Crooked Compass is thrilled to announce its latest partnership with #untrashy, a movement to change attitudes and behaviours surrounding single-use plastic by providing stylish and affordable sustainable alternatives. Today, we sat down with #untrshy’s Founders, Ness and Tim Heffernan to talk to us about all things sustainability and of course, travel.
Tell us a bit about yourselves and your past adventures
We met at university while studying our Master’s. Ness was studying International Public Health and Tim, Conflict Resolution. Each of us have travelled quite extensively independently and are now enjoying some local and international adventures when work allows us.
What is #untrashy all about and what inspired you to create the brand?
#untrashy is about being conscious of our impact on our planet. Whether that be in our day to day lives or whilst travelling. Making simple choices every day can result in huge positive change.
We were inspired to start #untrashy after visiting Europe on our honeymoon. We were amazed by the beauty of the Mediterranean but saddened that we saw more plastic than fish.
As we live by the water here in Australia we pledged to do whatever we can to keep our waterways as beautiful as they are now. That’s why we regularly clean up our local beach, educate others and provide alternatives to single-use plastic.
Do you have a favourite travel destination or a favourite travel activity and why?
Tim: I love Turkey, it’s such a diverse country from metropolitan Istanbul with it’s fast-paced Bazaars and beautiful architecture to the enchanting eastern borders and the beautiful Aegean Sea. It was actually our trip to the Mediterreanean, Adriatic and Aegean that inspired #untrashy. The water is beautiful however the high-population and lack of waste-management infrastructure in many places means the water and its inhabitants can feel the impact. We’re striving to keep the turquoise waters as pristine as possible!
Ness: I had a wonderful experience in Cambodia. It is a country rich in culture and history with sites that are incredibly powerful and moving. The people are beautiful, resilient and welcoming and there is a strong sense of culture and community, particularly in some of the smaller villages.
Both: We both loved South America, particularly Mendoza Argentina (not just for the wine – which is delicious) . The language, mountains, wine, music and wine were simply incredible. Despite being ocean lovers we both agreed this is a place we could live. Did we mention the wine?
With the new partnership between Crooked Compass and #untrashy, out of the destinations we travel to, where would you most like to see travellers or local communities using #untrashy products and which products are the most popular amongst travellers?
We love seeing photos of people using our products as it is evidence that a single-use item has been refused. Mostly we’d like to see our products used in locations where waste-management facilities are limited and where trash is a challenge.
Many travellers opt for our lightweight, plane-safe cutlery swag as it enables them to start their trip on the right foot by refusing the single-use cutlery from the moment they receive their first onboard meal.
The squishy cups are popular too, as you’re aware of their cleanliness, you can use them for hot and cold drinks and they are handy to pack any fragile little souvenirs you’ve picked up along the way.
Do you have any awesome travel tips that will help people to stay safe, travel light, or save money while exploring the world?
Where to start?
Tim: Walk with confidence even if you have no idea where you are going.
Eat where the locals eat if a restaurant is empty it’s either over priced or not very good.
Pack a Swiss Army Knife (in your checked luggage) it’s so useful for so many things from removing a splinter to opening a wine bottle.
Ness: Take a decoy purse – put some old cards and a small amount of cash in there. In the unlikely event you have to hand it over you are safe knowing your main stash is in your sock or in your bra.
To save money I would recommend to try to local street food.
We also recommend buying the biggest bottle (usually about 20L) and refilling our smaller stainless steel bottles from that. You can also often refill the 20L from vending machines or natural springs along the way, minimising your plastic use.
If you could do any Crooked Compass small group tour, which one would it be and why?
We want to explore Yemen and all of the trips to be honest – Togo, Benin and Ghana also looks sick!
Where can people go to explore the #untrashy product range?
This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.