The 9 best environmentally-friendly travel products you need to know about

Recently updated on May 20th, 2023 at 07:59 am

Looking to make your travels more environmentally friendly this year? We’ve got you covered! You might already have some classic eco-friendly travel products like reusable water bottles and tote bags, but we’re here to help you level up. From backpacks and packing cubes to reef-safe sunscreen, here are 9 of the best environmentally-friendly travel products that will help reduce your carbon footprint and make your travels a breeze.  

1. Collapsible water bottle

A reusable water bottle is one of the most essential environmentally-friendly travel products, but it can get a little tiring lugging around a giant metal bottle (we’re looking at your Frank Green). Valourgo has a collapsible water bottle that not only cuts back on single-use plastic bottles but also cuts back on space. It folds up so you can slip it into your bag or any small space when you’re not using it. The bottle is also BPA-free silicone which means it’s lightweight and there’s a leakproof valve. And if you hate trying to manoeuvre your bottle under the tap in small sinks, you won’t have that problem with this flexible bottle!

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2. Water filter bottle

If you’re travelling to a destination where tap water isn’t safe to drink or you’re going camping or to remote destinations, you might want to invest in a water filter bottle. With these nifty gadgets, you’ll have a portable water purification system so you don’t have to buy plastic bottled water. LifeStraw is one of the best water filter bottles around. It removes 999.9999% of waterborne bacteria, parasites, microplastics, dirt, chemicals, viruses, bad taste and other nasties. It’s also BPA-free and remarkably durable with no shelf life. 

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3. Backpacks and bags

If you’re going to splash out on quality luggage, you want it to last a long time. Luckily, the most eco-friendly bags out there also have exceptional durability. One of the best brands is Osprey. All bags are vegan and some are made from recycled materials, like the 100% recycled Archeon backpack that is also PFC-free. Osprey is known for their incredible quality and repairing rather than replacing bags under their ‘All Mighty Guarantee’.  

Paravel is another great sustainable luggage brand. It was one of the first 100% sustainable travel brands and was Climate Neutral Certified in July 2021. Their bags are made with upcycled water bottles and recycled vegan leather. They’re also carbon-neutral as Paravel offsets the CO2 emissions from the manufacturing, delivery and customer’s first trip generated from the bags. 

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4. Packing cubes

It’s one thing to buy high-quality, eco-friendly luggage. It’s another thing to pack it well! Travel packing cubes offer an easy and convenient way to organize and pack your bags and countless travelers swear by this travel hack. There are dozens of options for packing cubes out there, but Cotopaxi is a Climate Neutral Certified company making their packing cubes (and other bags) from repurposed and recycled materials. Their Cubos Travel Cubes are made from 100% remnant materials and are available in three different sizes to make packing a breeze – and good for the environment.

5. Reusable quart-sized bag

The Ziploc plastic bag is an icon of airport travel (we’ve all tried to stuff our Ziplocs to the brim with our 100ml bottles of liquids). But it’s time to leave these harmful single-use plastics behind. Instead, go for one of our top environmentally-friendly travel products – a reusable quart-size bag made from sturdy material that won’t bust open or cause leaks. The Stasher Quart Bag is made from BPA-free, food-grade silicone and is even dishwasher and microwave-safe so you can easily clean them between uses or use it for food storage when you’re not travelling.

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6. Eco-friendly toiletries

One of the best eco-friendly travel product swaps you can make is with your toiletries. Instead of bringing plastic bottles of toiletries that will only go into landfill, make the switch to greener alternatives like shampoo and deodorant bars and toothpaste tabs. Besides being friendly to the environment, solid toiletries also mean you bypass that annoying liquid restriction at the airport.

Plenty of brands sell excellent eco-friendly toiletries, like By Human Kind. They sell their travel products in bundles and they’re all vegan, cruelty-free, and 100% carbon neutral. Win-win!

7. Reef-safe sunscreen

Sunscreen is an essential travel item, but not all sunscreens are created equally. Some contain oxybenzone, a chemical that damages coral reefs and marine life. Travelers are now encouraged to use mineral sunscreens made from zinc oxide or titanium oxide. Some destinations, like Hawaii, have even banned all sunscreens with oxybenzone. 

There are tons of big brands now creating mineral, reef-safe sunscreens like Ultra Violette and Neutrogena. Another great brand is Green People, as they work with the Marine Conservation Society to raise awareness of the harmful impacts of chemical sunscreens on coral and marine life. The Green People sunscreen also has organic ingredients and comes in recyclable packaging. 

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8. Reusable cup

Whether you’re a coffee or tea drinker, you’ve got to invest in a KeepCup for your daily life and your travels. Millions of takeaway coffee cups go straight to landfill every year and you can help reduce this number by using a reusable coffee cup. KeepCups are also made from sustainably sourced materials and they come in a range of colours and sizes… Just another great reason to get one for yourself before your next trip.

9. E-reader

We know there’s nothing like the feel and smell of a paper book. But trust us when we say that e-readers are a great eco-friendly alternative! Whether you choose a Kindle or Kobo, you can store hundreds of books on these things and you won’t have to lug around a bunch of heavy books on your travels. From airport delays to long train journeys, they offer endless entertainment. 

The same goes for travel guides, maps and language books. You can download any guide, map, or language learning app straight to your smartphone, and avoid all that paper waste. You can also download maps onto your phone before your trip so you can access them even when you don’t have internet. 

What are your favorite environmentally-friendly travel products? Let us know in the comments below!

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