Courtesy of LunchSkins
Courtesy of Welly
Welly’s reusable water bottle is an eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastic bottles.
Shrink your carbon footprint while traveling with these recycled, reusable, or compostable products.
Being sustainability-minded while traveling isn’t always easy, but a little foresight can help travelers make a difference no matter where they are. Environmentally-conscious products like these eight pieces of gear enable us to take ecofriendly action before we even venture out on our next trips.
LunchSkins bags redefine the way you sustainably pack your midflight snacks. Made from natural wood pulp that has been ground and pressed to form a naturally grease-resistant barrier, the 100 percent recyclable bags are plastic- and BPA-free and devoid of toxic chemicals and waxes. They’re resealable, too, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally dislodging your peanut butter sandwich as you scramble through airport security lines.
Buy Now: $5, amazon.com
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A post shared by Koffie Straw (@koffiestraw) on Apr 1, 2016 at 4:29am PDT
In recent years, single-use plastic bans have been enforced by a growing number of hotel companies, major airlines, and even entire governments. Ecoconscious travelers can take reducing plastic usage into their own hands by opting for the FDA-approved KoffieStraws. The silicone straws are reusable, washable, and safe under high temperatures (unlike plastic, which can leach toxins into your beverage). Their flat design makes them slide easily into to-go cups, and they’re malleable enough to tuck into a purse or carry-on. Silicone ash is biodegradable and compostable, too, so if you need to dispose of them, the company encourages users to burn the straws instead of throwing them away.
Buy Now: $11, koffiestraw.com
Made of Cordura fabric, Matador’s reusable travel bottles are five times lighter and nearly four times more compact than their silicone counterparts because the container size adapts to content volume. TSA-approved and waterproof, the bottles can be filled with liquid soap, gels, shampoo, toothpaste, and more. The soap bar case is easy to use, TSA approved, and leakproof: The material allows a damp bar to dry without spilling soapy liquid in your suitcase. Plus, it’s long-lasting, so you can use it again and again.
Buy Now: $13, matadorup.com
Bamboo brushes benefit human health as well as the environment: The Mao Bamboo Toothbrush (four pack) from Mother’s Vault is a natural alternative to the carcinogenic plastic-handled brushes that dominate the industry and ultimately end up polluting oceans or in landfills. The handle of the toothbrush is made entirely of bamboo and the bristles are BPA-free nylon. If you pull out the bristles after use, the handle can be recycled or composted. Mother’s Vault is deeply committed to the environment—all the company’s packaging and materials are compostable, and a portion of every sale is donated to EarthJustice, a nonprofit environmental law organization.
Buy Now: $11, amazon.com
Nomadix towels are made from postconsumer recycled plastic bottles. These fast-drying, stylish travel towels are a multi-purpose solution to any traveler’s towel needs—shower, beach, yoga, camping. Plus, purchases help fund the brand’s beach cleanup initiative, Bare Coast, which organizes coastal community groups to comb shorelines collecting plastic waste.
Buy Now: $39.95, nomadix.com
Reusable, heavy-duty Florious Packing Cubes are made from recycled water bottles. Available in packs of three, they help keep your luggage organized and can also be used in the place of plastic bags to conveniently separate dirty clothes from other items in your suitcase. Their most practical feature? A mesh top allows you to see what’s in each cube during quick repack sessions.
Buy Now: $25, amazon.com
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"Because he’s the cutest turtle ever, here’s another shot of the new case!" - @jessicaerelyea My heart is melting!!! Cutest shot ever!! . . . . . #minttobe #turtle #pelacase #believeinbetter #turtlesofinstagram
A post shared by Pela Case (@pelacase) on Aug 30, 2018 at 4:00am PDT
Last year, approximately 1.5 billion smartphones were sold around the world. That means an alarming number of plastic phone cases exist, too—and eventually end up in landfills. Pela designers have a solution to this problem: the world’s first 100 percent compostable phone case. When you no longer need it, the Pela Case will biodegrade in an industrial compost facility or even a backyard composter (but conveniently, not in your pocket or purse). Free of nasty compounds found in plastics, the cases are made of Flaxstic, a mix of flax straw materials and a compostable substance called bioplastic elastomer. Pela also donates to environmental initiatives after each phone case sale.
Buy Now: $40, pelacase.com
Globally, 1 million plastic bottles are bought each minute, and approximately less than half are recycled. Ecominded companies have rallied to create reusable alternatives, like the Welly Insulated Bamboo Bottle. The company produces bottles from premium food-grade stainless steel and sustainably-harvested bamboo, with BPA-free plastic and silicone under the cap. The company also donates thousands of dollars annually to building clean-water wells in undeveloped countries through the nonprofit charity: water.
Buy Now: $35, amazon.com
Products we write about are independently vetted and recommended by our editors. We may earn a commission if you buy through our links.
This article originally appeared online in September 2018; it was updated on October 21, 2019, to include current information.
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