’s also a company that has a Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Champion award, which really is something truly amazing, and I love following Button & Squirt to learn more about the world and animals in it.
Find out more about the Button & Squirt cards here
Recyclable car booster seat
GIFTED – Hello Communications Group
We were gifted this fantastic CarGoSeat that is an ultimate parenting hack when it comes to travelling with kids. It is a UK and EU regulation approved booster seat for kids that also doubles up as a pull-along travel case!
Lily absolutely loves packing bags to take “on holiday”, even if we’re only heading to the shops, and my car always looks a state when we head out, so this has been amazing to keep everything in one place – and she has fun packing it too!
What’s more, you can use it as a camping/picnic chair when you’re out, as well as a booster seat to take through the airport for when you may be hiring a car on holiday.
So, how is this eco-friendly? The amazing people at CarGoSeat are actually recycling the seats once you have finished with them, so less waste heading to the landfills!
For more information, head to the website here.
Reusable cup for kids
Another travel essential is her kids’ KeepCup. She does enjoy a little hot chocolate or babyccino treat when we head off on the train or when we are out, but not only are the single-use cups non-recyclable, they are also not often child friendly.
She can’t drink a whole adult one, and they often spill or mean you can’t drink from them, so we bought an “espresso” KeepCup that we take everywhere with us in the backpack for when the babyccino time comes!
I’ve also found them especially helpful when getting us on/off trains, while trying to juggle my own coffee, bag, child etc – Lily can carry her own little cup and I know she is safe doing so. Plus you can often save some pennies, as well as the environment, where they give discount for reusable cups.
Check out the smaller KeepCups here
Packs of wetwipes are not only not good for the environment, but also bulky and heavy. We keep a stash of reusable wipes in our bags as they are soft and light, and handy for everything from sandy toes, ice cream faces and spillages when you’re out.
I even ended up embarassing a young lad who spilled his beer on the train and had no tissues, so I helped him wipe it up – he was very thankful, but was slightly pink-cheeked!
They are great for campsites too – I can’t recommend them enough.
Ours are from Bonniepopmakes and we also recommend Frerebears too
Reusable lunch bags
Taking your own food with you can help save money as well as the environment. It means you don’t need to buy food when out, which often comes in single-use or non-recyclable packaging.
We love the Nom Nom Kids pouches as they are not only reusable, but they’re lightweight and once they’re empty, they can pack flat, so take up no space in your bags!
Find out more about the NomNom Kids pouches here.
Last, but definitely not least, our travel toiletries bag also holds host to our bamboo toothbrushes.
They have kid-sized ones as well as adult ones, and they are definitely now a staple in our travel collection. You can order them on a subscription too, so in the long run they can save money for you too!
Look how amazing these personalisrainbow bamboo toothbrushes are from Tiny Tortle!
If anyone has any further suggestions, please let me know either on social media or in the comments below – we are always up for making our adventures more eco-friendly where we can, from the products we use and the accommodation we choose, to having our own bin in the car as we rarely find recycling options when we are out. but there is still a long way to go. We love shopping local where we can and finding out about brands eco policies, but there is still a long way for us to go too.
As it’s also World Environment Day, here’s a little message from my 4-year-old, reminding people to put your rubbish in the bin as it makes the fish sad.