Tweaking the actions behind our morning rituals helped us to reduce our waste on the road.
First item on waking was to take Piper, our dog outside so she could “evacuate”. This morning deposit could mean we were picking up poop, for this we used flushable doggie bags. For anyone who has walked their dog in the wee hours outside of hotels, garbage cans are not always readily available and dumpsters are not accessible. Smelly poop is not really what you want to leave for room housekeepers, and we did not want to create or leave garbage. The flushable dog poop bags worked very well to manage Piper’s bathroom breaks.
The next issue was morning coffee. While hotel accommodations supply coffee makers and coffee fixings to start the day, again using these creates waste. Many hotels have opted for coffee pods, packaged sugar and cream and in some cases paper cups and plastic stir sticks, all of which create discards. We decided to make our own coffee and drink it in our reusable travel cups we could easily rinse out. In our Zero Waste pack we carried a travel immersion water heater to heat water and a French Press coffee maker. Level Ground Coffee generously supplied us with coffee and their coffee packaging is compostable. We bought milk and carried sugar in a small container. The coffee grounds we composted.
Most mornings we ate breakfast in our room, pulling out our stainless plates to eat our Holy Crap Cereal with fresh berries. When I shopped for fruit I avoided over-packaged fruit.
Some mornings we took advantage of the complimentary breakfasts offered at the hotels. Again this was a potential waste generator as most of the establishments used paper plates and disposable cutlery as well as all the little jams etc. For these we took our stainless plates and our reusable cutlery and cups. We avoided the sachets and disposable packages and took our own milk down with us. It felt good to avoid the garbage can that was often right by the food lineup.
For the days we ate out at restaurants we asked for a glass of milk or brought our own in. We took garnish peelings or leftover food with us. We composted any food scraps or Piper ate it. To carry leftovers or composting we had a silicone bag. We found all restaurant servers very helpful when we communicated what we were trying to achieve.
In the hotel rooms we also used our own reusable coffee cups for water avoiding single use paper cups or packaged glasses.
Soap and shampoo containers are another area in the mornings that it is possible to create travel waste. A small bar of soap is really easy to carry and it lasts for many stops along the road.
By adjusting our morning actions we were able to create less waste and less work for the hotel cleaners.
It was a great way to start the day.