Do you know someone who loves to travel but hates the impact on the planet that they leave behind? There are so many fantastic eco-friendly gift ideas for travellers and, unlike many gifts, they will actually come to good use. Reducing waste, especially plastic waste, has become essential for the health of our planet. Unfortunately, most of the gifts we buy our loved ones are prime offenders when it comes to using non-recyclable materials.
In order to minimise our impact on the environment, we should be mindful when buying presents for people. There are so many incredible sustainable gifts on the market that will both be loved by the recipient and better for the environment. I have put together a list of my top sustainable travel gift ideas below. Take a look and ensure that the next gift you buy is one that won’t negatively impact the planet. With everything from zero waste alternatives, responsible travel gadgets and stylishly sustainable accessories – you are sure to find something special for the eco-traveller in your life.
Zero Waste Swaps:
A reusable water bottle is the classic zero waste swap. It seems to be one of the easiest swaps out there given that they are actually so much better than single-use plastic bottles, for both the environment and for drinking out of. This reusable bottle from Hydro Flask is my top pick out of the hundreds available on the market. It makes the perfect to keep any eco-traveller hydrated.
At 32 oz, this zero waste water bottle is large enough to keep you hydrated for the duration of your eco-adventure, yet it isn’t too large that it is difficult to transport. It is the ideal size for slipping into your backpack and carrying around with ease. While this zero waste water bottle isn’t technically lightweight, at just 15.2 oz, it is by far one of the lighter insulated stainless steel bottles out there. The Hydro Flask water bottle features double-wall vacuum insulation to ensure your drink maintains its optimal temperature. The exterior coating is great for helping your grip so that you can easily take a sip while on the move without fear of dropping it. Available in 11 fun and bright colours to choose from, you should have no trouble finding the style that suits your eco-lovers friend’s taste.
I will never forgive myself if I use another single-use straw ever again. The UK government has estimated that, in England, we use 4.7 billion plastic straws every year, many of which find their way into the ocean. We can minimise this disastrous impact on our planet with the innovative reusable straw. Final Co.’s Final Straw is more than just a straw and makes a great gift for any eco-conscious adventurer.
Unexpected straw-requiring situations seem to pop up all the time, no matter where you are in the world. From random coffee runs and impromptu lunch invites to unwelcome smoothie cravings. Thus, it is not surprising that we manage to get through so many disposable straws. Well, there is no longer any need to worry about harming the planet with your overuse of this common drinking aid. The Final Straw will guarantee that your loved one never has to reach for – and throw away – a plastic straw again. While there are so many reusable straw options to choose from nowadays, the final straw stands out from the crowd thanks to its innovative portability. Complete with a compact carry case, the Final Straw can be neatly folded away into a tiny package so that it can be transported with you wherever you go. The straw also features silicone tips so that you don’t have to suck directly on nasty-tasting stainless steel. And, it even comes with a convenient cleaning brush so that you can give it a wash while on the move. To top it all off and make this purchase even more worthwhile is the added fact that the Final Co. donates 1% of their annual sales to environmental non-profit charities.
A true essential when travelling is a powerful sunscreen. However, most sun cream comes in large, bulky plastic bottles and tubes that take up a lot of space, are heavy and damage the environment. The perfect alternative is this zero waste sunscreen in a tin. Being slightly pricier than normal sun cream, this eco-friendly alternative makes an ideal gift for any eco-sunbather.
This Raw Elements zero waste sunscreen comes in a recyclable or reusable tin so it doesn’t create any plastic waste. On top of this, it is a mineral sunscreen, making it completely reef-safe, GMO-free, cruelty-free and 100% biodegradable. The active ingredient in this sun cream is zinc oxide which has a number of skin benefits. As well as its pros for the planet, another advantage of this sustainable sunscreen is its lack of that sun cream smell. Instead, it has a pleasant, rosemary scent. And, once again, Raw Elements is a company that likes to give back, being a member of 1% for the Planet.
Help your eco-traveller friend harness the power of the sun with this portable solar kit to charge phones and batteries on the move. The Goal Zero Nomad 10 solar panel is incredibly slim and lightweight, making it the perfect charging companion for those who are always on the go.
Around the size of a sheet of paper, this portable solar charger is the ideal size to take full advantage of the suns energy while being compact enough to tote around in your backpack. Super slim, the Nomad 10 solar charger can easily be slipped into the back of your bag and take up minimal space. All you need to do when you’re running low on power is plug in your device and place it in the sun. With an adjustable kickstand that rotates 180 degrees, you can easily find the optimum angle for charging. A slightly pricier gift but definitely worth the cost for those who want to minimise their impact on the environment while travelling.
Given that we can’t seem to go two minutes without our smartphones, an eco-friendly phone case makes the perfect gift. Even when travelling, smartphones are in regular use, whether for taking those holiday snaps, researching places to visit or finding directions.
The Pela case is ‘the world’s first 100% compostable, eco-friendly phone case’. These cases are by far my favourite of all the options I have tried (and let me tell you, there have been many). These biodegradable phone cases are effective in protecting both your phone and the planet! For a sustainable phone case that still does its job of protecting your smartphone – the Pela case is the one. Made from a tough and durable Flaxstic®, a combination of compostable bioplastic elastomer and flax straw, this phone case will prevent scratches and smashes while out adventuring. Flaxstic® has a lower carbon footprint and lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional plastic and can be left to biodegrade once you’re done with it. The material is also incredibly flexible and lightweight so that it doesn’t add any extra weight to your phone. And, once again, to top it all off, Pela a percentage of every sale to Ocean CleanUp & Preservation Initiatives. So, for every case that is sold, there is less plastic in the ocean!
There are a lot of choices when it comes to ethical backpacks, but not all of them are built for real adventures. Stubble & Co’s Adventure Bag is built ethically and to last through anything you throw at it. This is a responsible backpack that you can take anywhere.
This ethical backpack is made from ALMOST 100% recycled plastic. I say almost because Stubble & Co have had to compromise with non-recycled materials where the recycled elements would have inhibited the overall performance of the bag. This being said, most of the bag is made using recycled materials and these parts have been stringently tested to ensure maximum performance. So, speaking of performance, this sustainable backpack is completely weather-proof and is made with both ease and comfort in mind. The interior of the bag is just as functional as the exterior. With plenty of compartments, this sustainable bag makes organised packing easy. The bag features special compartments for shoes, toiletries, your laptop and your water bottle. The perfect size, you can carry all your essentials for a week or more or take it on a flight as hand luggage. The Stubble & Co Adventure Bag is a multi-functional ethical accessory that makes the ideal gift for any eco-wonderer.