Traveling Plastic Free for the Sea

Living a plastic free life at home is tough, but its totally possible! Living a plastic free life on the road and when traveling to other countries...wooof its quite and adventure of odd looks and creativity!


4 years ago when traveling through peru, the problem of plastics and its deeply tied connection to tourism hit me hard. On the incan trail, where we were learning about the incan’s deep respect for Mother Earth, Pachamama, and all they were capable of doing because of their reverence for her, I saw locals packing out 6ft tall balls of plastic water bottles from the trails. All of that plastic waste was from tourists, the locals boil water to drink. What if we could shift from tourists consuming the places we visit to travelers that conserve the places we visit?

Our Groundswell International Surf&Service adventures and retreats do just that! Our mission is to travel plastic free for the sea and to lead by example for the communities we are investing in.

Here are my go to plastic free lifestyle and travel tips to help make plastic free living and travel easy peasy...and fun!

Homemade Toiletries



Its simple and it’s kind of nice to get to rub on your deodorant for a change giving your often forgotten armpits a little massage love. For tropical travel the coconut oil does melt so you will want to use a container that will not leak and/or use less coconut oil in your mix.

Recipe Mommy Platomus


Recipe by WellnessMama



Plastic straws are an epidemic when traveling and at home! It’s second nature for bartenders and waitresses to put 1-3 straws in any beverage….so you gotta be quick on your feet to tell them no straw when you order, and even then you’ll end up with a straw in your drink at times...but they’ll catch on and when you do your local beach cleanups youll realize that plastic straws truly do suck!

Simply Straw and Glass Dharma

Reusable utensils:


Everywhere I go, my bamboo utensil set goes too! Its easy, lightweight, and I think even makes your food taste better! Patagonia

Feminine Products:  

As women, our tides are connected to Mother ocean’s tides with the moon...something that makes us as women so beautiful and full of life yet we have a culture of using plastic applicators to stop our flow...what?!?! I converted to the Diva Cup 2 years ago and will never go back! From a box of plastic tampons a month to a simple reusable silicone cup! And it takes up way less room in my backpack than 3 months of tampons for a trip!

Diva Cup

Refillable Shampoo and Conditioner

Last year I committed to not buying any new beauty products in plastic packaging. So refill stations have become my new best friend...and I love it! Great prices, all natural products, and it feels so good every time I shower knowing that my shampoo bottle has been the same shampoo bottle for the last year and a half! Thats 6 shampoo bottles that would have been in the dump!

People’s Co-op



Drinking water when traveling was always a heart break for me, plastic bottles clutter the beaches and trails, the footprint of tourism at its worst!  Then I discovered I could use the same water filter I use backpacking in cities and towns I travel to to surf! And just like that...haven’t bought a plastic water abroad since!

They even have water bottles now that have built in filters so you don’t have to take the extra 5 minutes to filter your water every day, just fill, drink, and enjoy!



Travel with likeminded people:

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nother way to travel plastic free is research the surf hostels and retreats you choose! Many surf hostels are starting to realize their impact on the ocean and are transitioning from tiny single use shampoo bottles to refillable products! Kelea Surf Spa in Costa Rica and Hawaii does a beautiful job! Refill shampoo and conditioner is provided in each room and each guests receives glass jars with homemade all-natural body butters and scrubs! Talk about plastic free travel done right!!!

You can also join Groundswell on our Plastic Free Surf Sister Service Adventures and retreats from Cuba, Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and……

Plastic free living is giving love to Mother Ocean, love to your body, and love to the generations of surf sisters to come ! Do it and feel the love flow!