This list is for the wanderlusting, Instagram-influencing, culture-experiencing travellers out there who just need a good purse.
Flying is looked down upon in Sweden as much as plastic bags are in the UK.
Seriously, if you tell someone you plan on taking a plane for a journey that can definitely be done on the ground, like going from Stockholm to Oslo, you’ll probably experience some flygskam — that’s a now-popular Swedish word that loosely translates to “flight shame.”
Air travel is responsible for about 2.5% of global carbon dioxide emissions and the United Nations expects this to triple by 2050.
Why are carbon dioxide emissions increasing?
Well, if you ask Joaquin Phoenix he might mention a slight addiction that some of his peers in Hollywood seem to have to taking private jets everywhere. Those quick flights to and from Palm Springs definitely account for some emissions.
Alexandre de Juniac, CEO of the International Air Transport Association, spoke in December 2019 at Global Media Days and said that “flying is freedom.” This is certainly true, otherwise so many people wouldn’t be choosing to travel as often as they can. However, as Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “with freedom comes responsibility.”
How can you offset your carbon footprint?
You can pack lighter so that planes don’t have to burn as much fuel or, if you’re extra brave, you can fly with airlines that fit more people on their planes (which essentially decreases the amount of planes being used but also the level of comfort).
Airlines are also trying to do their part. Lufthansa has partnered with myclimate.org to give customers the option to calculate how much carbon dioxide their trip is releasing. With that calculation, you’re given a monetary amount you can donate that can “offset” the damage by contributing to climate protection projects. JetBlue has agreed to participate in something similar to this, calculating and compensating for its own flights. France may even be introducing an “eco-tax” on flights that depart from any French airport. The money that is gained will then be invested in more eco-friendly transportation, such as trains.
You don’t have to vow to never get on an airplane again in order to make your contribution. But you can make sure that whatever you pack is helping the planet instead of hurting it.
These are the best eco-friendly products that you should take with you on your next trip.
Adds minerals to water • Plastic-free
Pricey • Weighs more than the typical reusable bottle • Doesn’t remove bacteria or other pathogens
The extra weight of the glass is worth it, since you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re not creating plastic waste.
pH Hydrate Alkaline Water BottleThis glass bottle stands out from the rest by not only taking out the bad but also putting in some good.
Single-use plastic bottles
While all reusable bottles are obviously eco-friendly, this is the be-all and end-all. Not only is it plastic-free, but this pH Hydrate does exactly what its name suggests. It includes an alkaline water filter that removes heavy metals, chlorine, and fluoride but also increases pH and adds minerals including zinc, magnesium, selenium, and iron to your water. However, it makes no claims about removing bacteria or other pathogens, so this is more of a supplementary bottle.
Just keep in mind, since the bottle is glass, it weighs about 0.77 kilograms, which is definitely a good amount more than the average water bottle.
Made from recycled plastic water bottles • Each bag saves at least 27 plastic bottles • New ball wheels
American Tourister has succeeded in creating a conscientious product that you can be proud to pull through the airport.
American Tourister Eco WandererBuilt using recycled materials, this is a worthy investment if it’s time to upgrade your luggage.
Plastic luggage, unfriendly materials
Looking at its products, you would never guess that the inner and outer fabric of this collection is made from recycled plastic bottles. Each bag saves at least 27 plastic bottles (depending on its size), but this doesn’t mean that practicality suffers.
This bag is crafted to be durable, flexible, and sustainable. It also features new ball wheels to make your trip even more comfortable.
Made from degradable polyester • Lightweight • Easy to use • Very cheap per bag
These bags are useful at home and when you’re travelling.
Hirundo Reusable Snack BagsThese reusable and durable bags will make eco-friendly snacking a whole lot easier.
Single-use Ziplock bags, disposable snack bags
Snack bags come in handy when you want the ability to bring your own fruit or nuts instead of buying them. However, these bags can waste a lot of space and plastic if you choose to pack a different bag for each food item.
These Hirundo bags have a breathable mesh design that’s more eco-friendly than normal plastic bags. The bags are made of degradable polyester, and can be washed and reused as many times as you want.
Natural ingredients • Comes with a reusable tin case
These are worth the purchase even without the eco-friendly benefits.
This Body & Earth shampoo bar retains hair moisture, and keeps your hair soft and shiny. Each bar is made from natural ingredients and can be used up to 50 times, reducing the need for plastic bottles.
The only downside to using these when you’re travelling may be the messy storage situation. This bar does come with a reusable tin case though, so that should keep things a little tidier.
BPA free • Lifetime guarantee • Easy to clean with a 25% larger opening than original Gotoob
With a lifetime guarantee and hundreds of great reviews, this is a no-brainer.
You may be wondering what exactly the big deal is and why we keep raving when something is BPA-free. Now’s the perfect time to really break it down since this product comes from HumanGear, which is all about reusable products. From bowls to silverware, they aim to get rid of plastic in every way possible. When plastic breaks down, it turns into tiny microplastics that can harm wildlife when ingested. In addition, these tiny evil bits contain toxins like Bisphenol A, or BPA.
Besides helping the Earth be free of those kind of toxins, our bodies will also be at a lower risk of certain issues that BPA has been linked to, such as fertility problems, male impotence, and heart disease.
Lightweight • Doesn’t take up space • Saves water and energy
Adds the responsibility of bringing detergent
Great for those adventurous trips where you end up far away from any hotel cleaning service.
Scrubba Wash BagThink of this as a modern day portable washboard that’ll save water and energy.
Chemical-laden dry cleaning, washers that require electricity
If you’re the latter, the Scrubba Wash Bag may be exactly what you’ve been waiting for. Fill the bag with your dirty travel clothes, pour in water and detergent, get rid of any excess air through the valve, and start scrubbing away. Scrubbing for just 30 seconds is considered a “quick traveller wash” while a three-minute scrub will give you a machine quality wash.
You may consider this method even if you don’t plan on finding yourself too far from civilisation considering the cost of hotel laundry services. Plus, besides the personal benefits it brings you, it helps save water and energy.
Reef friendly • Range of SPF levels
Only water resistant for up to 80 minutes
Priced like any other sunscreen, this is a great way to be a bit kinder to the oceans.
Sun Bum Reef Friendly SunscreenThink twice about your sunscreen and opt for this reef-friendly option that won’t contribute to coral bleaching.
Sunscreen that damages coral reefs
We don’t blame you for spraying your sunscreen and jumping in the water. After all, with skin cancer being so prevalent, you’re just trying to care for your skin. But while your skin is being protected, marine life is being harmed. As some top-brand sunscreens wash off our bodies into the water, it isn’t just disappearing. It is seeping into any nearby coral reefs and hastening bleaching and deterioration.
That’s why Sun Bum has come out with this “reef friendly” sunscreen that took out the bad and kept the good. Not only will it keep the corals thriving, but this oil-free formula will keep your skin safe from harmful rays.
100% deet-free • Up to six hours of protection • Moisturising and kind to the skin
Some reviewers claim that the scent of the oil attracts other insects
With over 100 reviews and an average of 4.3 stars, this product is definitely worth a shot.
Deet is an insect and tick repellent found in most bug sprays. While it is successful in the prevention of bites, it also has the power to contaminate water and kill fish and beneficial insects.
THEYE has completely nixed this problem ingredient from its formula. Instead, its spray is 100% plant-based and leaves you feeling cool and smelling fresh. This also gets rid of that gross greasy feeling that comes from most other sprays.
Recycled packaging • Charcoal infused bristles
With essentially no difference between this and the plastic toothbrush you would normally reach for, there’s no reason not to make the switch.
You’ll stop at the airport shop and grab a pack of those plastic toothbrushes that you’ll toss as you go. Stop right there.Order a pack of eco and vegan friendly charcoal toothbrushes instead.
These brushes get the job done but won’t fill up landfills with sticks of plastic. Instead, these are 100% biodegradable — yes, even the box that they come in — and will stop you from leaving behind any bad marks on whichever beautiful new place you decided to visit.
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