WRITTEN BY ALICE PELTON
LEG 7 GALAPAGOS TO EASTER ISLAND WITH PERKINELMER
All photos by Claire McCluskey
Small changes to our shopping and living habits can make a big impact. I’m always on the lookout for ways to reduce single use plastic – and whilst packing for our trip, I was really interested to see what the other women on Leg 7 had brought with them. I was pleased to find my crew mates are a fountain of knowledge on how to live more sustainably, so thought I’d share and some of the things we use to help reduce our day-to-day plastic consumption.
- Foldable Travel mug
I have been travelling for 5 months and this has to be one of the most useful things I’ve bought with me. You can fold it up and pop it in your day bag, ready for when you need an afternoon caffeine hit. The screw closing lid is very handy for being on the go. And it’s a decent size – so serves as a brilliant substitute for the pointlessly small cups you get in hotels or planes. Essential for any tea or coffee lover!
- Foldable straw
Another travel essential that many of us have with us. I love mine because I can attach it to my keys or wallet (so I don’t forget it) and it means I can sip on my holiday margaritas guilt free. Make sure you tell your waiter you don’t need a straw when you order your drink to avoid them bringing you one and then throwing it away anyway 😣
- Shampoo bar
We’ve all brought these on board. Jula especially loves hers because it’s so easy to travel with – one extra thing to not have to put into your liquids bag at the airport security. Our preferred brand is Lush – especially the Lemon one!
- Utensil set
Lynsi has a stainless travel set – fork, knife, spoon and chopsticks – that she takes with her everywhere. Some people eat out twice or three times a day – so you can save a lot of plastic by bringing these with you.
- Compostable phone case
Claire’s phone case is made by Canadian brand Pela and is hard wearing and entirely compostable. When she upgrades her phone she can use it to feed her plants. Beautiful.
- Water bottle
We’ve all got plenty of water bottles on board and before we set sail, were asking for refills at restaurants and cafes to help reduce plastic. This one is from one of eXXpedition’s Official Kit Suppliers, Dopper.
- Cloth bag
Claire’s bag is made by a zero waste Dublin based company called Jump The Hedges – and is made out of recycled truck tarpaulin that’s been washed in rainwater.
- Recycled sunglasses
Paula’s sunnies are from a Chilean brand called Karün, who make their glasses with recycled plastics from old fishery nets and lines found in Patagonia. They come in a huge range of colours and styles – and if anything breaks or cracks, they will replace the lenses for free.
- Bamboo toothbrush
Did you know that every single toothbrush you’ve ever used still exists? That means there’s over 100 of my toothbrushes floating around out there somewhere, probably in an ocean. Friends of eXXpedition at the Plastic Pollution Coalition donated Brush with Bamboo toothbrushes, 100% organic bamboo brushes with nice strong bristles made from Castor Bean Oil. I’ve really enjoyed using mine this week and find it gives me teeth a really good scrub.
- Water filter
Once she gets off the boat, Katlin is about to embark on some travelling in South America – and has bought a Sterri pen to help her reduce plastic from buying endless bottled water in places where the tap water isn’t drinkable. It’s a UV light that when stirred around in a bottle for 90 seconds sterilises any clear water. It costs about £60 but is well worth the investment if you think of how much money and plastic you’ll save over several months use.
- Cotton wool pads
Natasha has brought these with her – a great alternative to having to stock up on cotton pads to remove make up and clean your face with. Just use them and rinse them out to dry – and pop them in the washing machine every now and then for a deep clean.
Someone has finally reinvented the zip lock bag! Jula and our First Mate Maggie use these to store their wash bag contents. They seal up nice and firmly, so no more tears or spillages.
- Chewable toothpaste tablets
You chew up these tablets in your mouth then pop your brush in and brush away. Claire and I have been using these and although they taste a little different, you soon get used to them.
- Compostable Teabags
Did you know that the mesh in many teabags is made of plastic? Natasha is a big fan of these Leafy Bean teabags from her local cafe in North London. They taste great and all of the packaging is cardboard and fully recyclable, and the teabag is made of cellulose and fully compostable.
Desert Island Disc Song: Just One Second Apex Remix – London Electricity
Luxury Items: Lapsang souchong and English Breakfast tea bags