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Not every sustainable journey starts with a big, old party, but mine sure did!
I was dancing on a beach in Thailand when the horrible reality of my impact on the planet smacked me upside the head. OK, fine, it smacked me in the leg.
Literally, a plastic bottle hit me in the leg. It was the first full moon of 2019 and I was attending the legendary Full Moon Party on Haad Rin Beach in Thailand.
There I was in my glow-in-the-dark body paint and my fast-fashion outfit complete with neon and fringe, passing around a communal bucket of booze, and letting the waves wash the sand off my legs from a night of dancing.
The first rays from the morning sun revealed a sight that both struck me and stuck with me.
I resolved then and there to quit using single-use plastic water bottles. For good.
It wasn’t always easy, but I learned along the way to avoid not only single-use plastic water bottles but single-use plastic everything. It is possible with a little legwork.
I avoid plastic while traveling full-time as a digital nomad, so you can do it too!
The evolution of a sustainable journey
My sustainable journey started with single-use plastic water bottles, but I now consider sustainability and ethical production in everything I do and everything I buy.
I travel with my own bamboo utensils, folding bowl, and even a reusable wine cup in my pocket! I wear clothing that is durable and ethically produced, and I ensure that the brands where I spend my dollars think about the planet alongside profitability.
This awareness extends to conscious travel
As tourists, we often don’t realize when we are harming the animals we encounter on our travels. I talk a lot about that in the following post. When I stayed the night with elephants at an ethical elephant sanctuary in Thailand, I learned so much from the elephants who are rescued from the tourism and logging industries.
It was a seriously moving and impactful experience.
Attending a festival can be seriously challenging when we’re trying to travel sustainably. But it is possible! Check out this post on attending the Mad Cool festival in Madrid sustainably. It includes a sustainable festival packing list, complete with biodegradable glitter! (Or get the list below.)
FAIR WARNING: Your sustainable journey will become a way of life
Once you take that first step to ditch single-use plastic it probably won’t stop there.
For me, ditching single-use, plastic water bottles led me to notice all the single-use plastic that I was casually consuming without even thinking.
Now I use shampoo and conditioner bars instead of bottles, and I even make my own sustainable lotion bars!
My sustainable journey will continue, and I will keep sharing what I learn with you.
Thank you for reading this. Please contact me if you have story ideas or sustainability stats or products to share. I’m very passionate about sustainability, and I would love to hear from you.
About the Author
Hi! I’m Jen!
I’m a freelance writer and travel blogger who quit my nine-to-five after my fiancé, Jeff, died of cancer at the age of 40. When he died, I realized that life is just too short to delay our dreams. Since my dream was to travel and write, I now travel and write full-time. Today I wear hiking boots instead of heels and collect experiences instead of things.