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 17 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. I swear by this bottle!!! It filters 99% of waterborne bacteria and parasites and has 1000 litre lifespan. It accompanied me on my trip around the world and I solemnly swear, that I did not get sick!
2. LIFE STRAW
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.
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.
4. Travel lunch box
I know what you’re thinking: “that’s totally useless” or “how on Earth am I going to fit this metal box in my luggage?”. My answers: “you’re wrong” and “super easy, plus you can fill it with some socks or other pieces of wardrobe”. A Reusable lunch box, or food box really, has many applications during your travels: you can throw the leftover food you want to eat later in there; you can take it to the food market and eat from it instead of using plastic plates or you can treat it as a bowl/plate if you’re staying somewhere with no tableware. A Food box was actually something I realized I needed during my months in South East Asia and I’m never going anywhere without one.
5. Reusable straws
Even though plastic straws got so much negative press, you wouldn’t believe how many places still use them. I’m sure you already have a reusable straw, but if not, stock up and carry it with you wherever you go! Your drinks will taste even better and you won’t be guilty of making the Earth “digest” it for 500 years.
6. reusable coffee cup
500 million cups are made and thrown away globally every year! After what I saw and experienced in South East Asia, I’d say that this number is way too low. You can lower this number a little bit by getting your own reusable coffee cup. I can assure you that you will use it in multiple ways, but if coffee is all you can think about, this particular cup is made from recycled coffee cups! Coincidence? I don’t think so.
7. Bamboo Toothbrush + Case
You probably know the importance or having a non-plastic toothbrush. You probably know, that by changing our toothbrushes every 3 months (dentist recommended), we will use around 320 toothbrushes in our lives. And you probably know that regular toothbrushes are made from pure plastic that will stay untouched on this planet for 500 years. So you probably…hopefully own a bamboo toothbrush already. But when travelling something else can be equally important – a toothbrush case! Made from a single piece of bamboo, the case has a vent hole to prevent odours and mould and it will allow you to transport your toothbrush in sanitized conditions.
8. tootpaste tablets
Did you know that toothpaste tubes are unrecyclable? A mixture of plastic and aluminium – this is what toothpaste tubes are made of, makes them impossible to recycle in most recycle centres. Toothpaste tablets are a way more environmentally friendly. These particular ones are in fact 100% plastic free. Plus you chew on them! If that’s not a 100% travelly product – I don’t know what is.
9. 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). I was gifted mine some time ago and now I can’t imagine travelling without it. You can find a safety razor at &Keep as well.
10. 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 or aluminium tin), without aluminium, parabens or carcinogens and safe for marine life. You can find a natural deodorant on &Keep.
11. 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 bar soap, shampoo bar, conditioner bar, or even a shaving bar! Or you can simply gift them a travel selection box that includes laundry bar soap. So one purchase and you’re done. All soaps linked here are free from palm oil and parabens. This is definitely one of the best eco-friendly gift ideas, that you can help to protect the Earth during travels.
12. travel soap dish
Imagine: you take a refreshing shower using your bar soap, you enjoy the water cleansing you, you forgot about the whole world including the fact that you have to check out in half an hour. That’s when bar soap dish comes in handy! I made a mistake of not buying it before my trip around Asia and so many times my cosmetic bag was wet and sticky from soap residue. So don’t let your favourite traveller make the same mistake and gift them a soap box. Additional bonus: the one linked here is 100% biodegradable!
13. Reusable face pads
Cotton pads and balls are designed as single-use items, which come packaged in plastic packaging. They’re harmful for the environment and our skin. Gift your favourite traveller reusable and washable face pads that won’t harm the environment by producing extra unrecyclable waste. Another simple yet very useful gift.
14. Organic sunscreen
That’s the one product that we should be using everyday. Sun or no sun, if you don’t want to be too wrinkly too fast, you should apply sunscreen every morning. It’s also very important, especially on holidays, that the sunscreen we use was marine friendly – we don’t want to poison sea life that is slowly dying anyway. So help protect your favourite traveller’s skin and the life of cute, little fish and gift them an organic, reef safe sunscreen.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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 17 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.
Hi, it’s Aga, the author of this blog. If you found this blog post interesting, entertaining or useful, please think of buying me a virtual coffee to support the site’s running costs. But if you know me, I might actually spend it on coffee 🙂 Thanks!
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