Eco Friendly Gifts Ideas for Eco-Conscious Travelers

As travelers, we love exploring our beautiful planet. With that comes the responsibility to try our best with reducing any negative effects that we may have with our actions. Travelers are becoming increasingly more eco conscious on the products that they are using – following the path of an eco-conscious traveler.

The good news is that there are so many products designed with eco-conscious travelers in mind. More and more companies are designing wonderful environmentally friendly travel items and accessories to help eco-conscious travelers reduce their footprint while traveling the world.

Whether it’s a Christmas gift, birthday gift, wedding gift or farewell gift – we’ll help you find the perfect eco-friendly gift for the eco-conscious traveler in your life!

Here is the Travel Dude’s teams favorite eco-friendly gift ideas for eco-conscious travelers!

Eco Friendly Gifts for all Travelers

From recycled gifts to sustainable and ethical gifts – below is a list of great unique travel gifts for all eco-conscious travelers. Including travel gifts for men and travel gifts for women.

Eco-friendly toiletries

Buying travel-size toiletries is so unnecessary! Some alternative toiletries to buy include:

Eco-friendly gift ideas for eco-conscious travelers
Bamboo toothbrushes

 

Scrubba wash bag

Backpackers or any traveler that is looking to pack light will often wash their clothes while traveling. The Scrubba Wash Bag is a useful item for doing laundry on the go as it allows you to wash your clothes pretty much wherever you can find water. Saving you on excess water use when doing laundry the traditional way as well as expensive laundry costs in hotels.

Collapsible coffee mug and water bottle

Coffee lovers will love getting a collapsible coffee mug. Because it’s collapsible, it doesn’t take up much room when it’s not in use – making it great for traveling! The same with a collapsible water bottle.

We love the Stojo collapsible coffee mugs and the CHICMODA collapsible/foldable water bottle. For eco-conscious travelers who frequently travel in areas with unsafe drinking water, bottles with a purification (not just filtration) system may be a better gift option. Two popular options are Grayl and LifeStraw.

Reusable straws

While more and more restaurants and bars are ditching plastic straws thanks to the worldwide #NoMoreStraws movement, it’s still a good idea to keep your own reusable straws with you while traveling. They’re great to whip out while sipping your Pina Coladas on the beach or for families traveling with kids.

Check out this 12-pack of Bamboo straws (handmade in Bali and comes with a cleaner and pouch bag), or these handy collapsible reusable straws (they also come with a cleaning brush).

Multipurpose travel towel

Fast-drying towels are a lifesaver when traveling. A quick-drying, antimicrobial towel made of eco-friendly fibers like the Trespass bamboo towel is an all-in-one option. This isn’t only convenient while traveling as it folds up really small, but it also means less washing which is better for the planet.

Reusable food containers and cutlery

In countries with a strong street food culture, it is almost impossible to not have to use one-time use takeaway bags and containers. That’s if you don’t have your own reusable containers to rather use, of course. The collapsible silicone food containers from reuseit are great. We also love the silicone reusable food bags from Stasher – these are great for packing snacks for a hike or long bus ride.

Takeaway containers often also come with plastic cutlery – which are both pretty useless and usually don’t get recycled properly. Get your travel buddies a set of reusable cutlery to carry with them on their travels. The Light My Fire Spork is a great option, along with this bamboo cutlery set that rolls up into a neat pouch (it even includes a pair of chopsticks!)!

Eco-friendly gift ideas for travelers
Reusable food containers and cutlery

Solar charger

Finding a way to keep your gear charged can be a hassle for travelers on the road – particularly during long bus/train rides or when hiking off the grid. The Anker PowerPort Solar harnesses the energy from the sun to allow you to charge your gear. Other solar charger options are from Instapark or Goal Zero.

This is a great environmentally friendly gift for active travelers spending a lot of time in the outdoors. A solar charger really is a gift that keeps on giving!

Sustainable backpacks

Whether for staycations, day trips while traveling, backpacking treks, or to use as carry-on only luggage, finding a well-made and versatile backpack is important for many travelers. Cotopaxi is one of the best companies out there that makes well-made backpacks and gives back with their poverty alleviation project.

Ethnotek is another great company focusing on keeping culture alive by creating high quality laptop and travel bags that feature ethically sourced handmade textiles. Buying one of their bags sustains employment for the art of hand printing, weaving and embroidery with their partnering artisan villages in Ghana, Guatemala, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Read our post on the top functional and stylish daypacks for more inspiration.

Headphones

If there’s one thing that all travelers need, it’s a pair of good headphones. Long flights, bus rides and train trips are made so much better with your own jams playing in your ears. The House of Marley headphones are made from recycled plastics, metals, and bamboo – it’s the perfect sustainable gift.

Eco Friendly Travel Gifts for Women

Looking for the best travel gifts for her? Make sure they’re also eco-friendly!

Menstrual cup

With this reusable menstrual cup, ladies can have an environmentally friendly period. They also make having your period while traveling so much easier! Ladies – get one of these for yourself as well as your female travel buddies! While it may take a while to get used to, once you get the hang of it you won’t look back. Did you know that using a menstrual cup for one year can save the waste of over 200 disposable period products?!

There are loads of different menstrual cups on the market – search through the options here. Or, save time and check out the most popular ones, including the RubyCup, Lunette or DivaCup. For every RubyCup sold they donate a menstrual cup to someone without access to safe period products.

Reusable makeup wipes

Disposable makeup wipes are a nightmare for the environment! They aren’t biodegradable and are also filled with nasty chemicals. These bamboo organic reusable makeup remover pads are a great alternative – plus, they come with non-latex makeup sponges.

And if your traveling bestie can’t go without wipes, then these face and body wipes are a great ethical gift. The Ode to Clean wipes are fragrance, allergen, and toxin-free and they’re entirely plant-based, biodegradable, and wind-power manufactured.

 

Causes and experiences

Gift giving doesn’t always have to be physical products. Another great gift idea for eco-conscious travelers is the gift of experiences or donations to specific causes. Donate to an environmental cause that your friend cares about – it could be a conservation project, wildlife protection or environmental education and research.

Alternatively, book an eco-conscious trip or experience wherever their next trip is going to be. G Adventures has a strong focus on responsible travel with many great eco-conscious trips around the world. Read more about their initiatives here.

Intrepid Travel is another tour operator with a strong responsible travel policy – they offer many trips around the world. Gift card options are available for both G Adventures and Intrepid Travel.

We also love the idea behind the Tinggly gift box! It allows the receiver to choose between a massive list of the most awesome travel experiences around the world. From skydiving in Singapore to a horseback riding adventure in Puerto Rico!

Gift Cards

Another great idea is to give gift cards for online services that will make your eco-conscious traveler buddy enjoy their travels more. Give an Amazon gift card, a Kindle gift card, an Audible subscription or a Spotify gift card.

travel

10 travel gifts for eco-friendly travelers

 

Such is the current reusable and recycling revolution, that at home, most of us wouldn’t dream of buying single-use plastic water bottles and throwaway coffee cups or using plastic straws on nights out. Right? However, while we might be a bunch of enlightened, environmentally-conscious, and all-around excellent human beings in our day-to-day life (and our nightlife), those good intentions can often go out of the window when we travel abroad.

Which is bizarre, when you consider that many of the places we visit need our help to reduce non-recyclables the most.

It’s time to start traveling the same way we live at home – mindful of waste, and plastic-free. Be kind to the planet and your travel-loving friends and family with these super green gifts…

1. Stojo Collapsible Coffee Cup

Coffee to go? I should Stojo!

Stojo’s collapsible coffee cups not only fit in your pocket, come with a reusable straw and can be bought in a variety of gorgeous shades, but they’re also made from recyclable material.

2. Rareform bags and tags

And top of the Billboard Hot 100 goes to…

Rareform! Rareform take billboard vinyl destined for the garbage and turn them into hard-wearing backpacks, passport holders, luggage tags, laptop sleeves and more.
Because each billboard is unique in its design, color and typography, so is each bag. As a company, they re-purpose 20,000 lbs. of billboard vinyl a month into their one-off products.

3. Toilet Twinning

Show someone that you give a crap!

Help to flush away poverty. 2.3 billion people around the world don’t have somewhere safe and hygienic to go to the loo. This incentive allows you to twin your toilet, or twin another person’s toilet as a gift, with a toilet in a developing country. The money then goes to help a family build a basic toilet, access clean water and learn about hygiene – a vital combination that can save lives.
The recipient of your gift will receive a framed certificate, complete with a colour photo and GPS coordinates of their twin location. Excellent reading while on the ‘throne’.

4. Vagabands ID bracelet

Safe, eco and good-looking? We’re with the band.

These award-winning bands are one of our favourite travel gifts. Not only do they help to keep you safe (just snap open to reveal all the important safety, medical and practical information that you want to keep to hand on the road), but they also look fab and are a really lovely memento of your adventure.
As well as being virtually indestructible and potentially life-saving, they’re also environmentally-conscious. Aiming to be carbon negative by 2020, the bands are 100% recyclable and hand-made in London.

5. Pela eco-friendly phone case

Hello. Ocean here, you called?

Yep, and we’d like to share this: Around one billion new phones are bought each year. Which means that one billion phone cases (or more if you upgrade your look every year) end up in landfill or in the ocean.
Sure, you could probably live without a protective case while traveling. (Who are you, and why are you not accidentally dropping your phone off a. bunkbeds, b. out of moving vehicles, c. all occasions involving happy hours?).
But the likelihood is, that you’ll need the protective services of a phone case even more while you’re away. Pela eco cases are not only beautifully-designed with limited edition prints, colours and graphics, but more importantly, they are 100% compostable, plus have a heap of other clever science credentials like being free from lead, cadmium, BPA and phthalates.

6. 4Ocean bracelet

Trash talk! Buy someone a bracelet to pull a pound of plastic.

In the jewelery world, diamonds may be forever, but in the real world, so is plastic. A plastic bottle can take thousands of years to decompose.
4Ocean bracelets make the perfect gift for travel lovers. Supporting a different cause each month with limited-edition themes and designs, they not only look amazing and are a great talking point, but they also do good. Every time you buy a 4Ocean bracelet, a pound of trash is pulled from our oceans and coastlines. Plus, the beads are made from recycled glass and the cord is made from recycled plastic bottles.

7. House of Marley headphones or speakers

Sounds like a good idea to us.

A soundtrack to your travels is an essential. Plus, people snoring in dorm rooms, on planes, trains, buses… in fact, any situation in life, is just annoying. Therefore, a good pair of headphones are a must-have on the road. But what if they could also have an environmental impact as well?
There are a few brands out there using recycled materials to make their headphones, but one of our favorites is House of Marley. As well as looking fresh and sounding great, they’re also made from mindfully sourced materials. The full list of materials they use to do good is genuinely too long to publish, but includes CNC milled-bamboo, recycled REWIND™ fabric and reclaimed and upcycled REGRIND™ Silicone.

8. Allbirds sneakers

… And hipster points to spare.

Recognize these? Made from organic cotton and even recycled plastic bottles, 2019’s most-Instagrammed sneakers are perfect for urbanites and outdoorsy types, they’re paving the way for trainer lovers worldwide to start thinking deeper about where their kicks are sourced, one step at a time. Better yet, until they reach their goal of zero emissions, they are taxing themselves for the carbon they emit & investing in offsets to fund projects that neutralize their footprint. Hell ya.

9. Dopper insulated bottle

Be cool. Travel how you live.

We get it, the first piece of health advice you get when you travel is, don’t drink the water!
Of course, be safe and drink bottled water where you need to. But so many hostels now provide drinking water where you can refill your bottle, and lots of treks and national parks have actually banned single-use plastic on their trails.

Every refillable water bottle helps the environment, but we just love Dopper for their eco-ethos, pastel colours and the fact that the top screws off to form a handy wine glass. The insulated versions also keep liquid hot for 9 hours or cold for 24 hours. (Presumably, the same can be said for keeping white wine cold, too?).

TIP. Download the Refill app to top up your bottle with free drinking water on the go. Plus, Refill have worked with many US airports to add liquid drains at security, so that you can empty your bottle before going through and then fill it up at the other side for your flight!

10. Speakeasy Travel Supply Passport Scarf

Scarves that are crafted using fabrics from developing countries. 

Yep, the unicorn of the travel clothing world… it shouldn’t exist, but it does. These infinity scarves have a hidden pocket to safely stash valuables (like a credit card, cash, or a passport), are made from soft locally sourced fabric from developing countries.
Mind. Fully. Blown.
As well as being perfect for treks and being out and about when you don’t feel safe carrying a wallet, because of their circular shape, they’re also perfect for countries and religious sites where women need to cover up their hair.

When we’re not out exploring the world, lusting after ethically made travel accessories and, we try to be as kind to the planet in other ways too. If you want to find out how, click here.