I would like to thank a few of my favorite things that helped me stay waste-free throughout the trip:
My mason jar:
Mason jar, love of my life- leaving home without one is just unthinkable! I used it for water on the airplane, wine on the train, juice during the day, and snacks whenever. Plus I LOVED the quirky smiles I got when I held it out to the flight attendant and asked for water. They all gave me this little look of pride, and some even commented and said that it was cool, and they love using glass over plastic!
My reusable bags:
I used my reusable bags every day and always kept one in my purse wherever I was going, because come on, it’s Europe and there is bound to be some food or something that you want to tote along! I had it when I went to the vintage stores, and I luckily brought two when I went to the flea market and found FIVE vintage Le Creuset pots in orange with wooden handles for 20 Euros (I might have needed a massage after, but I didn’t make any trash!) And then when I was traveling home, I put my shoes in them to keep the rest of my clothing clean.
My toiletries packed in glass:
They look sexy AND they are so easy to pack. The biggest benefit in my opinion is being able to get every last drop of shampoo and conditioner out of them. I totally remember being on vacation when I would use those plastic travel sized ones and never having enough, even though I could have sworn there was a day of soap left, stuck in the creases of plastic never to be used.
My good packing skills:
I thought I was a good packer, but on this trip, I became a Michelin Star, Seven Thumbs Up packer thanks to my cousin and her friend. As I was packing to leave Switzerland and head to France, I was folding my items, one by one, and was halted by the packing police. ROLL they said, ROLL! And roll I did. My overstuffed suitcase was transformed into a roomy bag that still had HALF OF ITS SPACE LEFT! Plus, did you know that the top part of the suitcase is usable? Like, you are supposed to put garment bags there full of your nice clothing and it also adds a TON of space to your bag- who knew? I didn’t! The next time I go on vacation, I will do a post on this method. It is GENIUS. As always: I pack all black so my clothing always matches!
My ability to say NO, I don’t need this.
I am indecisive beyond indecisive. I am the girl that stares at the juice bar menu for ten minutes deciding what I want, that paces around a shop for half an hour with one thing in my hand deciding if I really want it. To be honest, it is one of my best (albeit annoying to some) traits. It allows me to really contemplate things and determine if they are really necessary and if they are what I want. If I buy something impulsively and right away, without hesitation, it is because I am obsessed with it. Like the blue scarf that I bought for 1 Euro at a vintage store, my orange Le Creuset pots, or a supply of Organic underwear at the supermarket in Basel. However, for larger purchases, like a pair of shoes that I purchased in Paris, I try them on, and then leave the store. If I keep thinking about them throughout the day, I will go back and get them. If they are still there, and I try them on again and love them, they will come home with me. If not, I saved myself some money and space in my closet.
11 days, Zero Waste. Done and Done! I did it. You can too!