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 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 travelers. Including travel gifts for men and travel gifts for women.
Buying travel-size toiletries is so unnecessary! Some alternative toiletries to buy include:
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 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.
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!)!
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!
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. You can buy their iPad sleeves, women’s backpack and women’s messenger bag on Amazon.
Read our post on the top functional and stylish daypacks for more inspiration.
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!
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 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!
Another great idea is to give gift cards for online services that will make your traveler buddy enjoy their travels more. Give an iTunes gift card, a Netflix gift card, an Amazon gift card, a Kindle gift card, an Audible subscription or a Spotify gift card.
You can also get them an Airbnb gift card, a Hotels gift card or an airfare gift card.