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Our Favorite Sustainable Gear for Eco-Friendly Travel


Person drinking from a reusable water bottle in the desert.

SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL GEAR DOESN'T HAVE TO BE EXPENSIVE. IN FACT, USUALLY IN THE LONG RUN, IT IS CHEAPER THAN JUST BUYING SINGLE-USE GOODS. SO DO RIGHT BY THE PLANET AND YOUR WALLET AND FOCUS ON USING SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL GEAR. EXPLORE OUR MUST-HAVES BELOW.

 



At the heart of it, sustainable travel is all about minimizing your negative impacts and maximizing your positive ones. You can do this in a number of ways: not driving your own personal car and instead using public transportation or just walking around when you need to explore, choosing to only book responsible tours that prioritize helping the environment and the local communities, or just solely buying and using less stuff overall.


But, another easy way to be a more sustainable and responsible traveler is to simply focus on using more eco-friendly goods and gear while abroad. This can be as easy as switching to a reusable water bottle so you don't have to keep buying (and eventually throwing away) plastic bottles every day. Or it can be as complex as focusing on only buying locally made goods and food (and even this doesn't have to be that hard).


By making simple and small changes to your travel gear set-up, you can help make a big positive impact on this world. Below we outline some of our favorite eco-friendly travel goods to help inform and inspire you to make the switch too.







 

OUR FAVORITE SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL GEAR

 






\\ Toiletries



SHAMPOO BARS

One of the easiest ways to cut down on your plastic use is to move away from large plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner and instead invest in an eco-friendly shampoo (and conditioner) bar.


We have been using shampoo bars for about a year now and we already know we will never go back to bottled shampoo. Why? Because bars are just a lot easier to carry (smaller, lighter, TSA-safe), they are very easy to use (just rub it into your scalp and voila), and finally, they work - really well.


Below are two great options if you are looking to make the switch to shampoo bars yourself:







| BUY IT: the Ethique St. Clements shampoo bar is great if you have oily hair.

| BUY IT: the earthling co. citrus sun shampoo bar is plant-based and contains NO sulfates or parabens.



💬 INSIDER TIP: we personally love the smell of the shampoo bar on the left - it's sweet, spicy, and leaves your hair feeling and smelling fresh for days.






NATURAL OILS

Another easy way to reduce your plastic use is to switch over to natural oils that come in glass bottles instead of various lotions. You can use many different types of oils for your skin, hair and nails. We personally enjoy using jojoba oil for our faces, coconut oil for our skin and hair, and tea tree oil for sunburns, acne and bug bites (just be aware that the smell is quiiiiite strong).




Glass bottle of jojoba oil.



| BUY IT: this is the exact jojoba oil we have been using for a while and we really cannot recommend it enough. We found that the Leven Rose jojoba oil felt the best on our skin and caused way less breakouts than other oils. Plus, it comes in a glass bottle with an easy-to-use dropper (super handy).






WOODEN TOOTHBRUSHES

An equally simple eco-friendly switch is to move away from plastic toothbrushes and instead use sustainable bamboo brushes - like the ones below. We have found that bamboo toothbrushes clean our teeth just as well as plastic brushes, while also being a bit softer on our gums.


👀 DID YOU KNOW: approximately 1 billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown out each year in the United States alone (so about 3 brushes per person). This leads to about 50 million pounds of plastic waste a year.




Wooden toothbrush set with sea turtle logo.



| BUY IT: these fun bamboo toothbrushes are not only easy to use, but the company (Sea Turtle LLC) also donates 10% of every purchase to marine conservation. A real win-win.


💬 INSIDER TIP: we have also gone back and forth with using toothpaste tablets. Sometimes we find some we like, but other times we feel like the tablets aren't cleaning our teeth very well. If you can, consider trying out toothpaste tablets at least once.






ECO-FRIENDLY MICROFIBER TOWEL

Lightweight, fast drying, easy to store. Microfiber adventure towels have definitely become one of our necessities during travel - both on and off the trail.


This one by Wise Owl is large enough to dry a whole person off, while still being light enough and easy enough to pack down that it can be stored in a backpack, day bag, or into your carry-on luggage when on the plane.




Wise Owl reusable microfiber travel towel.



| BUY IT: we have been traveling with this type of Wise Owl towel for years and it still holds up to everything we put it through (and we put it through a lot).






ECO-FRIENDLY SUNSCREEN

As we have gotten older, we have realized the real importance of protecting our skin. While it was once too easy to walk out the door without any sunscreen on (or even a hat and sunglasses), nowadays, we layer on that sun protection like our life depends on it.


While there are a lot of options when it comes to sunscreen, we choose to spend a little more and get stuff that is a bit better for the planet. Like sunscreen from Mad Hippie, a company that focuses on doing good for this planet by using only all-natural ingredients and giving back to conservation efforts. The company's sunscreen is benzene-free, coral reef safe, vegan and cruelty-free.




Sunscreen from Mad Hippie.



| BUY IT: the company offers various types of sunscreen - from one that focuses on hydration (great in dry climates) to one that is super water resistant, so it stays on even when out surfing and swimming.






OTHER GOOD-TO-HAVES


ECO-FRIENDLY HAND SANITIZER

This is especially useful if you are planning to travel to areas where soap might not be available (the backcountry, on questionable public transportation). This one by Noshinko is refillable and made of 70% organic sugar cane and botanical oils. | BUY IT



REUSABLE MAKEUP REMOVER PADS

Another easy way to be more eco-conscious when traveling is to switch out your cotton pads or single-use makeup wipes with these bamboo pads that can be hand or machine-washed and used over and over again. | BUY IT










\\ Food & Shopping



REUSABLE CONTAINER FOR FOOD

If you are someone who tends to eat out a lot while traveling (or even when you are just at home) then you need to make the switch to reusable to-go co