The Best Eco-Friendly Travel Essentials to Cut Your Carbon Footprint in Half
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It’s widely known that traveling — especially by plane — isn’t exactly the most eco-friendly or sustainable activity. But there are certain practices and habits that you can foster in order to cut down your carbon footprint and cancel out or offset carbon emissions. This could be by taking vacations closer to home, donating to a carbon offsetting projects, or making a more conscious effort to be as close to zero waste as possible on your trip.
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Looking for easy and effective product switches to make while traveling? Below, we’ve rounded up a handful of practical and eco-friendly travel essentials that’ll help you become a much more sustainable traveler. From zero-waste luggage to reef-friendly sunscreen, here’s what you’ll want to add to your earth-friendly packing list:
STATE Smith Zero Waste Backpack
You might think that any old travel bag will do just fine — but the Smith Zero Waste Backpack by STATE will be your best bet if you’re in the market for a replacement. Made from a zero waste pattern — a design practice that consists of leaving no waste behind — this practical and eco-friendly backpack features a laptop sleeve that fits up to a 15-inch laptop, a main compartment that’ll fit everything from books to sneakers, and a front pocket for keeping all your little essentials easily accessible.
SKYWAY Glacier Bay Carry-On
Made from recycled PET plastic produced in such a way that it saves on energy and reduces carbon emissions, the SKYWAY Glacier Bay carry-on bag was made for the stylish eco-conscious traveler in mind. The contemporary carry-on design comes in a handful of slick colorways and boasts a scratch-resistant finish that’ll keep it looking brand new for years to come.
Mumi Reusable Zip Up Bags
Mumi design’s Reusable Zip Up Bags are an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic zip up baggies — and can easily work for packing snacks for the flight, storing your shampoos and other items you don’t want to leak into your luggage, or even as an alternative to restaurant doggie bags. The double lock closure of the mumi zip-up bags give it an airtight, leak-proof seal, so you won’t have to worry about leakage the way you do with some plastic zip bags.
Air Company Hand Sanitizer
There are hundreds of hand sanitizers to choose from these days — but Air Company might be your best bet if you’re looking for an eco-friendly option to throw in your carry on bag. Air Company converts carbon dioxide into hand sanitizer (among other items — like vodka and perfume). The 50 ml bottle is small enough to pass through TSA but still more than enough to get you through a vacation. Note that Air Company also donates a 3-pack for every 3-pack sold to a climate-centered non-profit organization.
Spongology by Spongelle Olibanum Travel Buffer
Crafted from 100% biodegradable soy and cotton, the Olibanum Travel Buffer offers a much more eco-friendly approach to personal hygiene on the go. The travel sponge already has body wash inside of it, which allows you to skip the plastic travel bottles or disposable minis in your hotel room. Spongelle is also vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and made in the United States.
LARQ Self-Cleaning Water Bottle
The LARQ Self-Cleaning Water Bottle is a game changer when it comes to staying hydrated while traveling — and not just because it helps you cut back on wasteful plastic bottle consumption. The LARQ uses a special UV technology to clean and purify water, removing up to 99.999 percent of viruses and bacteria, and allowing you to enjoy safe drinking water wherever you go. Spend most of your time in cities with clean drinking water in abundance? The LARQ bottle is still worth it: the self-cleaning bottle also ensures you won’t have to deal with moldy or stale water, even if you go months without washing your bottle.
KeepCup Brew Cork, Reusable Glass Cup
There’s no way you’ll ever see us giving up our morning Starbucks before boarding those red eye flights — but a reusable coffee traveler, like the Barista-designed KeepCup, not only gets plastic and paper cups out of the landfill but will actually save you 10 cents off your hot or cold beverage.
DEVICO Travel Utensils
You’d be surprised by how practical a set of compact travel utensils can be; whether you’ve found yourself with a bag of takeout that doesn’t have utensils at the bottom or you simply want to avoid the plastic-wrapped disposable options available with in flight meals, a set of utensils will help cut back on your overall waste while also saving you from finding yourself forkless.
Doboli 2 Pack Reusable Metal Straws
Iced coffee drinkers will want to take a second look at the reusable metal straws by Doboli. This super convenient pack of two telescopic straws actually packs down to the size of a carabiner, allowing you to easily keep a straw available on your key ring or backpack.
Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion
Whether you’re traveling to a coral reef destination or not — you’ll want to make sure you pack reef-friendly sunscreen. Hawaii, Key West, parts of Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Aruba, Bonaire, and Palau each have a ban on sunscreens with oxybenzone and octinoxate in order to protect their oceans. The Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion is an excellent eco-friendly option that is also hypoallergenic and cruelty-free.
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