22 Apr Earth Day: 10+ of Our Favorite Eco-Friendly Travel Products
Happy Earth Day! 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Even though it’s been a weird and unfortunate year so far (hello social distancing, stay at home orders, and health and economic decline for so many), there are still plenty of ways to connect with Mother Nature and practice sustainability every day, both at home and when we are finally able to get out and travel again. So, this Earth Day we wanted to share some of our favorite eco-friendly travel products with you, as well as some ideas to celebrate even if you are stuck at home.
Some of our favorite ideas for celebrating Earth Day this year are to watch an environmental film such as Chasing Coral or Chasing Ice, visit and explore a National Park online, participate in virtual Earth Day events, go for a socially distanced walk or hike if you are allowed, take a virtual hike, plant some trees in your yard, create your own cleanup (with proper protection equipment and social distancing measures in mind), commit to joining a community cleanup in the future, or dream about all the fantastic places you can go when we are all free to move around the world again.
Another idea is to think about the items we purchase and use on a daily basis. We try to practice responsible consumerism as much as possible, so we always start with using and repurposing what we already own versus buying something new. But when we do need to purchase a new item, we try to make eco-friendly and sustainable choices. Read on to see some of our favorite eco-friendly travel products that we love and use on a regular basis!
Bite Toothpaste Bits
Travel sized toothpaste tubes were once a staple in our carry-on only luggage, but I always hated how much waste they created. The last few years, we’ve tried a few different solid toothpaste products and finally found one that we love: Bite Toothpaste Bits. The solid tablets do take some getting used to, but once you have your routine down, they are so easy to use. All you do is pop a tablet into your mouth, bite down on it, and then start brushing your teeth with a wet toothbrush. The tablets come in a refillable glass container and you can purchase them through a subscription service or by the bottle as needed. The toothpaste comes in a few main flavors—Fresh Mint, Mint with Activated Charcoal, and Berry Twist—and I’ve noticed other flavors come and go depending on the season. I’m more of a traditionalist when it comes to toothpaste flavors, so mint is always my go-to, but I did try the Autumn Spice flavor out last fall. The Autumn Spice flavor was good, but it was a bit too sweet for me to use on a regular basis. Oh well, it was fun to try and now I know that mint is probably my best bet going forward!
Bamboo toothbrushes are everywhere these days, and they are definitely worth the hype. Switching to a biodegradable toothbrush is easy and it eliminates a lot of single use plastic. We aren’t partial to any specific brand—to date, we’ve tried toothbrushes from GoWoo and another brand that isn’t available anymore. I do have my eye on the Brush, by Bite Toothpaste, though. I like that the handle is detachable for both less waste and a more condensed travel set-up. I have a feeling we will be giving it a try in the near future!
Lush Solid Shampoo & Conditioner
I have been using solid shampoo bars from Lush for around seven years. At first, I started using solid shampoo only for travel to limit the amount of liquid in my carry-on suitcase. But around three years ago, I really fell in love with shampoo bars, and now it’s the only kind of shampoo I use. I really love that there is no packaging for the Lush shampoo bars—it really helps cut back on waste and single use plastic. Everyone’s hair is different, so what works for me might not work for you, but my favorites bars are Jumping Juniper and Montalbano.
Finding a solid conditioner that I love has been much more of a struggle. I’ve tried several options over the years and found some that I hated, some that were just ok, and some that irritated my skin. Thankfully, Lush recently released a new line of pressed conditioner bars, and I just picked one up. I started using the Sugar Daddy-O Naked Pressed Conditioner a few weeks ago and have been loving it so far. I’m excited to finally use up all my liquid, package heavy conditioners, and make the full-on switch to solid conditioner soon.
Refillable Toiletry Bottles
Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to switch over to all plastic free toiletries—my skin is too sensitive and finicky for that. So instead of buying a bunch of travel sized items over and over, we fill up GoToob travel bottles and GoTubb containers for use when we are on the road. It may not completely eliminate single use plastics, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.
Even though we rarely use straws in general, we do have a couple of reusable straws that we travel with in case we need one. We have a set of Klean Kanteen metal straws with silicone tips that we like—the silicone tip is great for protecting your mouth from a too hot or too cold sip.
We also have a set of Rain Straws that we purchased through a Kickstarter campaign. The Rain Straws snap apart so you can easily clean the inside, which I definitely appreciate as I can be a bit of a germaphobe.
Refillable Water Bottles
We have a few different water bottles that we use on a rotating basis depending on the circumstances. When we are traveling somewhere where the water needs to be filtered, we use our refillable Lifestraw water bottle.
For everywhere else, we use either our Hydro Flask water bottle to keep our water extra cold or our giant Camelbak water bottle that we’ve had for years. I don’t think our Camelbak bottle is in production anymore, but it is similar to their Chute Mag water bottles. All of these water bottles are great, but really, any water bottle will do if it is refillable!
Using our own silverware when presented with disposable options is one of the more difficult items on the list for us, but we do try. When traveling through Asia, we try to use our own chopsticks that we picked up in Japan several years ago. We also have a set of collapsible metal cutlery that we use for camping, but due to the non-removable knife, we can’t take it on a plane. We are looking into purchasing a reusable bamboo cutlery set at some point, but we haven’t made the switch yet.
Packing a reusable tote bag is great for when you are shopping and need a bag for your goods, and it’s also fantastic if you come home with a few extra items that don’t fit in your suitcase. We receive so many tote bags from conferences and events that we have yet to actually purchase any ourselves—instead, we just use what we have. But we have bags that are similar to these totes and they work great for just about any situation. Plus, they pack down super small and can easily fit into your luggage.
I’ve never liked the standard microfiber travel towels that so many people swear by. While they can be a great option for travel, I really love my Sand Cloud towel. I’ve been using my towel for several years now and not only is it lightweight, easy to pack and ultra-absorbent, it is sand resistant for use at the beach, too. I’ve even used it as a lightweight shawl and wrap to warm up when the temperatures drop. Sand Cloud donates a portion of their sales to environmental charities, which is another perk, as well!
Micah is in need of a new travel towel soon, and while he might also get a Sand Cloud towel, we’ve also had our eye on the Nomadix towels as they are made out of recycled plastic bottles and we love the designs they offer.
Eco-Friendly and Ethical Clothing
There are so many clothing companies that are focusing on creating ethically made clothing oftentimes from recycled products and/or eco-friendly materials. Some of our favorite brands are FIG Clothing, Prana, Everlane, and Patagonia, to name a few.
But I think my all-time favorite item happens to be a pair of leggings that I own. My favorite pair of leggings for active adventures are the Girlfriend Collective leggings that are made out of recycled water bottles and fishing nets. I purchased a pair of the black compression leggings over two years ago. I have worn them tons and they are still in great shape. And, I do have my eyes on their bras and another color of leggings though, so I might have to add to my collection soon.
Other Items We Want to Buy
There’s always room for improvement when it comes to living an eco-friendly life, and there are many products we want to invest in at some point in the future. Here’s a brief look at some of those options.
Our current packing cubes are torn at the seams, so we are considering this set of packing cubes that are made out of recycled plastic bottles. We also have our eyes on collapsible food containers and a KeepCup to limit the amount of waste when we get takeout. I’ve been thinking about purchasing a safety razor, as well, to cut down on the plastic from disposable razors. And, last but not least, we have been thinking about buying a Steripen Ultra Water Purifier to add to our reusable water bottle set up. It would be a nice addition to ensure we have fresh, clean water right out of the faucet no matter where we are in the world.
What are some of your favorite eco-friendly travel products? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Just a heads up—none of the items in the post are sponsored or gifted. They are all just products we personally use and love. Some of the links are affiliates links, though, which means if you purchase through one of our links we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!