Nowadays people are using more single use products than ever before. Last year Americans alone created 38.5 million tons of trash. Not only are we producing copious amounts of trash, much of our waste make it to our oceans. Currently, it is estimated that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the World’s oceans. It falls on all of us to take care of Mother Earth, even if it means picking up after those who aren’t as aware.

You don’t have to join the peace corps or sell all of your things and become a complete minimalist to make a difference. Lots of small acts can add up to one heck of a large impact! Here are some easy ways you can reduce the human footprint on your travels this summer.

1. Leave No Trace

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This popular phrase usually pertains to hikers and campers but you can apply it to your every day life and your travels. It is so important that our trash makes it into the bin because it’s more likely to cause harm to an animal or make it’s way to a lake, river or ocean. Also, if at all possible, make sure you recycle! If you’re enjoying a new city or hike or beachfront this summer, take the opportunity to pick up the slack where other people haven’t been as mindful. If you see something on the ground, pick it up and toss it in the bin– every little bit makes a difference!

2. Sun and Suds

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Certain sunscreens and soaps can be damaging to our water eco-systems and ocean reef’s. Make sure when you hit the beach or the lake you are using brands that are friendly to our fish, water sources and coral reefs. Brands we recommend are Goddess Garden, Tropical Sands and Trail Soap.

3. Say NO to Single Use

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Whenever possible pack a reusable water bottle for traveling. When you’re dining out at that beachside restaurant ask for no straw in that margarita! If you plan to go on a hiking excursion, invest in a camel back for your water supply. The end of single use starts with a single person. Here are a few great reusable water bottle brands that won’t break the bank Summit, Takeya or HydroFlask.

4. Compostable Conditions

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If you’re heading to a new environment, make sure you are aware of the unique climate and landscapes you’re visiting. In Colorado, for example, it takes approximately one month for a banana peel to decompose but in Utah, a much drier climate, it can take several years! It’s always a good idea to take your trash with you to dispose of it properly even if it’s bio-degradable.

5. Poo-per Scooper!

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There’s nothing worse than enjoying a stroll on the beach or hiking a trail and stepping in or smelling dog poop! Additionally,  harmful pathogens from dog foods, medications, and vitamins we feed our pet can affect the area’s soil and eco- composition. Always bring your poop bags with you if you are traveling with your four legged friend. Try these bio-degradable bags we found!