Traveling can leave behind loads of waste and a big carbon footprint. Whether you’re a seasoned vet or new to eco-conscious travel, the below list of sustainable gift ideas can be a great way to lessen the environmental impact travelers can have on our beautiful planet.
Earth-friendly products are not only good for you but for our favorite leading lady, Mother Nature. Whether you swap out the below for a few of your travel essentials or go for the whole list, every little change has an impact for the better.
Sustainable Gift Ideas for Eco Friendly Travelers
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1. Environmentally Friendly Luggage
Cotopaxi Allpa Travel Pack
The Cotopaxi Allpa is made of 100% repurposed nylon and comes in an assortment of fun, bold colors. Designed with a weight-distributing harness and mesh compartments, this 35L travel pack has the appropriate amount of storage and durability for all your adventures.
Patagonia Black Hole Duffle Bag
Made with 100% recycled lining, body fabric, and webbing the Black Hole duffle bag from Patagonia is a great piece to add to your luggage collection. Whether you’re going away from the weekend or weeks, this duffle has you covered.
From making recycled clothing to pushing for environmental conservation efforts, Patagonia is one hell of a brand.
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2. Eco Friendly Backpacks
United By Blue Backpack
A perfect day pack for a day in the city exploring or a work trip, United By Blue Travel Pack is made of 100% recycled polyester and does not contain any animal byproduct – making this pack vegan.
This eco friendly backpack has a water repellent finish so traveling in rain won’t pose any issues. If you’re looking for another reason to purchase, United by Blue removes 1 pound of waste from our waterways for every order!
United By Blue also makes a recycled toiletry bag for you to add to your recycled bag collection.
Patagonia Arbor Classic Backpack
Bringing back its heritage look, Patagonia Arbor Classic is made of 100% recycled polyester fabric. This pack is a perfect balance of weight and durability making it an ideal travel companion. An added bonus? It’s water-resistant too.
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3. Packing Cubes
Who doesn’t love a well-organized piece of luggage? Packing cubes are great sustainable gift ideas. They’re a perfect way to keep the contents of your suitcase organized and in the proper place.
Eagle Creek packing cubes incorporates recycled materials and are PVC-free. Plus, Eagle Creek designs their products to have minimal environmental impacts. A win-win if you ask us. Tentree is another great option for recycled packing cubes. Made from plastic water bottles, these packing cubes look great and will help you stay organized on your travels.
4. Reef Safe Sunscreen
One of our favorite eco friendly beach products is reef-safe sunscreen like All Good and Raw Elements. One thing that isn’t talked about nearly enough is the chemicals that are found in everyday sunscreen products.
Sunscreen chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate have harmful effects on our ocean’s reefs and their ecosystems. How you might be wondering? These chemicals bleach the reefs depleting them of the vibrant colors that our fish friends call home.
One easy way to earn eco-friendly travel points is to swap out your current sunscreen for something that is safe and better for the environment.
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5. Natural Bug Repellent
6. Reusable Water Bottles
Reusable water bottles are perfect sustainable gift ideas. Consider this is a must have item for any eco friendly traveler. By using a reusable water bottle, you cut down on your consumption of harmful plastics that plague our oceans and litter our streets.
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We get it, sometimes you’re in places where tap water is not drinkable making using a reusable water impossible. For instances like this, consider the LifeStraw Steel Water Filter or AquaTab tablets which can turn water from lakes, streams, or rustic hostel taps into drinking water.
If you want to go all in with the water purification route, check out the Grayl Geopress Water Purifier Bottle and make that your go to eco friendly travel mug. As Grayl says, “never buy single-use bottled water again.”
7. Stainless Steel Reusable / Collapsable Straw
Sustainable gift ideas don’t have to be just for traveling. Saying no to single-use plastics, like plastic straws, should be part of your everyday vocabulary.
You shouldn’t just be using reusable straws, like below, when you’re traveling. Saying no and not using plastic straws at restaurants and bars is a very easy and everyday way you can minimize your use of plastic.
Collapsible travel straws are an easy to pack item and essential. Especially when you’re traveling in areas that don’t have proper waste managements systems. Plastic straws end up in the ocean and no one wants that.
8. Bee’s Wrap
One thing that we always find helpful is having some sort of reusable food containers with us on our travels. Be it on a road trip or an international flight, a eco friendly way to store food are great sustainable gift ideas for all you hungry travelers our there.
Made out of beeswax and organically grown cotton, Bee’s Wrap is a great natural alternative to plastic wrap for food storage. Wrap bread, cheese, fruit and sandwiches with ease!
Perfect to throw in your daypack as you head out for a day of fun.
For more eco friendly home ideas, check out Eco Friendly Products for Home and Daily Life
9. Reusable Food Containers & Snack Bags
If you’re wanting something a little more secure for messy food items, then the silicone stasher bag is for you. A fantastic alternative to plastic sandwich bags, silicone bags are durable and allow for easy cleaning, making it perfect to swap food in and out as you globetrot.
10. Reusable Cutlery
Bamboo utensils are a great eco friendly travel product. Bamboo is a fantastic alternative to plastic utensils. Why you ask? Because bamboo is a fast growing natural resource. Perfect for camping in the mountains or picnicking in front of the Eiffel Tower. No matter where you want to get your snack on, reusable cutlery has you covered.
11. Zero Waste Solid Toiletries
Ursa Major’s Morning Mojo Bar Soap is simply the best! We use this even when we’re not traveling, that’s how much we love it.
When wanting to travel in a more eco-conscious manner, lessening your use of plastic is key. One easy way to accrue plastic waste, especially if you are traveling long-term, is by purchasing bottles of soap, shampoo, and conditioners.
For more eco friendly toiletries, check out Eco Friendly Toiletries for Travelers and Home
12. Travel Bottles
If you’re not really feeling the whole bar soaps, shampoo bars, and conditioner bars, you can use silicon travel bottles or aluminum travel bottles instead to avoid buying travel-sized plastic toiletry bottles.
You can easily refill these bottles from your larger, everyday bottles for your weekend away from home.
14. Eco Friendly Travel Towel
From a sandy beach to a shower, this versatile eco friendly towel is your perfect travel companion. Made from post-consumer plastic bottles, the Nomadix travel towel packs down small and is quick-drying making it perfect for the traveler that’s on the go.
15. Eco Friendly Yoga Mat
Doesn’t matter if you’re off to a Yoga Retreat or if you just want to spend a few hours on your vacation getting your flow on, a eco friendly yoga mat is the perfect addition of zen you need.
Made in a sustainable manner and PVC free, this eco friendly yoga mat will support your downward dog and our planet.
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16. Bamboo Travel Sheet
The perfect sleeping companion for a traveler is a sleep sheet or travel sheet. Great for camping, hostels or any place where you’re a little unsure how clean your sleeping arrangement will be.
Attitude travel sheets are made from a naturally renewable resource, bamboo, and are sustainably harvested. Get cozy in this 300 thread count and rest up for your big adventure!
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17. The Scrubba Wash Bag
One of the biggest sucks to our environment is the energy used for the sake of water – specifically for washing clothes. This eco friendly wash bag uses less water than a standard washing machine and no energy. Yup, none….errr, we’ll expect the energy you’ll exert.
Plus, doing your own laundry saves you a buck or two if you’re on a tight budget. Oh and this is a great addition to any essential camping gear list for all you outdoor enthusiasts.
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18. Recycled Clothing for Woman
We get it, packing for any trip can be stressful. Be it having the right attire to complete “your look” or the proper gear for a weekend of outdoor weather – the right set of clothing is important.
From recycled yoga pants for your mountain adventure to a one-piece swimsuit for the beach, the below list of sustainable clothing has a little something for every kind of female traveler.
19. Recycled Clothing for Men
For winter months to summer months and everything in between, the below selections of sustainable men’s clothing will have you prepared for whatever adventure lies ahead. Below are a few items that are made from recycled fabrics that will have help you get your “sustainable adventure” on while looking fresh.
20. Eco-Friendly Sunglasses
A great pair of polarized sunglasses is an absolutely great sustainable gift idea for a traveler! Mali Bamboo Polarized Sunglasses are made of upcycled bamboo and are stylish, to say the least.
Doesn’t matter if they’re exploring a city or hiking in the wilderness, no matter where you roam, a good pair of shades is a must.
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21. Odor Resistant Clothing
Odor-resistant clothing requires to be washed less which is great for the environment and your wallet! ExOfficio underwear is made with renewable and sustainable fabrication and is quick dry, making it the PERFECT pair of travel underwear.
ExOfficio partners with organizations that work to foster and preserve sustainable relationships between culture and the environment. This brand of underwear is pretty much all you’ll find in Jesse’s underwear drawer.
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Another item and something we use every time we go on hiking adventures are merino wool socks. Wool is a renewable resource making it a great eco friendly fabric.
Don’t let the stereotype of wool fool you. This material is breathable, lightweight, naturally odor-resistant, and comfortable too! Merino wool is in much more than just socks, from gloves to shirts to pants, check out some additional wool clothing options for your travel wardrobe.
TIP: Using clothes that don’t need to be washed as often saves you the hassle of doing laundry while traveling.
22. Portable Solar Power
Rounding out our sustainable gift ideas is solar power.
Goal Zero Nomad Solar Panel is a great companion for any outdoorsy traveler. Exploring the backcountry and need to charge your gear? No problem. How about on a road trip and no outlet insight? Again, no problem. This portable solar panel is a great way to charge your phone or any other small electronic device.
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The above list is just a handful of ways travelers can lessen their impact. By using eco-friendly products and materials, we can work together to reduce waste. Let’s travel smart and respect this beautiful planet of ours.
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– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)