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.