Welcome to the latest blog in our #SustainableSummer series! If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you may remember we previously put a spotlight on some of our most popular products so you can enjoy the outdoors in style. Now that summer is well and truly upon us in the UK, we want to share some tips to help you embrace sustainability.
In this post, we’re going to be talking to one of our favourite UK-based travel bloggers. Samantha aka Coco Travels will share some of her favourite eco-friendly travel tips and explain what sustainable travel means to her.
We’ll also share a recent post we wrote for Boom Magazine Belper on creating a sustainable capsule wardrobe for summer. If you’ve been looking at your wardrobe and feeling uninspired, this could help you fall back in love with fashion.
Talking to Coco Travels about all things blogging, sustainable travel, and her thoughts on our Colonel Vegan Waterproof Backpack
What made you start your travel blog?
I originally started my blog when I was working as a professional beauty journalist, almost 10 years ago. At the time, my blog was all about beauty, make-up, and skincare. I’d always been interested in travelling, but a couple of years later I started working in digital marketing for a travel brand and I really fell head over heels in love with it.
I realised I wasn’t really interested in beauty anymore and decided to change my blog to share my adventures instead.
Where are your favourite places to go?
In the UK my favourite places are Cornwall and the Lake District. I love being around water and I just love the outdoorsy vibe of both of these places. Heading abroad there are so many countries I love. France, Spain, and Italy are some of my top places to visit. I recently got back from a trip to Lake Maggiore in Italy and really loved the area.
Where are you now/where are you planning to go to next?
I am staying at home for the next couple of months as I’ve just bought a new house that’s a renovation project, so I’ll be putting a lot of my time into that. I also love to explore the UK during the summer, so I’ll hopefully squeeze in a few day trips and overnighters. I live in the Peak District so there’s plenty to see on my doorstep.
In September, I’ll be heading to Brno in the Czech Republic and then exploring the region of North Moravia, where I’ll be doing plenty of hiking.
What does sustainable travel mean to you?
Sustainable travel to me is just trying to find ways to enjoy travel while minimising the impact that this has on my surroundings. It’s also about being mindful of how actions when you’re travelling can affect others. It can be little actions like taking shampoo bars away with you, rather than using plastic bottles, to bigger actions like ensuring that you support local businesses in the area you’re travelling to.
It’s not just about caring for the environment; it’s also thinking about the social and economic impact of your trips.
In your experience, is sustainable travel a general trend within the travel industry?
I think that before the Covid pandemic; we were starting to see a trend towards travel becoming more sustainable and that has just exploded since travel has opened up again. While being a “trend” may be seen as a negative, it’s great for getting people to talk about it and educating people.
How can travellers become more eco conscious?
There are so many actions you can take to become more eco conscious and making little changes to begin with can really make a big difference. Have a look at the destination that you’re travelling to and see if they value sustainability. Also think about how you’ll get there – could you use a train rather than flying or driving? Be sure to choose accommodation that has good eco credentials too.
One last thing – don’t forget to share things that have impressed you on your social media channels, if you have them. Even if you don’t have a huge following, it’s a good way of spreading the word about sustainable travel.
Do you have any eco-friendly travel tips?
I’m massively on the bandwagon of reducing plastic waste. Swap your shower gel, shampoo, and conditioner for bars, rather than single-use plastics. Not only is this better for the environment, but they also won’t count towards your liquid allowance if you’re travelling with hand luggage only – win win!
Be sure to bring a reusable water bottle with you. A lot of countries have water from the tap that you can drink so you can refill this during your travels. Just remember to empty it out before you go through security!
A good one if you love staying in hotels is to reuse your towels. They don’t need to be washed every single day and reusing them can help to save water. This is especially important if you’re visiting developing countries as using too much water can negatively affect the people who live there.
What are your thoughts on our upcycled backpack?
I love it! It’s a great size for taking out with me on day trips or hikes as it can fit everything I need without being too bulky. The fact that it’s waterproof too is fantastic, as it always seems to rain wherever I go! I love that it’s made from recycled materials. One thing I’m trying to do this year is buy less and shop second-hand where I can.
Do you have any go-to sustainable travel brands?
I recently went on a hiking trip in the Alps with Much Better Adventures and I was really impressed with their sustainability credentials. They always work with locally owned independent businesses for their tours, which means that lots of money is put back into the local economy.
If you’re looking for sustainable accommodation in the UK, I have to give a shout out to Round the Woods, a glampsite in Norfolk where I stayed a couple of years ago. It’s a family owned business and they are doing everything they can to minimise the impact of the glampsite on the environment, including composting toilets!
One of my favourite brands for outdoor wear is ACAI. A female-owned business, they have lots of partnerships with different organisations and charities to ensure that the materials they use in their clothing can have a second life. They also use lots of recycled materials to make their clothing.
Samantha recently reviewed one of our products on Instagram and we love the video so much, we’ve included it here:
Creating a sustainable summer capsule wardrobe:
We recently created a post for Boom Magazine Belper explaining everything you need to know to help you put together a sustainable capsule wardrobe for summer.
It’s ideal for you if you’ve been feeling uninspired when looking at your wardrobe and you don’t have anything to wear. We know how frustrating this can be, whether you’ve got lots of summer events coming up or you’re stuck in a rut and want to change your style or mix things up.
The advantage of a capsule wardrobe is that you don’t have to replace everything. You can simply review what you’ve got and, if needed, invest in versatile items. This doesn’t have to be an expensive exercise.
If you have items in your wardrobe that no longer work, you could consider upcycling, giving them to charity, or selling them. The latter will help you raise funds if you are hoping to replace or buy items. Don’t forget, you don’t have to buy new to update your wardrobe.
There are lots of charity shops and second-hand platforms out there that could have exactly what you’re looking for. If there are sentimental items in your wardrobe or clothes you no longer wear, but you’re not ready to part with them, try putting them away, perhaps in an old travel bag or suitcase. You can always revisit them in six months and see if you feel the same way.
If you want to know exactly how to create a capsule wardrobe for summer, you can read the post in full here.
Do you have any other tips to have a #SustainableSummer? We’d love to hear from you! Don’t forget to tag us on Insta so we can share your tips @paguroupcycle