Traveling can be a very stressful experience, especially if you are stuck with delays, traffic, crying children, or slow wifi. The amount of plastic you consume is probably the last thing on your mind. However, if we continue to remain complacent, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. This will result in severe climate change, destroyed ecosystems, and polluted waters. Although significant prevention will require government action, we can all find ways to reduce our plastic use in everyday life, and especially while traveling and on-the-go.

1. Bring Reusable Bags

Whenever I am in another country, I love taking a look around the local grocery store to check out the different items they supply. 160,000 plastic bags are used per second and are typically thrown away after 12 minutes. Bringing your own reusable bag is a great and easy way to reduce your plastic use. If you tend to forget your reusable bag, try keeping one that can be folded up and put in your coat pocket or bag for whenever you need it. I love these foldable, colorful ones from H Smith.

2. Use a Reusable Bottle and Coffee Cup

Long plane rides call for some intense hydration. I know it is much easier to grab a plastic water bottle before running toward your gate a few minutes before boarding, but imagine not having to do that at all! I love bringing my own water bottle onto the flight and will just ask the flight attendant to refill it instead of a plastic cup. You get more water and save a cup. I'm a huge fan of Swell and Hydroflask because they keep your drink at the right temperature for a long period of time. If you are a coffee person, make sure to bring your reusable coffee cup like these ones from Keep Cup.

3. Bring a Reusable Container

Going out to eat is pretty much inevitable when traveling. If you end up with leftovers, try bringing your own containers or reuse plastic ones from earlier meals. Reusable containers are also useful if you want to bring your own meal on the plane, or you are picking up one from a cafe. If you want to invest in some long term containers, there are some trendy metal and glass ones available like the ones above from Ecozoi. They also supply reusable bags and other eco-friendly products.

4. Bring Your Own Utensils

If you are at a grab and go spot, try bringing your own utensils. There are some cool sets, but bringing a fork from home is usually enough depending on the meal. Most reusable utensils are made of bamboo or metal. Lately, metal straws have been all the craze in efforts to save the turtles.

All of these products will may make your backpack, purse, or luggage heavier, so instead, start with a few that seem necessary to your lifestyle at the moment. If you know you like coffee before your flight, make sure to pack your cup and a straw. If you want to pick up a salad before you hit the road,  grab your utensils and take out container. Implementing just a few of these easy switches will reduce your plastic use and help make a difference in the greater plastic problem.