If you make an effort to tread lightly on the earth, traveling can pose new challenges. Where will you shop for food? What water will you drink? The good news: whether you’re journeying by boat or on land, you can still keep up your sustainable lifestyle with a little planning ahead. Follow these tips to eat and drink well with less waste!

1. Bring reusable bags. Reusable canvas bags can hold EVERYTHING, and we do mean everything. Stash your goggles, fins, toiletries, and even fresh food. Remember that plastic cannot biodegrade, so skip plastic produce bags too! Thin cotton bags are perfect for storing loose greens or other fruits and veggies.

2. Choose your water filter. Ask your captain if he/she has a drinking water filter on the boat. If not, pick one here. Bring your own reusable water bottle and refill it. You’ll save so much plastic waste!

3. Eat local. Experience the best of your destination by choosing local food as often as possible. In Greece? You’ll swoon for Kalamata Olives, juicy red tomatoes, and feta cheese. Thailand? Choose fresh noni leaves, cabbage, bitter melon, and lime. Most guides will know which products are local and in season, and those foods will have a lower carbon and plastic footprint and taste better, too!  

4. Shoot for Zero. If you compost and recycle, you might be able to create no waste at all! This is called Zero Waste. Many countries in Europe have a sophisticated organic bin/recycling process, so make sure items go in the correct bin. Developing countries use composting more often, so ask your captain and work together.

5. Enjoy your glass of wine. Choose beverages in glass or aluminium packaging, since those materials are infinitely recyclable. Glass bottles can easily be refilled and are much better for your health than plastic.

6. Pay attention. Make sure your captain knows how to divide waste based on local regulations and practices. If you don't split your waste properly you may end up not being able to recycle anything.

7. Think about fish. If you must eat fish the best way to go is to make yourself aware of what species are in the area and which are ok to fish and eat. Choose fish from a local small store, and avoid fish that has been flown thousands of kilometres and is wrapped in plastic. To learn more check out SeaFood Watch.

8. Say cheese. To avoid the chemicals in plastic again, go local. Most harbours have shops that offer a wide range of cheese which can be cut and wrapped in paper for you.

9. Use Real Stuff. Use real plates, napkins, and cutlery whenever possible, and skip plastic “to-go” items. If dining out at your destination, sit in the restaurant and take the time to enjoy your meal instead of ordering food to-go. Cheers!

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