Go green with these must-have items to accompany you on your travels.
Packing for your travels can be hard enough at the best of times, but if you’re an eco-friendly traveller, it can seem even trickier if you’re trying to stay green. Yet, as more of us favour sustainable lifestyles, it’s becoming much easier to find products that meet our ethical demands. With so many eco-friendly options out there now, we’ve cherry-picked our top environmental travel gear that every explorer should own.
Sustainable water bottle
It’s abundantly clear that single-use plastic water bottles are nothing short of a form of evil laziness, so it’s good to know there are plenty of sustainable alternatives to choose from. On our travels, we wouldn’t be without a water purifier and filter bottle, such as from Grayl. The beauty of this bottle is that you can fill it with water from a tap or stream and it will purify it, making it completely safe to drink. We’re also a big fan of S’Well water bottles. As well as being eco-friendly, stylish and great quality, they work hard to keep drinks either hot or cold.
The worlds first social enterprise phone company that implemented a full ethical and sustainable consideration in its manufacture, packaging and supply. Using recyclable materials, sourcing raw metals from mines outside of conflict zones and ensuring a fair and transparent manufacturing process are some of the methods Fairphone employs to ensure a sustainable and ethical supply chain from concept to delivery. Certainly more of a big-ticket item than others on this list but with the carbon footprint of smartphones, the fact that they age five years in one day straight out of warranty, the precious metals used to make them and the repair inhibiting design steps, it’s a big-ticket item worth investing in.
While you’re at it, check out these charging accessories from Nimble, a market leader in transparent, sustainable mobile phone and tech accessory chargers. There wireless travel kit and portable charging slabs are made from predominantly recycled materials and eco-conscious packaging, and perfect for charging out power range.
Binchōtan charcoal sticks
Yet another way that trees are amazing, Binchōtan is essentially charcoal made from a tree snippet of Japanese white oak trees that have been kiln heated to 1000 degrees and then rapidly cooled. What is left is a solid stick of charcoal with thousands of micropores that attract and filter toxic metals including lead and mercury from water. A very good addition to your water bottle if you have not yet sprung the above Grayl. It works essentially in similar ways as a Brita filter except it’s not housed in plastic and when it reaches the end of its useful lifespan, you can simply recycle it into the garden as compost, or keep it in the fridge as an odour reducing aid.
A bog-standard toothbrush might seem harmless enough, but did you know it takes a mind-blowing 400 years to decompose? With this shocking statistic in mind, non-plastic toothbrushes should be top of every environmental travel gear list. These Bamboo toothbrushes from the legends at Clean Coast Collective, are becoming more common and are increasingly affordable, meaning you can brush your teeth with a guilt-free conscience. Other planet-friendly options include toothbrushes made from recycled yoghurt pots and (for non-vegans) bristles made from pig hair. If you have a recurring nightmare where you get lost in a bamboo forest or any other totally reasonable aversion to the tall evergreen perennial plant, check out these long-lasting teeth huggers from Boie in New York made from recyclable rubber with interchangeable heads.
Aside from the obvious values of being ridiculously comfortable and stylishly understated, I personally love Allbirds shoes for a few reasons. Notably that they are made from Merino, the magical soft, temperature regulating wool that often comes from the extreme weather residing Kiwi sheep who do all the product testing themselves running around the mountains of New Zealand. Merino is a particularly good material for a travel shoe as it’s super lightweight, can be worn for many more hours than synthetic materials without smelling heinous and really is the most comfortable fabric I have ever graced my hoofs with. Allbirds employ methods throughout their production and delivery including recycling their footwear throughout charitable outlets and they’ve just released a range of flip-flops made from sugar cane! Choice as suitcase material.
Bamboo cutlery & reusable straws
When you’re travelling around, you don’t want to be saddled down with steel cutlery. And, disposable plastic cutlery is definitely a no-no if you want to maintain your green credentials. This is where bamboo cutlery steps up to the eco-conscious plate. It’s not only made from a sustainable resource, but it’s durable, strong and lightweight. We wouldn’t travel without it. In fact, we’re loving the bamboo theme right now, and are enthused that you can also get bamboo eyemasks and bamboo blankets for your travel kit.
Once you’ve found that ten out of ten juice shack or smoothie bar at the end of a days exploring, drink smarter with reusable straws and use one of these lids on any standard wide mouth mason jar or that reusable water bottle you’ve already bought, right? Several cafes are giving cash back incentives for bringing your own vessel, so if you drink enough caffeine your coffee shop is effectively paying for the reusable cup, neat.
A no-brainer. A simple, effective, cost-effective way to divorce glad wrap from your life. Beeswax wraps are squares or rectangles made from cut cotton that has been infused with food grade-beeswax, coconut or jojoba oil and rosin. The wax makes these little magic squares waterproof, but breathable and the rosin gives them a tacky finish to grip hold of whatever perishable they’re housing.
I took a few of these wraps with me on my most recent trip and found them invaluable. I used them for everything from taking snack packs in a little pouch, turning my baguettes into burritos, keeping that half avocado green, the citrus yellow and even waterproofing my phone when I had to run through a downpour. As soon I returned I doubled up and now my fridge looks like my mom just popped over and made me a weeks worth of meals, it’s a happy sight.
Your environmental travel gear list
Choosing only a handful of the best environmental travel gear is hard, as there are so many other great items out there that could have easily made our list. From toiletries to beauty products, clothing, backpacks and reusable tote bags, going green on your travels is actually a lot easier than you might think. It’s always worth the foresight so you don’t get stuck buying bottled water or other disposable items when you’re out there exploring.