I should call this “3 Bloody Obvious Ways” to use less plastic, but to be quite honest, the amount of these types of litter I see on our local trails makes me wonder sometimes.
Swap a plastic bottle for a good one.
Spend some money on a proper, durable water bottle. The number of “Spring Water” bottles that get either chucked or if we’re being generous “left” on the trails is obscene.
Just don’t buy bottled water, there’s no need, especially in the UK.
We’ve topped up from outdoor taps in churchyards, farm yards and gardens (with permission, if we’ve found someone to ask). Failing that, I’m sure no one will say no to filling a bottle if you ask nicely. Failing that, carry a water filter.
Also if it’s a decent bottle that has cost you a little bit you’ll retrace your steps if you forget it, or the next person along will pick it up and keep it for themselves. At least it’s less likely to stay in the woods.
The kids use their school ones which are plastic but last a year or more, usually. Next time they’ll be replaced with a metal one like mine from Sigg.
Use Dry Bags instead of Carrier Bags
Instead of relying on plastic bags to organise stuff in our packs we use dry bag stuff sacks. As well as the usual things like spare clothes and sleeping bags, we’ve started keeping other things in them too.
For instance, we use one for breakfast and dinner foods but a different one for snacks/lunch so we don’t have to get everything out for a handful of peanuts.
We carry one each for wet stuff or dirty clothes and the “toilet” equipment is kept in another (Nothing worse than damp toilet paper)
We always have one dedicated to rubbish which gets emptied when we find a dustbin.
We got ours fairly cheap from sports direct and there’s a variety of sizes. I know they’re more money than a bag for life but some of ours are 4 years old and still going strong.
Paper Bags and Bulk Bought Snacks.
We go for a hike which lasts 5 days, there’s 5 of us. On an average day we consume:
5 packets of instant porridge
5 packets of instant noodles
10 cereal/chocolate bars
1 pack of Tortilla Wraps
1 pack of Tuna
To be honest that’s probably a minimum but that’s nearly 100 bits of plastic over the duration of the hike. That’s just not good enough so we’re trying to change that. And you can help by leaving your advice, ideas and tips in comments below.
For our last big hike, I went to our local weigh shop and bought various nuts, dried fruits and sweeties for the trail. These were packed in paper bags which we then put inside a drybag to protect from the rain. We topped up with fresh fruit when we could or bought plastic free extras along the trail.