Student’s Corner

I’ve just returned from studying abroad in Madrid, Spain and backpacking through Europe. You’d better believe that I’m going to be giving you guys as many tips as I can about sustainable travel practices. Today, I’m going to focus on a simple thing that made a huge impact on my travels.

Let me start with a little bit of background: after my program in Spain ended on December 16th, I traveled around Europe with just my book-bag for a month, staying in hostels and airports along the way. I visited over a dozen countries and stayed in crowded rooms with other travelers and it didn’t take long before I started to stink. One of the best decisions I made before I left for my month of backpacking was researching Lush Cosmetics and going to one of their locations in Madrid.

Lush is a really cool (and pretty hipster) company that prides itself on six core values: (1) handmade products that are (2) fighting animal testing, (3) ethically sourced, (4) fresh, (5) 100% vegetarian, and (6) have “naked” packaging. These are values that align very well with my sustainability-minded ones and is a company I feel comfortable supporting.

They also have products that are amazing for traveling. You know how airports only allow you to carry a few bottles of liquids of 100 ml or less in your carry-on? This can be an issue when you’re carrying everything you’ll need for a month on your back. I had to enough bring soap, contact solution, toothpaste, shampoo, and conditioner to last for an entire month. After lots of research on the company and on product reviews, I decided to buy solid shampoo and conditioner from Lush. It looks pretty expensive at first glance; it’s around $9 for a solid bar of shampoo, but I’ve been using it every time I’ve washed my hair in the past two months and I still have over half of it left. A lot of people say that it lasts about 3-4 months if you use it every time you wash your hair, which I’d say is pretty awesome. It also lathers really well and make my hair feel very clean and it smells so good.

A couple of other companies that feature similar products are worth looking into, but I must admit I haven’t personally tried them yet. Two of the highest reviewed companies with solid shampoos are Chagrin Valley and J.R. Liggett’s. Something pretty neat about these is that neither company uses sulfates in their shampoos.

I definitely recommend trying out one or more of these products, whether you are traveling or just looking for something new. You’ll cut down your waste from the packaging, and might even save money over time with products that are sustainable and effective.

Image Source here.

Written by Mariah Greico, Class of 2018