Many travelers aim to “leave no trace” as much as possible. Eco friendly travel products can help travelers enjoy their journey without having to worry about the damage they are doing to the planet.
We all know that plastics are harmful to the environment, and many ways of traveling are not eco friendly- think car and airplane fumes.
No one wants to destroy the planet. Sometimes travel products are simply more practical or cheaper if they are made from plastics. Trust me, as budget travelers, we get it! However, we should all aim to be more environmentally friendly not only during our travels but in our everyday lives as well!
This does not mean we should stop traveling and enjoying our lives altogether. Instead, we need to prioritize using products that are recyclable and take up the least carbon footprint possible.
I previously created a list of essential travel items, though not many of these are eco friendly. This list will aim to replace some of these products with new and eco friendly travel products!
Some might be a tad more expensive than the dollar store brand, but at least you can feel good about knowing you are helping sustain the environment and doing your part!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
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Eco Friendly Travel Tips
Enjoying an environmentally friendly vacation does not have to be as difficult as it might seem. More and more products today are being made with recycled materials, making it easier for consumers to feel good about what they are purchasing.
Here are some tips you can use during your next vacation to be more eco friendly!
- Use what you already own. Instead of buying new clothes, suitcases, bags, etc., use what you already have! If there is a rip or a broken zipper, see if you can repair it before buying a new one. If you need a new one, see if you can find one made from recycled materials!
- Hit up the thrift store. Instead of buying brand new items, see if you can reuse something from the thrift store! Items here that go un-purchased will just end up in landfills, so it is better to try and find a new use for these items!
- Avoid room service. Sure, it is nice to get room service in your hotel. However, it uses a LOT of water and energy for practically no reason. Skip out on this service when possible!
- Book nonstop flights when possible. This will save on the fuel and energy it takes to get you to your destination.
Eco Friendly Travel Products
One of my favorite eco friendly travel products is this collapsible water bottle. While this bottle is made of plastic which typically is not considered environmentally friendly, you will save tons of resources from not needing to buy plastic, single-use water bottles.
In fact, one reusable water bottle will save on average, 156 plastic bottles annually! Talk about eco friendly!
By taking a collapsible water bottle with you on your travels, you not only save from using tons of plastics, but you save money as well!
Instead of needing to spend a few dollars on plastic water bottles throughout each day during your travels, you can simply fill your reusable one up for free!
Many cities around the world have public water fountains you can use to fill up your water bottle for free! You can also use the free tap water you get at your table at restaurants to fill up your bottle before you leave.
Think about it- if you spend $3 per water bottle twice a day for a week, that’s $42 you are spending just on water!
Save yourself (and the planet) the struggle and get yourself a reusable water bottle! This one even collapses so when it is not full, you can easily pack it in your sightseeing bag!
Another one of my favorite eco friendly travel products is shampoo and conditioner bars!
These 100% organic bars make washing your hair on the go easier and more eco friendly than ever! Most shampoo and conditioners come in plastic bottles, which mostly just get thrown away. Why not opt for a bar instead!
By having a bar instead of a plastic bottle, you are not only saving on plastics, but you are making packing much easier for yourself.
Think about it- how many times have your shampoos and other liquids leaked in your suitcase, causing a giant soapy mess? With a shampoo bar, you don’t have to worry about leaks, or taking all your liquids out during airport security!
These bars are packaged in 100% recyclable and biodegradable material, so you can simply recycle the box when you are done with it!
Not only are these bars good for the environment, but they are actually good for you too! They are made of all-natural ingredients and plant-based butters and essential oils to leave your hair silky soft and smooth!
Another one of my favorite eco friendly travel products is reusable food storage bags! Many times when packing for traveling, we use a lot of unnecessary plastics.
Think about all the zip loc bags you use to pack small items and foods in. Maybe you use them to cover plastic bottles so they don’t leak in your suitcase. Perhaps you use them to put shoes in so your clothes don’t get dirty, or to store jewelry.
Whatever the case, it is an unnecessary waste! Plastic bags can take anywhere from 10 to 1,000 years to decompose, so make sure you are using them extremely wisely, if at all!
Better yet, use reusable plastic bags instead! This pack comes in all different sizes, depending on your need. They are great for packing snacks in your carry-on bag too!
When you are done with them, simply throw them in the dishwasher and reuse them again and again!
One of my favorite eco friendly travel products is these zero waste toothpaste tablets! Traditional toothpaste comes in a plastic tube, where you can never get all the toothpaste out, resulting in a lot of waste. Additionally, the tube is usually plastic, leading to more unnecessary environmental waste!
Instead, try these toothpaste tablets. Simply put one in your mouth and chew it up for about 10-15 seconds. The tablet will turn into foamy toothpaste, just like you are used to. Simply brush as normal, and that’s it!
These tablets are 100% eco friendly, natural, vegan, cruelty-free, and recyclable. The glass jar it comes in can be easily recycled or reused for a crafty DIY project, a jar to hold spices or other pantry items, or to hold other toiletries!
If you don’t want to travel with glass, you can simply throw a handful of these tablets in a reusable bag or another container!
One of my favorite eco friendly travel products on this list is this solar power bank. It is no surprise that when you travel, you will be using more phone battery than usual.
Between taking tons of photos on vacation, using your GPS to travel around, and checking in on social media, your phone is likely to die halfway through the day.
We always carry a power bank in our day bag when we travel for these reasons- but sometimes even that isn’t enough! This solar power bank will ensure you never run out of phone battery!
It is small enough to carry where ever you go, and you can even use it for camping or hiking! It also comes with a built-in compass and flashlight, just in case you need it! The best part is, it is only $29.99!
Think about how much energy you will be saving from not needing to plug your phone in all the time! Harness the energy of the sun instead!
While most paper products are recyclable, most of them aren’t. Most papers end up in the trash instead of being recycled. To combat this issue, we can reduce the number of paper products we use altogether!
These reusable makeup remover pads will do just the trick! Every night when you go to take your makeup off, you end up throwing away another tissue or cotton pad. Why not reuse them?
These makeup remover pads can be easily washed in the laundry, so they are 100% waste-free! They are gentle enough to use on any skin type, and are 100% biodegradable!
Reusable Cotton Swabs
Did you know 25.5 BILLION cotton swabs are produced each year? Most have a plastic handle, making them a huge waste to the environment. If you are not a fan of ear drops and like Q tips better (let’s face it, they feel good in your ear!), you might want to consider reusable cotton swabs.
Before you immediately get grossed out, take a look at how they work. They are made of silicone so they won’t hurt your ears, but do an amazing job at cleaning your ears!
The swab head can be removed and replaced for cleaning. Cleaning just requires come soap and water, so it doesn’t get too gross! It even comes with a little brush to help you clean the wax off.
Instead of throwing out hundreds of cotton swabs in the trash every year, opt for something you can reuse every single day!
Another one of my favorite eco friendly travel products is this recycled toiletry bag. We all know that there are some travel items that get a bit trickier to make environmentally friendly, and toiletry bags are just that.
However, this toiletry bag is made from recycled bottles and plastics, so you can feel good about what you are putting your eco friendly travel products into!
If you must buy a toiletry bag, try to find one that is made from recycled materials- there are tons of them out there, and they are super cute and practical!
Did you know these packing cubes are made from recycled bottles? Pretty cool, right?
Packing cubes are a great product to have for any vacation. They help keep your suitcase neat and tidy, so it doesn’t look like a bomb went off the first time you go to get a shirt out of your suitcase.
There are tons of packing cubes out there, so try to find some that are made from recycled materials to help do your part in saving the environment!
You might also be interested in these other packing hacks!
Another one of my favorite eco friendly travel products is recycled flip flops! Sure, you can get a pair for $1 at the Dollar Store or Old Navy, but you know they weren’t recycled, and they will fall apart within a month anyway.
Sanuk makes tons of shoes made from recycled materials, and they are actually comfortable! I had a pair made from old yoga mats, and I wore them for about 6 years (and only got rid of them because my puppy chewed them up)!
My husband owns a pair made from old beer coozies and swears by them as well!
Not only are they comfortable, but you can feel good knowing your purchase helped reuse some old materials that would have otherwise sat in landfills for hundreds of years.
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