Do you have an eco-conscious traveler friend or family member that is just way too hard to shop for? Look no further! Since many travelers out there are increasingly focused on sustainable travel and taking care of our planet, I thought I’d put together a list of sustainable gift ideas for travelers.
Here is a gift guide of some useful, practical, and eco-friendly gifts to get those frequent travelers whether it’s for the holiday season, a birthday, or just for fun.
Check out my other gift guides for more ideas. Happy shopping!
Sustainable Gift Ideas for Travelers: Eco-Friendly Gift Guide
Tips for finding the perfect sustainable gift
When searching for an eco-friendly gift, you’ll want to ensure it leaves a small environmental and carbon footprint.
Ideally, you’d find a gift that avoids generating excessive waste as it’s being produced, is made of sustainable material, and is something that, when made, was made ethically and with sustainable business practices.
Below I’ve created a list of sustainable items to ensure your eco-friendly traveler will be happy!
Wrapping your gift sustainably
Want to try giving these gifts in a more sustainable fashion?
Try using these ideas for wrapping your gift:
- Use something you already have at your house to wrap it in
- Reuse paper bags, gift bags, wrapping paper, or ribbons you already have
- Cut down on wrapping paper by using old newspaper or magazine wrapping
- Use a leftover box
- Wrap the gift in a reusable gift sack, mason jar, blanket, or scarf
- Use natural decor like dried leaves or pinecones
Owala Free-Sip Water Bottle
It’s estimated by 2050, there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish by weight. – World Economic Forum. Now that is sad and scary!
One of the best ways travelers can be sustainable and eco-friendly is by keeping plastic out of our oceans and landfills by bringing along their own water bottles and straws.
I LOVE my Owala Free-Sip Water Bottle because it’s heavy-duty, keeps things ice cold for much longer than most water bottles, and has a few fun ways to drink out of it!
Hanni Razor or Leaf
Another product that is ruining our oceans and landfills is plastic, and single-use razors. 2 billion razor cartridges end up in U.S. landfills yearly.
Many of us have tried hard to get rid of plastic straws, and now it’s time for razors. An excellent gift for your eco-friendly traveler friend is a metal razor that can be used while traveling without needing to purchase and buy again.
The Hanni is very popular among women, and the Leaf is popular with everyone, including men.
HiBar Shampoo + Conditioner
These shampoo and conditioner bars are changing the game when it comes to eco-friendly alternatives for hair products.
Many shampoos and conditioners contain harmful ingredients, but HiBar has chosen plant-based ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, and essential oils. These are a great option for travel because they pack small and these bars come with planet-friendly packaging.
There are many other eco-friendly and sustainable shampoos and conditioners, but this is a great brand with color-safe shampoo and conditioner that maintains the health of your hair. Plus, they are cruelty-free (not tested on animals) which is a big bonus in my book.
Lava Linens Travel Towel
As a long-term traveler, I love having a great travel towel that dries fast. In fact, this mother-and-daughter duo is changing the game regarding travel towels. These towels are absorbent, sustainable, quick to dry, and durable.
They don’t contain any microfiber (which is petroleum-based and sheds microplastics), no cotton (required 97% more water to grow and uses pesticides to grow), or animal fibers (plant fibers are gentler on the environment than mass-farming animals for fur wool or silk).
Depending on what towel you purchase, they will be made of flax or hemp and made in the USA. These are also perfect for a van-lifer, long-term traveler, adventure traveler, or someone that loves watersports.
To-Go Ware Reusable Cutlery and Straw Set
To-Go Ware is an excellent company for sustainable and reusable cutlery. They have plenty of options, but these are great things to travel with to avoid using single-use plastic cutlery when traveling.
Any adventurous or outdoorsy traveler could also use these as they are suitable for camping and eating outdoors. I like this company the best because they have ethical sustainability practices.
In addition, their utensils are sturdy, free of phthalates and BPA, non-toxic, and can be used for years. These are also made of bamboo, which is one of the world’s best renewable materials. Their hashtag is also #EffSingleUse, which I love.
Packing Cubes Made from Recycled Plastic Bottles
If you know me, you know how much I love packing cubes! They make packing so much easier, save space in your luggage, and keep you way more organized. The fact that these packing cubes in particular are made from recycled plastic bottles changes the game.
I love that they’ve figured out a way how to recycle plastic bottles and create these packing cubes. This is an amazing gift for the sustainable traveler!
Cotopaxi Travel Gear
Cotopaxi is one of the best companies for sustainably made travel gear. They make well-made clothing, gear, and backpacks. Their tagline is “Committed To Creating Positive Social Impact Through Innovative Outdoor Gear.” I love that about them!
They also dedicate a percentage of their revenues to nonprofits working to improve the human condition.
Their goal is to make products that last in the most sustainable way possible, from manufacturing to repurposing recycled materials. Plus, their designs are colorful and fun, which will no doubt inspire your travel-loving friend!
Truffle Travel Case
These are hands down, my favorite travel cases. They are a bit more expensive, but they are beautiful. I love that they are reusable and made with sustainable materials to eliminate single-use plastic.
They use biodegradable TPU, rPET nylon, and recycled leather to prevent more waste. Plus, I love them because they are clear and easy to find things inside, and easy to take through TSA!
This is an excellent brand for a bamboo, sustainable toothbrush. They are conscious of their impact and only harvest less than 1% of what’s growing in the Chinese bamboo mountain range.
Also, they don’t create their brushes with the bamboo species that pandas like to eat, so all is good there. I also love that their packaging is a 100% paper box that is fully compostable. This is a great gift for a sustainably conscious traveler!
Travel Tubes for Liquids
If you have liquid shampoo, soap, conditioners, and lotions at home, it’s always nice to be able to bring them with you on the road.
This will allow you to not dirty the planet with single-use plastic travel-sized toiletries! Go-Toob is my favorite brand, as it should last forever, but if need be, the top is recyclable, and the silicone is biodegradable when burned.
Plus, the company that creates Go-Toobs, Human Gear, takes sustainability literally. They focus on the impacts of manufacturing and distribution and try to reduce their carbon footprint, and make products that help fight climate change.
Reusable Makeup Remover Pads
These are an excellent option for travel because they can be reused and washed after you take your makeup off. This reduces the waste of single-use makeup wipes, and are easily packable!
Honestly, disposable makeup wipes are for lazy travelers (I’ve been there), but they are so bad for the environment. They are made from a terrible combo of non-biodegradable polyesters, rayon fibers, and polypropylene which can take years to disintegrate in a landfill.
These reusable makeup wipes will wipe away your makeup with water, cleanser, or toner, and they can be used tons of times just clean as you use them!
Plastic Free Sanitary Products
As a female traveler, you can go through many tampons and pads in your life which can be a nightmare for the environment.
I love using my Saalt cup because it can be used for up to 20 years and is also reusable! They also have period underwear similar to the famous Thinx period pants that are great for the environment!
There are quite a few sustainable brands great for purchasing travel clothes from! It’s great knowing that your travel clothes (especially if traveling long-term) are lasting and of high quality.
The good news is these brands are not only eco-friendly, but they make great quality products that can be used for years.
You can’t go wrong with a gift card to any of these spots or travel leggings, jackets, or base layers! I also recommend shopping at sustainable brands like PrAna, United By Blue, Patagonia, Waterlust, and Toad & Co.
Give the gift of a donation! Friends of the Earth is dedicated to defending the environment through activist efforts. Greenpeace works to halt environmental destruction and also helps to promote sustainable solutions. They rely solely on donations.
Sustainable Travel Kit
Still unsure on what to get your sustainably focused travel friend? Check out these great Travel Kits from Sustainable Travel and Living.
You can search by their different adventure type to get them the perfect sustainable gift already packaged up for you!
I hope these sustainable gift ideas for travelers have helped you determine more eco-friendly gifts and stocking stuffers for the travelers in your life. If you know of more great sustainable gift ideas, please let me know in the comments!
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