Green Diapers, Maps, Laces, Airmiles, Shampoo and Zippers


If you’re travelling with infants and have the environment in mind, try using travel towels made of synthetic microfiber material, which absorb more moisture per area than cotton and wick liquid away from the skin. (With cloth diapers, you’ll be packing around soggy nappies until reaching a machine drier—an extra expense and inconvenience—or wasting time line drying.) My daughter wore microfiber diapers exclusively for five days with no irritation. Any outdoor store carries the towels in a range of sizes and materials—we bought a large one and cut diapers to size. Use biodegradable soap, such as Dr. Bronner’s, to handwash them each night. They remain much softer-to-the-touch than hand-washed cotton diapers.


I’ve had problems with maps in the past. I’ve highlighted them in order to find the best routes, then changed my mind and had to rehighlight them again. It just created confusion on the road. Now, I cut the maps into sections and laminate them so I can highlight and write notes to help me navigate. I do this to hiking maps, road maps, etc. It also keeps them dry and crinkle-free.


Here is a great natural way to keep your shoelaces done up. Before the laces are tied and double knotted, rub beeswax on them. This quick task should last for several tie-ups. A tea light candle is perfect for the job and you’ll probably have one on hand for that evening camp-out ambience. Love those bees!


Air miles that have been inactive for more than 18 months usually expire, so recycle them—several airlines accept donations, often in any increment. Continental One Pass Miles can be donated to Wheels for Humanity, an organization that flies recycled wheelchairs to countries lacking equipment. Continental also accepts miles for the Children’s Wish Foundation, as does AirTran and Alaskan Airlines. Air Canada’s Aeroplan miles may be donated to Kids Horizons, who work in partnership with 14 Canadian children’s hospitals and foundations, as well as the Children’s Miracle Network, Dreams Take Flight, Breakfast Club of Canada, Quebec Breakfast Club and Street Kids International. Aeroplan will offset carbon emissions from all their Beyond Miles partner flights that were taken using donated miles.


While preparing for my backpacking trek through Europe, I worried about having a bottle of shampoo explode in my pack. Instead of liquid shampoo, I bought a shampoo bar, which I kept in a little tin. It lasted my entire trip and almost two months afterwards—a total of four months! The bar saved me a lot of packing space, money and I had no leaky bottles!


Are you always breaking zipper pulls on your pack, luggage or clothes? My pack only has one original zipper tab. So, before I travel, I purchase small key rings—the ones that you use to slide in your keys. If a zipper pull breaks, I insert the key ring into the end of the zipper where the zipper tab used to be. As an added bonus, you can also use the rings to hold other small objects such as a compass. Split key rings are inexpensive and work great.

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