Who loves to travel?
Ok, maybe some people don’t, but you wouldn’t be on this blog if you were one of those people. But let’s face it, travelling is not easy on the environment. Many forms of transportation contribute to climate change, by releasing greenhouse gases, mainly CO2, from burning fuels. Tons of plastic is being used on producing hotel toiletries, plane amenities and other single-use plastic products: coffee cups, water bottles, plates, cutlery and so on. A significant amount of electricity and water is being wasted on washing hotel towels used just once. The list is long.
But there are little things, that can be done to offset a travellers’ carbon footprint.
If you know someone who’s crazy about travelling or are one of those crazy people yourself, here are some eco-friendly gift ideas perfect for every traveller who has Mother Earth’s best interests at heart. No matter the occasion: Christmas, birthday, name day (it’s a Polish thing, ask me about it!) or just ‘being a good friend’ day, you can use this little guide as inspiration to treat someone who you care about.
The products listed below should be sustainable themselves, but their main purpose is to allow the recipient of the gift to be more eco-friendly during their travels.
And if you’re scared of losing all your savings on one gift, because all eco-friendly stuff always seem so expensive, don’t worry. The price range is wide, so you can get ideas for gifts of different values, depending how much you like the person. Kidding.
One more thing, the links listed below are just here to present you the product I’m writing about. You’re of course welcome to use them for your purchase (the post contains affiliate links). But I really encourage you to shop locally, the best from would be from local business. They do need us now.
Ok, now let me inspire you with 13 eco-friendly gift ideas that every traveller will love.
1. Water bottle with filter.
One million plastic bottles are brought across the world every minute! This is one of the most compulsive ways we consume plastic. And I get it, when you travel you don’t want to risk having a belly bug from drinking dirty water, so the easiest option is to buy bottled. In some countries, it’s even the only option.
But this particular bottle can spare the Earth hundreds of plastic bottles you’d use. I got it as a gift myself and now we’re inseparable. It filters 99% of waterborne bacteria and parasites and has 1000 litre lifespan. It accompanied me on my trip to Malaysia and Singapore and I solemnly swear, that I did not get sick.
If you’re opting for minimum packing, or your traveller is an outdoorsy type, LifeStraw could be a better solution. It filters bacteria, parasites, microplastics and reduces dirt, and cloudiness. The company gives 99,99999% guarantee of protection from Salmonella and E.coli and claims that the membrane microfilter will last up to 4,000 litres of water – that’s enough drinking for one person for over 5 years.
This is a must!
3. Reusable cutlery.
This is another thing that every eco conscious traveller needs. Studies show that we use plastic cutlery for only 3 minutes before throwing it away and if you’ve travelled in Asia, you know how often you’re offered it. No matter whether bamboo or stainless steal, a reusable cutlery set is one of the most vital eco-friendly gift ideas for travellers.
It can be either a “spork” (spoon and a fork) or the whole set including a straw.
&Keep offers both.
Something to stay fresh.
4. Eco-friendly toiletries.
In the past, who didn’t get excited to be able to use those little shower gel and shampoo bottles and thought, that if you’re staying in a hotel that provides those, you have to be rich? Unfortunately those little, cute bottles are very environmentally unfriendly. Opt for the eco option and gift your favourite traveller with a soap bar, shampoo bar, conditioner bar, bamboo cotton buds, reusable makeup pads and a bamboo toothbrush. Some companies, like &Keep, are selling those in a set. So one purchase and you’re done. This is definitely one of the best eco-friendly gift ideas, that you can help to protect the Earth during travels.
5. Toothpaste tablets.
Did you know that toothpaste tubes aren’t recyclable. They are a mixture of plastic and aluminium, which makes them impossible to recycle in most recycle centres. Georganics toothpaste tablets are a way more environmentally friendly option – they come in a glass jar, plus toothpaste in tablets that you chew on – that’s a very travelly product!
It’s all about nature!
6. Natural deodorant.
Unless the person you’re planning on buying for is travelling to the deep jungle, deo can be a great present. But instead of buying those packed with chemicals or worse, those that are tested on animals (eg. Nivea), or even worse, those that pretend they’re not tested on animals, but they are – Dove, you can choose a natural and eco-friendly one. What are you looking for then? A plastic-free one (packed in a cardboard tube), without aluminium, parabens or carcinogens and safe for marine life. You can find a natural deodorant stick at &Keep.
7. Reusable razor.
Man or woman, everyone needs one. But as disposable razors may be all colourful and convenient, they come at a cost to our planet. Gift you favourite traveller with a reusable, metal razor which can last for years (only the razor blades need to be recycled). You can find a safety razor at &Keep as well.
Pack and go!
8. Backpack for life.
The one I’m linking here is maybe not for life, but the fact that it’s made out of used truck tarps makes it pretty tough. Actually they are made of, because the Swiss company Freitag has a whole selection of backpacks, bags and accessorises that are extremely long lasting and most importantly made out of recycled materials. And if something does break, they will repair it for you. Freitag has a special section for travel backpacks, but they all seem pretty travel safe and waterproof for me.
9. Solar powered charger.
Whose phone hasn’t died when you were trying to find the way to your Airbnb or worse, when you were trying to take this perfect Insta shot? Mine did several times. That’s why a battery pack during travels is a must. But instead of a traditional one, opt for gifting an eco-friendly one. A battery pack powered by the Sun. How cool is that? You’re not burden Mother Earth and you can use it anywhere, well, anywhere where it’s sunny.
This is definitely an extravagant one. You know, for someone you really really like. But if this person is in a need of a new phone, you can’t find one that is more sustainable than a FairPhone. Made out of recycled materials in a fairtrade factory, but most importantly, the phone is designed to last for a very long time. And if something does stop working, you can exchange only the broken part or even repair the phone yourself with a screwdriver. The company offers 2 phones at the moment + accessorises. For all the specifications, check the FairPhone website.
11. Compostable phone case.
A phone during travels is an absolute must. But since it can damage easily, we have to protect it. With a plastic free and compostable or biodegradable phone case, we’re protecting our planet as well. Made out of plant based materials, both Wave and Pela offer a great selection of pretty and sustainable phone cases, that won’t harm the environment after they’re no longer of use – which shouldn’t be very soon as they’re made to be durable.
Something a little bit different.
12. Eco-friendly travel experience.
This one is definitely over the top, but sometimes the best gift to give a traveller is a trip itself. Since travelling can be a bit overwhelming for the environment, some companies are trying to minimise a traveller’s carbon footprint by offering slow, sustainable, responsible, carbon neutral or even carbon negative trips. Two great examples of those companies are Intrepid – offers small group travels around the world, and G Adventures – perfect for more adventurous types. And considering flying is the most impactful aspect of travelling on the environment, British company: Byway offers trips that are only made by trains, bikes and boats. For now they only provide trips in the UK and France, but they aim to expand to more countries in the future.
13. A tree.
That is another great eco-friendly gift idea to offset traveller’s carbon footprint. The Woodland Trust is the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity. One of the many things they offer is a tree dedication, where you can dedicate a tree, or even a whole quarter acre of wood to someone. Your donation goes towards planting more trees which in turn helps the environment, wildlife and the world. There are many organizations which work on a similar basis, so if you don’t live in the UK, you can find a charity in your country or local area.
Hope you enjoyed my list of 13 eco-friendly gift ideas for travellers.
With a few of those, your favourite traveller will be able to enjoy a trip even more, knowing that they’re not impacting the environment as much.
What would you add to this list? Comment below or hit me up on Instagram.
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