#PetBottleTales

Plastic pollution is real, we see it everywhere yet a lot of us don’t do anything about it. A lot of us then question – what can I do about it? The simple answer to that is – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

While travelling, we realised we were buying bottled water all the time. Moreover, you see these plastic bottles everywhere across several destination carelessly strewn across beaches, mountains, streams and cities. No part of our planet is spared of this plastic menace.

We decided to do something about it, to do our part and be more responsible towards our planet and everything in it, including us humans as a species.

The next time we travelled, we brought along a plastic pet bottle that we had purchased from IKEA Singapore for 90 cents. Till the time we reached the gates at the airport we had consumed the content. Instead of throwing it away, we saved it. During the length of our trip we filled it with tap water and brought it along whenever we stepped out. In fact, we still had the same bottle while flying back home. This first happened on our trip to UK. By following something as simple, we had avoided buying at least 10 new bottles of water and even saved some moolah. Bottled water is pricey in London and if we remember correctly, the price ranged from 4-8 pounds. That’s insane! Why would you spend that when tap water is absolutely safe to drink.

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Bottle feeling one with the snow laden mountains. Hakuba, Japan

On subsequent travels, we followed the same practice and brought along the very same bottle. Overtime we grew attached to that very pet bottle who by now, had become our travel buddy. We named her ‘bottle’ πŸ˜€

Bottle has had amazing adventures and travelled far and wide with us. Along with UK, she has been to New Zealand, South Africa and more recently to Japan. We post about her travels with #PetBottleTales on Instagram.

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Bottle paying her respects at the Fushimi Inari shrine. Kyoto, Japan #PetBottleTales

Bottle plans to join us on many more adventures and do her part in saving planet Earth.

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Bottle enjoying the pretty views at Lake Ashi, getting a glimpse of Mt. Fuji in the distance. Hakone, Japan #PetBottleTales

See this fantastic video by The Story of Stuff Project and you will understand why you need to reduce, reuse and recycle.

5 simple ways of sustainable travelling

Such a beautiful view. Picture taken at AJ Hackett Bungy center near Queenstown, New Zealand

We know the planet is drowning in plastic! Case in point, this video. And global warming is a known fact.

I’m a firm believer that every little counts. Meaning that if we all do our part, we can save the planet.

Here are 5 simple things that we do on all our travels so that in our own small way, we are not generating unnecessary waste.

  • Carry our own water bottle – even if it’s a plastic one atleast we are not buying and disposing new ones. At airports, we carry in an empty bottle and fill-in from drinking water kiosks. At destinations where tap water is drinkable, we fill-in whenever we are stepping out. Imagine how much plastic will be reduced if everyone did this?

 

  • Carry our own handbags and avoid plastic bags  – most often we will be carrying a handbag or a back-pack when roaming around on any trip. While, shopping, we often just take the bill and stuff the purchase into our bags esp. if it’s small sized items. Makes us feel a lot better esp. while street shopping as low quality plastic bags are handed out in tonnes to shoppers/tourists every day!

 

  • Turn off aircon and other electronics when not in use or when not necessary – so we tolerate a few mins of heat and sweat. But it’s a small price to pay given how much electricity and wastage can be avoided.

 

  • Do not wash towels/linens everyday – well think about this, when you are home, do you wash your towels or change your bedsheets everyday? Why should it be any different in a hotel/motel/guest house/airbnb? Helps save gallons of water and reduces the amount detergents that get washed away into rivers and oceans.

 

  • Never buy products/souvenirs made by killing animals – we NEVER buy such stuff. It could be the best crocodile leather wallet or a purse made using kangaroo skin, the thought of how it was made sickens us.

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop” – Mother Teresa

Happy Green Travelling folks! Let’s do our bit πŸ™‚

 

How to scoot around the world despite full time jobs

Travel Keede above the clouds

Looking at our travel updates, several people have quizzed us on how we manage it. Some of their questions/comments go as follows:

How do you get so many leaves? What about your budget? Are you not saving anything? Isn’t it expensive? I’m so jealous! You are so lucky πŸ˜€

Sounds familiar? Well let us put you out of your misery and tell you how it’s done!

If you have enough time and money to travel, this post is not for you. But if you are like most of us with full time jobs, family obligations, limited days of leave and limited means, read on. If we can do it, so can you.

1.Make that resolve

Do you really want to travel often? Think about it. It’s okay to not want to travel and instead relax at home or pursue your hobby on your off days. No one is judging you if you don’t post updates on social media from your recent mind blowing vacay. Travel for the love for travel, not for the airs.

But if you do want to, right there you’ve made your decision. Do not just dream about travelling, resolve to make it happen. So that life just doesn’t pass by and you are left wallowing in regret.

2.Lifestyle changes

Once you’ve made the decision, you can start fine tuning your lifestyle so you are not spending unnecessarily. Think before you eat at that that pricey restaurant, buy that new shirt or party every weekend. Instead choose to cook at home more often, opt for house parties, shop less.

Reduce commuting costs by taking public transport as much as possible. Also be on the lookout for deals on taxi services (the likes of Uber, Ola, Grab) and you’ll be surprised to know you can cut down taxi fare by 40-50%.

One of the biggest expense for urbanites is the house rent. This needs to be managed to make a significant reduction in your monthly expenses. For example, we stay in an area which has close access to two metro stations and 4 bus stops greatly helping in reducing commute costs. However, we have compromised on the house in exchange for lower rent. We chose functionality over luxury.

Think about if you really need that gym membership. Why not jog in the park and exercise at the office gym?

3. Plan your leaves

Now that you are saving more moolah, it’s time start thinking about when you want to go for that vacation. We generally do two 10-11-day holidays and three 2-4-day holidays in a year. We plan based on public holidays and optimize it by including the weekends. So for a 10 day break with one public holiday in between, you need 5-6 days of leave. Leave on Thur eve/night, come back on Sun night/Mon morning.

Similarly for a shorter break, you can manage by taking 1-2 days off.

It does get tiring with the long flights and reporting back for work the very next day, but we are willing to make this sacrifice.

4.Budget your travel

You can be smart about your travel so you don’t over spend. For flights try options in incognito mode on the browser and see what works out best. We have often taken a flight with a layover as that works out cheaper.

Our stays are mostly with Airbnb which are comparatively cheaper and give us the option of preparing our own light meals which again saves us from spending too much on food. Besides, Airbnbs are a lot more personal and give you the experience of living in a place rather than just visiting.

In big cities like Paris, Barcelona, London you can easily get around using public transport saving quite a few bucks. Also, walk as often as you can.

5. Choose your destinations

Finally, time to pack your bags! It’s alright if you are a not able to go to your dream destination right away. Starting small might just work in your favor to get you accustomed to planning and budgeting trips. If you are in a big country such as Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, travel domestic as there is loads to do. Do road trips, take train rides, whatever works.

Travel Keede ready for a train journey in Venice

If you are based in Europe or South East Asia, travelling to nearby countries which are only a couple of hours away, is what you can try first.

Gradually, plan for destinations further away and slowly yet steadily you will land in places you’ve always wanted to be at and places where you never imagined you would one day visit. The possibilities are endless.

We travelled within India earlier when we were based in Bangalore. After moving to Singapore we first covered some south east asian destinations before venturing further to Australia, NZ and Europe.

That’s it, 5 simple steps πŸ™‚

We hope this helped. So jet set go! The world is waiting πŸ˜€

Travel Keede in New Zealand