Pack with a purpose on your next trip and introduce some of these environmentally friendly finds to your travel kit. Nobody’s idea of an ideal island vacation is visiting the floating plastic patch in the Pacific.
Unfortunately, the travel industry is rife with waste, from single-use airline cups to hotel mini shampoo samples that are more plastic than product. While measures are being taken to cut down on all this waste, you can help by adopting some of these eco-conscious items into your everyday routines.
Reduce Your Travel Footprint with these Earth Friendly Options
Travel isn’t always conducive to a carbon conscious lifestyle, but you can do your part by reducing plastics and other waste with these ten tested travel items.
Perfect for camping, road trips, or everyday use, the To-Go Ware utensil kit is a must for eco-conscious adventurers. No more flimsy plastic forks needed when you've got this sturdy bamboo built set to get your grub on. Choose from a wide variety of cleverly named carrying case colors made from recycled plastic bottles. TSA compliant! (Or at least I’ve had no issues packing them along in my carry-on).
Amazon User Review: “I'm trying to reduce my plastic use and these are the perfect tool to carry around. They're very slim so it is easy to slip into my purse or lunch bag. The bamboo dries very quickly which is great for keeping everything clean.”
Price: Starting at $11.99 on Amazon
Average Star Rating: 4.4
Down to the last straw with plastic? Then this is the product for you! With plastic straw bans going into effect at businesses around the country, even airlines like American and Delta joining in the fight. Now it's your chance to help reduce waste with this set of eco-friendly stainless steel straws and accessories. That extra poolside margarita will taste karmically better with one of these suckers.
Amazon User Review: “This item is the perfect length! I would recommend this as a gift or a self purchase for the eco friendly consumer.”
Price: $12 on Amazon
Average Star Rating: 5
Keep your smile and the environment clean with a set of bamboo toothbrushes from Leafico. Leave the electric toothbrush and charger at home and take this easy to travel with 100% plastic free option instead. This zero waste gift comes with four numbered brushes, perfect for the family or for a year’s worth of polishing your pearly whites. You’ll be all smiles knowing that the toothbrushes and packaging are completely biodegradable and compostable.
Amazon User Review: “Great quality. Brush heads are bit larger than what I am use to, but they are perfect for travel.”
Price: $16 on Amazon
Average Star Rating: 4.5
There are two types of people: ones that are losing hairbands all the time or ones that keep finding random hair ties all over the place. If you fall into the previous category and don’t want to wait 500+ years for those lost elastics to biodegrade, then opt for these KOOSHOO Organic bands. By teaming up with Sea Sheperd, KOOSHOO will donate a portion of sales toward ocean conservation. Now that’s a cause worth pony(tail)ing up for!
Amazon User Review: “Organic hair elastic? Who would have thought? These are great, look good and worked as promised; much less catching and hair breaking. No more cheaply (and sadly) made mass-produced hair elastics for me or my husband. KOOSHOO has made these two old long-haired hippies very happy with this product.”
Price: $19 on Amazon
Average Star Rating: 4.5
No need to worry about TSA liquid requirements when you’re traveling bottle free! Use Ethique’s range of hair product beauty bars on your next trip, and you'll be easily converted. This sample pack is an excellent gift for those ready to test out 100% naturally derived biodegradable bar shampoos/conditioners and not rely on those ever so wasteful mini-samples the hotel provides.
Amazon User Review: “I’ve done two washes with the various bars and so far so good! I had heard sometimes these “organic” shampoos and conditioners can dry out your hair but that’s NOT the case with Ethique. I’ve enjoyed the sampler pack because I can try out all the Ethique products and then buy a larger size in the product that works best for my hair.”
Price: $16 on Amazon
Average Star Rating: 4.2
In many countries nowadays single-use plastic bags come at a cost, both for the environment and your coin purse. Skip collecting those environmentally unfriendly bags with a mixed set of reusable mesh bags from purifyou. Don’t be fooled by their lightweight, these double-stitched sacks can hold just about any fresh produce or shopping items you grab on the road. With a lifetime guarantee, solid construction, and machine washable, these bags will cut your single-use consumption by leaps and bounds. And with every purchase, a portion is donated to promote sustainable living across the globe!
Amazon User Review: “This product works great if you want to have reusable bags for grocery shopping. Great way to reduce using single use plastic bags. Nice mesh, washes great, nice selection of sizes. I've used it for produce and bagels.”
Price: $17 on Amazon
Average Star Rating: 4.8
Paper or plastic? Choose neither, by bringing along this versatile tote from Simple Ecology. These foldable totes are available in five different color options, and materials meet Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS). A perfect travel companion, these heavy-duty totes go beyond just groceries and can substitute for a book, laptop, or just an everyday purse.
Amazon User Review: “Love these! Use them everyday. Much better and more environmentally sound than plastic bags. Thanks.”
Price: $15 for a 3-pack on Amazon
Average Star Rating: 4.3
One of the easiest ways to limit plastic consumption is by cutting out single-use water and drink bottles. Grab yourself one of Healthy Human's stainless steel double-walled water bottles, and you'll keep happily hydrated while helping out Mother Nature. The double-walled construction keeps drinks nice and cold for 24-hours or hot for up to12-hours if you fancy a cuppa tea or coffee. Bottles come in sizes ranging from 16 to 40 ounces, and with a wide array of colors/patterns the only downside with this travel necessity is picking out which best suits you!
Amazon User Review: “I have had these bottles for a year, and I can't believe how awesome they continue to be! They really do keep the hots hot and the colds cold as long (or longer) then they say! We have 5 that we continue to use daily, scratches, scrapes, dents and all...I don't think I could get my family to part with them unless I was handing them a new one!”
Price: $17– $35 on Amazon
Average Star Rating: 4.6
Soggy and smushed paper bag lunches are a distant memory once you add a Green Lunch Stainless steel bento box to your zero-waste wheelhouse. The spacious 3-in-1 nesting compartments can hold up to six cups of food, and its sturdy snaps make it perfect for portability. With a lifetime warranty, you'll be confident knowing that this box will hold up for the long haul. Just think of the money you'll save by cutting out those wasteful Ziploc bags!
Amazon User Review: “I am in love with this product. I am the envy of my coworkers. I put salad in the to and cut up fruits in the bottom containers.. It is elegant. It is also compact which is important for me as I commute by bike. I get home and stick it into the dishwasher. This is wonderful product.”
Price: $30 on Amazon
Average Star Rating: 4.4
A must-have for any regular coffee or tea drinker, a portable personal travel mug is an easy first step into a zero-waste lifestyle. The amount of coffee chain cups that go into the garbage is astounding. Do your part by grabbing a biodegradable to-go cup for everyday use like this one from Joe Cup. These 12-ounce mugs are fridge and freezer safe and come in four different color choices.
Amazon User Review: “This cup is so great my husband wants one! I love that the lid is soft. I’ve had similar items with hard lids and have a hard time getting them on. But this one worked perfect. After drinking my beverage, I put in my bag and the lid stayed. No plastic taste at all! Great size to hold! I love it!
Price: Starting at $11 on Amazon
Average Star Rating: n/a
Featured image by Bogdan Sonjachnyj via shutterstock.com; Product images courtesy of Amazon.