As a responsible traveler you probably want to reduce your waste impact in many fields of life. But do you already have your zero waste travel toiletries packing list?

Travel packing is often frustrating, especially when you do it for the last moment. Since Sunday In Wonderland is also a zero waste blog, then in this post, I would like to share with you my zero waste travel toiletries checklist.

Originally, I used this checklist while packing for my two-months Caribbean trip to Guadeloupe and Martinique in 2018. In the beginning, it was not entirely zero waste, but surely it was less waste. And definitely minimalist. A few months later I updated the list with better alternatives for some products. So now it’s even more convenient for sustainable travel.

You can treat this travel checklist as your basic list for your own toiletry travel bag packing. The free printable list of toiletries for your travel toiletry kit waits for you in this post!

Read more: My ultimate guide to zero waste beauty routine made easy!

Table of contents:

Why should we reduce waste?

Some of the people still don’t notice it but the current world drowns in trashes. Our society got used to fast fashion, single-use items, and short living products. Air and water are soaked with chemicals. We exploit the Earth to its limits, but at the same time, we do not respect received goods. Soon we will run out of the place to store all that waste produced in a silly way.

To get a better overlook watch this smart video for the beginning (subtitles both in English and Polish):

What is zero waste about?

Zero waste is a way of life aiming to produce as less waste as it’s possible. With target “zero” in mind. It does not mean being bio or eco what is so popular today. Being zero waste means that you focus all your efforts to not harm the Earth with any negative impact.

But what does it mean in practice? Let’s take a look for some examples of basic and most common zero waste habits:

  • Say no to single-use plastics: drink without a plastic straw, take your own food containers to buy take-away food, use reusable water bottles instead of buying a new one each day.
  • Use fewer chemicals: use natural substances instead of toxic products to clean your house, wash your clothes or care about your body.
  • Reduce food waste: plan carefully your groceries to not throw away too much food.
  • Recycle the materials that could be recycled and used them one more time.

These are the basics. There are a lot more things that you can do about making our planet a better place.

For last years I’ve been more interested in this subject. I am not 100% zero waste, because reducing the waste completely today is a hard thing, but I’m doing my best. I get a lot of zero waste inspiration from Trash Is For Tossers and Ograniczam Się blogs, which I really recommend reading if you would like to improve your own life.

Today, I can say that I live “less waste”. It means I reduce the unnecessary littering wherever I can. In this post, I would like to show you my less waste travel toiletry bag content. I hope it will inspire you to travel in a more sustainable way!

The benefits of turning into minimalism

When I started my journey to be more zero waste, I also became a kind of minimalist. Resignation from a few beauty items was easier than I thought. Consequently, my zero waste travel packing has become much quicker. Especially when it comes to zero waste toiletries.

With my new minimalist toiletries checklist, I do not care anymore about a huge amount of different beauty stuff that girls used to carry with them anywhere. And I feel much better with it now.

By this, I mean that my head is much cleaner with no thought like “oh no, my mascara run out, how can I go to people now?”

You know what? People really seem not to care. Even my boyfriend didn’t notice I stop to use make-up!

With zero waste ideology, I also became a minimalist under the shower. Previously, encouraged by commercials, I used to have one product for each part of a body. You know, shampoo, conditioner, face gel, body gel, body scrub, face peeling, intimate gel…

In the end, I simply turned all of this stuff into one simple, natural soap bar. And guess what! I’m still alive. My skin or hair still looks healthy. And a bonus: I think they look even better than before!

And the biggest travel advantage of being cosmetic minimalist: your travel toiletry bag gets really light! Minimalist travel toiletries are a huge plus when you need to carry them in your backpack, especially when you travel with hand luggage only.

Zero waste toiletries for travel – the travel checklist

The picture below shows most of the items I took with me on my Caribbean trip. But as I mentioned earlier, I have made some updates to this list.

I described only sustainable alternatives for many popular products. But I also created a PDF checklist with all the necessary stuff you need during travel which you can also download below.

Bamboo toothbrush

Bamboo is a material that should disappear in a few months after disposal. So it’s a definitely much better choice than a plastic toothbrush that will last in the landfill for a few centuries.

Check it on!

Toothpaste in an aluminum tube

Aluminum material used for toothpaste tube is highly appreciated. So it means it’s recycled much more often than plastic.

Check it on!

Soap bar

Soap bars are much more convenient for zero waste travel than plastic bottles. I store my bars in a jute glove which perfectly fits my travel toiletry bag.

I use the same soap to wash all my body and hair. My absolutely best type of soap is Aleppo soap bar. It is not perfect for everyone, but you definitely should give it a try!

The best thing is that you can buy soap bars packed only in paper. This way you also reduce the amount of plastic in landfills.

Check it on!

Menstrual cup

Dear Ladies, this is a great invention and period game changer. After purchasing a menstrual cup I don’t need to use any single-use tampons or pads anymore!

I use OrganiCup since summer 2018 and I absolutely love it! I recommend trying it out to all of my friends since using it is much more comfortable and environment-friendly than single-use items. Personally, it’s my favorite zero waste toiletries swap!

Check it on!

Stainless steel razor with blades

I love using it. It’s not only stylish and classy but it’s a perfect alternative for single-use shavers. Personally, I use Edwin Jagger’s razor (which I stole from my boyfriend after forbidding him shave his beard but shhh…).

Check it on!

Natural deodorant

At the beginning of my zero waste journey, I used to make my own homemade deodorant. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me that well.

Last month I discovered another natural way of fighting against bacteria underarms. Alum might be controversial, but I found out it works fine for me. It is also very efficient since one stick is enough for a very long time.

Check it on!

Face Oils

Since I don’t use commercial face creams anymore, I need to find the alternative. Oils used for skin care can do wonders for your face.

My very favorite is sweet almond oil, applied directly on the skin. Macadamia oil also works fine. They are also very effective since one little bottle could last for at least a few months.

Check it on!

Cotton makeup remover

If you cannot imagine a day without a makeup, you should at least be equipped with a reusable makeup removers. Circular cotton pads are perfect to remove your makeup without producing new waste! To remove the makeup you can use a sweet almond oil as well and simply rince it with warm water and a cotton pad.

Check it on!

Solid perfume

This was my discovery of the year 2018. I still use some traditional perfumes in glass bottles, but solid perfumes are a perfect option for traveling.

They’re made of natural ingredients, plus they are not liquid, which is convenient while traveling with hand luggage only. It’s a thing definitely worth trying.

Check it on!

If you want to know more about my zero waste beauty routine you should definitely read the whole post about it! I included there all of my best simple bathroom tips and explained everything way much better.

Also, feel free to click on the picture below to download my free printable zero waste travel kit checklist!

Zero Waste Travel Toiletries Bag Checklist - Zero Waste Travel Kit

How to prepare your toiletry bag for cabin luggage check on the airport?

The best thing you can do to fasten your security gates passing on the airport is to prepare your hand luggage properly at home. Most of the airports have similar restrictions when it comes to allowed content of your luggage and toiletries travel bag. With this knowledge, you can learn how to pack toiletries in a proper way and make your toiletry kit ready for security gates in advance.

On this step it is important to have a comfortable carry-on backpack which you can easily open to showcase your stuff to the airport guard in any case. Personally, I travel with CabinZero which is perfect as hand luggage. Here you can read my review of this practical backpack.

Most important requirements for liquids’ transportation:

  • You are allowed to carry only 1 liter of liquids with you in your hand luggage.
  • This 1 liter should be divided into bottles of not more than 100 milliliters each.
  • All of your liquids should be packed in a transparent string bag.

So prepare yourself in advance. While packing your cabin luggage for your zero waste travel, place all of your liquids (deodorant, sprays, oils) in a separated transparent reusable string bag. Thanks to this you won’t need to reorganize it at the airport.

How to pack liquids in hand luggage on the airport - Sunday In Wonderland Blog
Rules of liquids packing in hand luggage (this toiletry bag remember times of my primary school – truly zero waste!)

Did you like this post? Share it with your environmental-carrying traveling friends! Help them prepare their own zero waste travel toiletries list.

Looking for some more sustainable travel-related ideas? Check out here:

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How to pack your zero waste toiletries bag for travel? How to pack Zero Waste Travel Toiletry Bag for Sustainable Traveling

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Wanna learn to plan your perfect city break?​

Join a free 5-days


Take your travel planning
to the next level with my
e-mail course.​

What's included:

  • 5 learning modules
  • printable city break packing list
  • bonus content