Creating as little waste as possible in the Airstream.

Creating as little waste as possible in the Airstream.

We’ve learned a few hard lessons while traveling with products packaged in glass. In Laramie, WY (after Alumafandango) we opened the door while parked at a gas station to find broken bottles of Chiloula, hot pepper relish and olive oil all over the floor.

Obviously plastic is a good way to remedy this potential disaster, but the park we live in now doesn’t have recycling for plastic, and sometimes on the road you’re not really sure how long you’ll have to keep it in the truck until you can find recycling (I remember a post from Aluminum Bliss years ago where Lani kept all the pickle jars in the truck until they found recycling and there were a TON) . So I’ve been researching alternatives.

Here are a few things we’ve switched to hoping to minimize waste:

We’re huge fans of Dr. Bronner’s soap. We’ve used it in the shower, to wash our hair, wash our clothes and even wash our dog (when necessary).  But the large plastic bottles were getting a little out of hand, so we switched to the bar soap. We can’t really tell the difference.

This whole search for plastic alternatives started with a visit to the Lush store.  There’s a lot to like about Lush (and a few things not to like — the jury’s still out on parabens) but when I saw this deodorant in a can, I knew it would save a few plastic things from being tossed in the landfill. The packaging is really similar to what frozen Grands biscuits are packaged in — kind of a lightly coated cardboard with a metal top and bottom. You can crush it down when you’re done and I like the way it works.

One more Lush product we bought as more of a curiosity is their Toothy Tabs. Yes, they look weird and  it’s a strange concept, but they aren’t bad! Toothpaste tubes are sometimes recyclable, but because they’re made out of a few different components, they can be tricky for recycling companies. Toothy Tabs are a little bigger than Tic Tacs and you just put one in your mouth, chew on it a second and go to town on your pearly whites with a wet toothbrush. And the packaging is cardboard. Also, just as a plug for using items made from recycled plastic, try the Preserve Toothbrush!

The bathroom is one place where we get hardcore with cleaning. It tends to need a little more muscle than the vinegar-filled squirt bottle we use for the rest of the Airstream. So although it’s not the most environmentally friendly, I tend to use disposable wipes for the bathroom. Seventh Generation wipes are great, but the giant plastic container is not. I found these Method wipes which contain non-toxic and readily biodegradable ingredients, plus a lot less packaging waste.

I’m sure there are a ton of other alternatives out there, but we’re loving all these so far!

Tell us what you think!