Choosing sustainable hotels and transportation are important factors to travel in an environmentally friendly way, however, the choices made when packing have also consequences on the environment. Here are a few essential items to bring along to make sure your travel will leave the smallest carbon foot-print as possible.
Let’s start from the suitcase, an essential companion especially for all those trips that last more than a weekend. The international brand Samsonite has added the Eco-Nu line to include sustainably produced luggage. All fabrics, including the lining, are made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. Sizes include carry-on, 19″, 20″, 25″. Sturdy and yet lightweight, this eco-friendly case has many compartments and can be expanded if needed, while the 360-spinner wheels make it easy to move around.
Not just for hiking, a good backpack is also a must on any trip. It is the best way to carry safely all the items that might be needed along the road or at the destination without encumbering movement and pace. The stylish EcoGear Ocean Recycled PET Backpack is ideal for light packing, but for something larger or more technical the go-to brand is definitely Patagonia with its great range of backpacks specifically designed for gender and sport.
To pack or not to pack? After we have our bags figured out, it’s time to think about what to put in them. Clothes are always a crucial dilemma when preparing for a trip. Apart from keeping in mind travel plans and climate conditions at the destination, one doesn’t want to be caught unprepared by events, for example what if you get invited to a local wedding reception? Or to go sailing with the locals? The best solution to be ready for all occasions and yet travel reasonably light is to put in your suitcase well-made, comfortable garments that can be easily styled according to the function and occasion. Nau’s travel collection offers some great easy-to-wear pieces made with organic and/or recycled fibers, this way nothing will be able to catch you off-guard in terms of fashion!
No matter how you travel, wearing the right pair of shoes definitely makes a difference during any trip, well …. anytime really. Go for a bold style statement while traveling in comfort with the colorful sneakers by Inkkas. Not only are they are crafted respecting the environment by Peruvian artisans, but also for each pair of shoes purchased one tree is planted.
For more technical hiking or mountain shoes look no further than La Sportiva, available at all major hiking gear retailers. Since 1928, these Italian shoemakers have been crafting exceptional quality boots, while respecting the environment of their original location in the Alps. They have now extended this philosophy throughout their supply chain with the eco-sustainable certification ISO 14001.
Carrying full size toiletries bottles is not always the best solution when traveling. On the other hand, the travel size option is not very environmentally friendly and not suitable for trips longer than a handful of days. To stash your favorite eco-friendly shampoo, conditioner or any liquid, creamy concoction, Go Toob offers travel bottles in several colors and sizes. Food-safe (FDA approved), and 100% BPA and PC-free. They are reusable and even have an area to write what’s inside, this way there is no risk of confusing shampoo and lotion or baby food and face mask!
Looking for some cool shades that are ecofriendly and won’t break the bank? Zeal Optics and Blue Planet Eyewear are two brands that manufacture their products using plant derived materials rather than plastic. Zeal Optics specializes in polarized sunglasses designed mainly for the sporty/surfer types. Blue Planet Eyewear offers more trendy shapes, also available for children, and with every purchase they donate a pair of glasses to someone in need through their Visualize Change program.
Wherever you go, a water bottle should always be in your bag, and in this category there really is a plethora of options. LifeStraw bottles stand out because not only are they BPA free and incorporate a water filter that eliminates almost 100% of waterborne bacteria, but for each bottle purchased, LifeStraw provides a child in a developing country safe drinking water for an entire year.
Another item that is always handy to have when traveling is a personal towel. And when it comes to eco-friendly towels, thanks to Nomadix it doesn’t need to be a boring monochromatic business. Their top of the line reversible towels are available in a variety of colorful patterns and prints. They can be used for yoga (they are slip resistant), at the beach or as a picnic blanket. All Nomadix towels are made from 100% recycled materials.
While on the go, the last thing we want is to have our devices run out of battery power, after all sharing our adventures is now an integral part of the experience. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, a solar recharger is just the nifty gadget to bring along. The Anker 21W Dual USB Solar Charger is one of the most popular choices on Amazon. It can charge two devices simultaneously and it is weather resistant. Since weather conditions and battery status might not coincide, get it with a portable power bank that will always be ready to juice up your phone when needed.