If you’re an environmentally conscious traveler, this list is for you. Here are 10 top items all eco-travelers should carry with them.
1. Reef-Safe Sunscreen
If your sunscreen isn’t labeled as “reef-safe,” it could be a factor in coral reefs dying. Most sunscreens contain chemicals that are toxic to coral reefs and destinations such as Hawaii and Key West, Florida, have passed laws stating that all sunscreen sold must be reef-safe by 2021. So, if you want to save the coral reefs (or go swimming in Hawaii or Key West) be on the lookout for reef-safe sunscreen.
2. Refillable Bottles
It’s difficult to resist the free mini-bottles of shampoo, conditioner and soap at your hotel when traveling, but they’re super wasteful. GoToob bottles are made from silicon, are reusable and food safe, and approved as airplane carry-ons. They are also 100 percent BPA-free.
3. Bamboo Toothbrush, Straws and Utensils
Bamboo is highly sustainable, grows fast without fertilizers, grows back from its own roots (it doesn’t need to be replanted) and is biodegradable! Only 6 percent of all plastic can be recycled in the United States, and on top of that, most plastic utensils contain BPA, which is bad for your health and has been linked to cancer. Bamboo is also heat resist and lightweight—making it the perfect travel accessory for an environmentally conscious traveler.
4. DEET-Free Insect Repellent
Although extremely effective at repelling mosquitos, there is a huge debate over how safe DEET is for both people and the environment. Bugs Be Gone by Green Goo and Mosi-Guard Natural Insect Repellant are insect repellents that are DEET-free alternatives. Just remember that natural insect repellents usually work only on the exact areas where they’re applied, so make sure to apply thoroughly.
5. Scrubba Laundry Wash Bag
These eco-friendly wash bags require zero electricity and use much less water than a full load of laundry. Many hotels charge per item for laundry, which can end up costing you more than it did to buy them. Scrubba Wash Bags are fully enclosed and have inner washboards that make washing clothes fast and effective. Did we mention they’re collapsible and only weigh about five ounces?
6. Reusable Makeup Remover Pads
If you wear makeup, you know how many cotton balls and makeup remover pads you use—a lot. Bambaw makes reusable, washable makeup remover pads out of bamboo fibers that feel just like regular cotton pads, and they aren’t as abrasive as a regular washcloth. They include four scrub pads, 12 soft makeup pads and even a washbag.
7. Reusable Water Bottle, Tumbler, Thermos
As convenient as single-use plastic water bottles are, they’re not sustainable. HydroFlask makes an entire line of reusable water bottles, insulated tumblers, coffee thermoses, and beer and wine tumblers. All its products are made with TempShield, its double-wall, vacuum-insulated technology that guards your drinks’ temperature, and pro-grade stainless steel (which is known for its strength and purity). The TempShield keeps drinks icy cold up to 24 hours or steaming hot up to six hours.
8. Biodegradable Dental Floss
Dental floss is usually made of plastic and coated with PFCs, which are harmful chemicals that make the floss glide easier. What’s even worse is that PFC’s have been linked to cancer, dementia and thyroid disease. But don’t fret—TreeBird makes a biodegradable, silk dental floss and a refillable glass holder. Its dental floss is not only biodegradable, but also naturally waxed with Candelilla Wax, so you don’t have to worry about those harmful PFC’s.
9. Organic Q-Tips
Organyc Skincare makes organic cotton swabs that are certified organic, biodegradable and compostable, and have a recycled cardboard stem. The swabs and packaging are made with renewable and sustainable raw materials. On top of being environmentally friendly, these swabs are sturdier and better quality than typical cotton swabs.
10. Sustainable Sunglasses
Stylish sunglasses that are also sustainable are all the rage. Sunglasses made of cork, reclaimed wood and bamboo are popping up all over the place and are better for the environment than traditional plastic sunglasses. So, you can travel sustainably and look great.