“On a road trip in Western Australia, almost 12 years ago, I realized for the first time that plastic was a serious problem for our planet.

We stopped at a supermarket on the Coral Bay coast to buy some groceries. The woman at the counter told us that they didn’t sell shopping bags to help save the endangered turtles that live there and keep plastic out of the ocean. We gathered all of our shopping in our arms, initially surprised, and left after considering what we had been told.

This was just one of many experiences I’ve had that made me more aware of my impact and inspired me to develop new ways of living and traveling that are better for the environment. For instance, ever since that trip, whenever I go shopping, I always bring a cotton bag with me.

My resolve to live a zero-waste lifestyle has been strengthened by our eco-honeymoon to Borneo, which was yet another life-altering experience. I chose to visit three ecotourism projects. It is always difficult to find safe drinking water in Asia, but we took our water bottle with us and chose the right service providers who practice sustainable travel so that, with a little effort, we were able to use almost no plastic during our trip.