This is going to be the first in a series where we document travelling low waste as we set off to train trip around western Europe! So, first things first, toiletries (for reference, this is for both of us):
Pictured above are all of our toiletries, I will link products down below which are, if not the product, then the most similar (plus DIY recipe's where appropriate) and will explain for some what we use them for!
Aloe Vera Gel - To use when sunburnt, at home we use the actual plant so this one is saved for travelling
Face Soap - Locally made, bought at Ohm's Vegan Cafe
Body soap - This one is an old one from a hotel but there will be loads of local brands around you! I can do a specific post on soap in HK if anyone is interested
Zero Yet 100 Deodorant - Locally made, review coming soon!
Thai Balm - Great for bites but also for runny noses/general stuffy-ness
Multipurpose balm - Moisturiser, 'bandaid', 'no makeup' makeup look, soothing sunburn, dry skin, the list goes on and on
Coconut oil - Also very multipurpose, we use this as an insect repellent, moisturiser, and makeup remover (not pictured are my reusable makeup wipes that I bring as well)
^ Both of these are in old meow meow tweet deodorant glass jars as they are a perfect travel size!
The two tins pictured are from lush, but any container or tin will do! This is the 'zero waste alternative' to those small plastic tubes you would put your liquid soap/shampoo/conditioner/face wash in, and is probably one of the only differences between zero waste toiletries and non-zero waste ones. We cut our soaps so they are smaller and 'travel size'. Then the safety razor is just in a little cloth bag to make sure it doesn't cut anything. We package all of this into up-cycled plastic toiletry bags that we've had from pre zero waste days, that I'm sure most of us already have in the house!
The only plastic item we have left in our toiletries is: suncream. There are quite a few options out there, but many of them have not been tested in the same way that plastic packaged suncreams have. I come from a family with a history of skin cancer and am very, very pale. I have yet to buy a plastic free suncream, though I'm sure I will soon, but for now my future health is of higher priority.
Asides from the suncream, the only plastic found in the toiletries is one very old ziplock bag for the coconut oil, because no one wants to start their trip with a bag full of oil (trust me, it isn't nice). If any other low wasters have any ideas as to what would be a good alternative in this scenario please share below, I'd love to know!
The biggest difference between zero waste toiletries and their wasteful counterparts is quantity. Though for me those toiletries feel normal, and I almost feel as though everyone has them, they aren't, and one google search for travel toiletries will show that. This element of travelling low waste will depend on how far in your low waste journey you are, but either way it's good to be aware of the few things you can do that may be different from what you are used to!