How to Reduce Waste While Traveling

Whether you’re planning a vacation or a work trip, traveling should never get in the way of taking care of the environment.

passport and map

Reducing waste and recycling while traveling can be a little more challenging and take extra effort when compared to recycling at home, but it’s not impossible!

Here are a few tips to help you reduce the amount of waste you dispose of, so you can travel while remaining environmentally conscious:

1. Avoid Plastics

Plastics are one of the worst materials when it comes to impact on the environment. Unfortunately, plastics are everywhere and are often a traveler’s favorite.

To help minimize your waste, start by always packing a reusable water bottle that you can refill when you run out of water. Collapsible bottles are a great choice since they can easily fit into your bag.

Then, take your waste reduction a step further by packing a reusable utensil set made out of stainless steel or bamboo.

And don’t forget a reusable grocery bag! They’re especially handy if you plan on buying souvenirs on your trip, since you won’t need to bother with a plastic shopping bag.

2. Reduce Your Paper Waste

Thanks to technology, traveling no longer involves packing an excessive amount of paper.

While you still do have the option of printing tickets, boarding passes, and hotel reservations, using digital options are are both convenient and a great way to minimize paper waste.

Many airlines, hotels, and venues will let you display and manage digital tickets by downloading the company app. And if that’s not an option, taking screenshots generally works just as well.

3. Dispose of Batteries Properly

From electric toothbrushes to flashlights, travel often involves packing some battery-powered devices. But finding a place to properly dispose of dead batteries when traveling can be a challenge.

To help ensure you’re not contaminating landfills, check your destination’s guidelines on battery disposal before you leave so you know where to recycle them.

Or, if need be, pack a small sealable bag that you can use to hold empty batteries so that you can recycle them properly once you’re home.

recycling bins

4. Bring a Recycling Bag

It may be surprising to realize that not all areas are alike when it comes to eco-friendliness. Depending where you’re traveling, you may not always find recycling options readily available.

Carrying a recycling bag with you means you don’t have to toss recyclables into the garbage because you can’t find another option. A simple paper bag or cardboard box can be used to store recyclables until you find a recycling point.

If you’re driving as opposed to flying, you may even want to simply hold on to the recyclables until you return home so that you can recycle them properly then.

5. Choose Environmentally-Conscious Hotels

One of the easiest ways to make sure that your vacation is eco-friendly is by staying at an environmentally-conscious hotel while traveling.

Not only will you likely have access to things like reusable containers and recycling bins in your room, you’ll also know that the hotel is actively working to reduce water use, plastic waste, and paper consumption.

And these days, more and more hotels are going green, making it easier than ever to find a great place to stay that also considers the environment.


Travel is a time to relax and enjoy life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also still bring your concern for the environment with you!

No matter how minor your efforts may seem, finding ways to reduce waste while traveling can make a big difference in helping to make the planet a better place.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *