With summer travel comes the need for conveniently sized products, travel-friendly snacks and drinks, and a plan for avoiding single-use plastic as you go. Whether you’re planning a California Road Trip or your next long-haul flight, these tips will help reduce your environmental footprint, wherever your journey takes you!
- Avoid the travel-sized personal care products aisle. Without advance planning, it’s easy to resort to disposable miniature bottles of familiar products when packing for a trip. Offset this problem by purchasing reusable travel-sized jars or bottles and decant any products you’ll need into these before your next trip. Not only will you have the freedom to choose the exact products you’d like to bring with you, but you’ll be reducing your plastic footprint for this and future adventures.
- Choose reusable. Rather than purchasing single-use water bottles and accepting single-use cups for coffee or smoothies, bring your own reusable one! Choosing reusable items over single-use ones is an easy change to make, and can significantly reduce your environmental footprint and save you money over time. (This applies to cups, bottles, straws, utensils, bags and beyond!)
- Skip the straw. When dining out, skip the plastic straw! With all of the attention to plastic straw pollution currently making its way around the world, depending on where you travel, these may have already been outlawed. If you prefer or need to use a straw, bring your own reusable one.
- Visit an Ocean Friendly Restaurant! While traveling within the United States, check out Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants app (surfrider.org/ofr-app) to find restaurants committed to conducting their business sustainably near you.
- Avoid excessively packaged products. One of the best parts of traveling can be experiencing local produce and cuisines! Opt for fresh fruits and veggies, and choose restaurants that utilize reusable onsite dining items rather than single-use ones.
- When on the beach or wherever you’re out enjoying nature: pack in, pack out. Plan ahead and pack durable, reusable items to prevent the risk of improperly recycling or disposing of single-use items in an unfamiliar place. This also means avoiding single-use foam coolers and $5 chairs or umbrellas that are not built to last. Alternatively investing in reusable items that are built to endure time and use reduces waste through longevity.
- Observe drought rules, wherever you are. This means being respectful of local resources: in hotels, reuse towels instead of having them changed daily, turn off the tap while you shave, brush your teeth, or wash dishes, and aim for reducing your shower time to five minutes or less. As always, refrain from flushing any chemicals, pharmaceuticals or products containing plastics or microbeads down the drain or toilet.
- Choose a reef friendly sunscreen to bring with you. Not all destinations will have oxybenzone-, octinoxate-, and octocrylene-free sunscreens widely available. If you choose to bring one full-sized personal care product with you, let this be it. Choose a mineral (zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) based lotion sunscreen to reduce your impact on coral reefs, fish and other aquatic life, even if you won’t be traveling near the ocean! Learn more about “reef friendly” sunscreens, the negative impacts of chemical-based sunscreens and get a list of some great reef friendly sunscreen options at Beachapedia.org/Reef_Friendly_Sunscreens.
In California, Hilton is partnering with the Surfrider Foundation to highlight the organization’s mission to protect clean water and healthy beaches, as part of Hilton’s summertime California Road Trip package. From San Diego to San Francisco, there are dozens of beautiful beaches to enjoy as part of a family California Road Trip.