How To Avoid Increasing Your Waste While Travelling

How To Avoid Increasing Your Waste While

A month ago I had to travel 2 hours each day, with my children for a week to visit my hubby in hospital and one of the things that I had to think about on the run up to his operation was how we were going to eat while travelling without increasing our waste. Its so easy to forget while travelling on holiday, to a conference, family fun day or hospital trip how much waste we create doing these activities just to stop our tummies from grumbling or to stop us from getting thirsty. Because we tend to only think about the waste we create in our homes rather than our the waste we create while we are out of the home.

After spending several sleepless nights thinking about how I was going to feed the children, without creating any extra waste. I set about making a plan of what we were going to eat in the car and how I wanted the car packed so we could easily avoid any extra waste.

How I Organised My Car

  • I bought from the local second hand shop enough cutlery for all of us and stored them in a reusable plastic container.
  • I dugg out from our loft our camping plates and bowls.
  • I filed an empty plastic bottle bottle with juice in case we ran out of juice while we were travelling.
  • I packed a large reusable shopping bag with our cutlery, plates, bowls, juice, reusable wet wipes and a couple of micro fiber clothes. To add to this I made a flask of tea, made a cup of tea in my travel mug and filled up the childrens metal drink containers with juice.

How I organised My Food Waste

Before hubby had his operation I created a food menu of all the meals that could easily be made in advance / transported and did a good food shop. I must note at this stage, my 2 daughters had school dinners before I collected them from school, while Paul and I had lunch at home before travelling. So I only needed to transport an evening meal as we left at 12.30pm and returned home between 8pm and 9pm.

  • I made sure each meal could be made in my slow cooker overnight and would fit into soup flasks the following day. These meals were stew, soup, pasta bolognese and hot pot. (Any food that was left over I put into reusable containers and popped into the freezer for another day.)
  • I set my bread maker to make my bread before I went to bed so in the morning I woke up to a fresh loaf ready to be put into a fabric bread bag to help soak up the stew gravy or soup.
  • I made cupcakes in advance and placed them in a reusable plastic container so the children could have a pudding. (On one day I filled a flask with custard so they could have custard over their cup cake or bananas)
  • I packed a cool bag with a variety of fruit, a pint of milk and some yogurts so everyone had a choice each day.

I was lucky enough that my lovely Dad cooked us two meals towards the end of the week and dropped them off at my house still hot ready for our return. Which was lovely because on these two days i did not have to think about meals just snacks.

So How Did I Manage To Serve Everyone

This part was the easy part. After visiting hubby we all got in the car and I served up our dinner into bowls, cut pieces of bread up and made sure everyone had a drink. Basically we had a mini hot picnic in the car. Once everyone had eaten I popped everything back into the boot of my car, refilled drink bottles and cups and then drove home. Once we got home and I put the children to bed, I would empty my car, wash everything up, repack everything ready for the following day.

What Other Things You Do To Save Waste While Travelling-

  • Think before you leave the house, “Have I got everything?” and make sure you take with you a reusable coffee cup, water bottle etc.. for drinks. Every coffee shop will refill your reusable coffee cup for you at no extra cost and they will also refill your water bottle too.
  • If you can’t resist some fast food i.e a takeaway sandwich or salad refuse a take away bag for your items, but to be honest you don’t need a takeaway bag for a drink (refilled in your cup) and a sandwich.
  • Get into the habit of carrying around with you a set of cutlery so you can politely refuse single use cutlery.
  • If you have leftovers pop them straight into the fridge as soon as you get home to either be enjoyed by other members of your family or can be adapted into your lunch for the following day.
  •  Be organised before your trip so you everything you need prepared and prepped beforehand so you don’t need to buy food while you are travelling. (This not only saves waste but money too.)
  • If you pick up too many condiments while you were buying your take out, don’t throw them away keep them somewhere safe in your car for the next time you need a condiment while you are travelling.

What extra tips do you use to reduce your waste while travelling? 


10 responses to “How To Avoid Increasing Your Waste While Travelling

  1. Very impressive that you managed this on top of visiting your husband! I like how you outlined it, showing that it wasn’t that difficult, since too often we think zero waste takes “so much work”

    • Thank you very much, after I got over the panic of “How am I going to manage?” It was all very straight forward and easy. The hardest part was being so tired from all the travelling and worry about how hubby was.

  2. OMG, you are phenomenal. I think it’s amazing that you put so much effort in at the beginning to make it easier later on. You probably saved yourself an enormous amount of money being prepared, but also practically zero waste (applauds!!) I can see how this can work. I have been meal planning for the past month and not only has this saved us money on wasted food, but also rubbish because I plan well for zero waste (or nearly) and I am much less stressed because I know what’s coming up. I do one shop now for the whole week and I don’t buy all the extra rubbish. The kids are also happier because they help choose what we eat! I’m very impressed mate!

    • Thank you Nic, I found by organising my self first it only cost me fuel and parking to visit hubby in hospital.

      It’s fantastic you are meal planning and therefore only have to do one shop a week. Have you found that not only have you saved money and waste but you also have more time to enjoy preparing meals becouse the stress of what shall I cook has gone?

  3. Emma, you are incredible. I don’t think I, while worrying about my husband and kids, would have given Zero Waste a second thought. You’ve really inspired me – I think I would just have grabbed convenience food on the way. You’re utterly incredible and such a stalwart… x

  4. Pingback: Stand Out From The Crowd And Start Ditching Single Use Items | Mommy Emu·

  5. Pingback: What Zero Waste Means To me | Mommy Emu·

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