Eco-Friendly Travel Products and Accessories for Mindful Travelers
Choosing eco-friendly travel products and accessories is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint when you travel, and it’s not really all that difficult. Making just a few small changes can have a huge impact!
Saying no to single-use plastic and choosing travel products that are built to last is the perfect place to start. Keeping in mind that the path to sustainability is a journey that we can work on every day, here are some of our favorite eco-friendly products for mindful travelers who want to make a difference with their purchasing decisions.
Why Choose Eco-Friendly Travel Products?
Traveling can have a major impact on the planet and the communities you visit. But you can choose to make your impact a positive one! There are lots of ways to reduce your carbon footprint and the waste you create along the way.
You have to come prepared, and that means bringing products and accessories that are eco-friendly. Packing mindfully will help you avoid single-use plastics and disposable items that will just end up in local landfills, oceans, and waterways. And it gives you the chance to support some amazing initiatives, too.
Our Favorite Eco-Friendly Travel Products and Accessories
Minimizing your carbon footprint is much easier when you are prepared with the right products. A bamboo toothbrush, sustainable travel toiletries, and reusable shopping bags are the obvious places to start.
Let’s talk about some of our favorite eco-friendly travel products you may not have thought of!
Eco-Friendly Travel Bags
The first thing you need is an eco-friendly travel bag! What to look for? You want a durable bag that’s built to last a lifetime and made from eco-friendly materials. Pakt is Climate Neutral Certified and constantly working to make its products and practices as sustainable as possible.
The Pakt One
The Pakt One is a durable, roomy, eco-friendly travel bag that can fit all of your travel essentials. It’s the perfect combination of a suitcase and duffle, with a padded shoulder strap and contoured handles for comfortable carrying. The Pakt One is also carry-on approved and features a padded laptop sleeve, TSA pocket, and a zip-around design for easy access.
The Pakt Travel Backpack
If a backpack is more your speed, check out the Pakt Travel Backpack. This is an eco-friendly luggage option with over 20 unique features, including a waterproof toiletry pocket for leaky items, exterior water bottle pockets, and a removable hip belt that functions as a stand-alone sling bag or waist pack.
Looking for something in a different size? Check out our eco-friendly travel bag comparison guide to find the perfect bag for any journey!
Eco-friendly highlights: Pakt is Climate Neutral, 100% animal friendly, uses 100% plastic-free packaging, and provides a lifetime guarantee.
Portable Pour Over Coffee Maker
If you’re tired of coffee shop coffee in disposable coffee cups when you travel, a portable pour-over coffee maker is the ideal eco-friendly solution. The Pakt Coffee Kit includes everything you need for the perfect cup of coffee on the go and you can use it anywhere you have access to water and electricity.
This travel coffee maker is built for adventure and designed to fit in your carry-on. It comes with everything but the beans, including an electric kettle, double-walled stainless steel travel mug, reusable mesh filter, and more all housed in one compact nesting unit.
Eco-friendly highlights: BPA-free, built to last, reusable forever, and plastic-free packaging.
Water Sterilizer and Reusable Water Bottle
Buying water in plastic water bottles is something we all should avoid, but sometimes it’s not safe to drink tap water when you’re traveling. A water sterilizer allows you to fill up your own reusable water bottle at any tap and sterilize it so it’s safe for drinking.
A Steripen barely takes up any space in your carry-on and it can be reused virtually forever. But there are lots of options to choose from, including reusable bottles with built-in purifiers, so do some research to find what works best for you.
If you’re in the market for a new water bottle, check out Hydro Flask water bottles. Their bottles are insulated and the company is environmentally conscious. Nalgene bottles are also a great choice because they last forever and they’re BPA-free.
We also love the SOMA Glass Water Bottle. It comes with a bamboo lid and silicone handle, it’s BPA-free, and the company is certified B-corp. Every purchase supports charity, too.
Eco-friendly highlights: Eliminates the need to purchase water in single-use plastic bottles.
Collapsible Travel Straw
According to 4Ocean, using a reusable straw can prevent approximately 547 plastic straws from polluting the ocean each year. Their Collapsible Travel Straw is a earth-friendly alternative to single-use plastic. It’s compact, easy to clean, and fits right on a keychain so you can take it on the go.
Eco-friendly highlights: Reduces plastic waste, closed-loop recycling, and removes one pound of trash from the ocean with every purchase.
Refillable Travel Mug
We can’t talk about eco-friendly travel products without recommending the Pakt Travel Mug. The mug features a vacuum-insulated, stainless steel cup, leak-proof lid, and double-walled construction, and is the mug to trust on the go. Not to mention it’s dishwasher safe, BPA-free, and fits in most cup holders.
Eco-friendly highlights: Climate neutral, 100% animal friendly, 100% plastic-free packaging, and a lifetime guarantee.
Reusable Bamboo Utensils
No matter how you are traveling, there’s a good chance you will need to make a pit stop for food. If you aren’t sitting down at a restaurant, it’s likely that you will find plastic silverware accompanying your meal. Sadly, about forty billion plastic utensils end up in landfills each year.
Avoid disposable silverware by bringing your own Reusable Bamboo Utensils. They are a natural, convenient, and waste-free option for your meals on the road. Not to mention lightweight, much quieter to carry in your pack than metal utensils, and easier to get through airport security in your carry-on.
Eco-friendly highlights: 100% compostable, 100% plastic-free, and pesticide-free.
Silicone Snack Bags
Packing snacks for the road? Avoid single-use plastic and pack reusable silicone snack bags instead. These food-grade platinum silicone bags are non-toxic and endlessly reusable. They are dishwasher and microwave safe and have a leak-free seal so you can pack them with ease. Even better, these bags prevent over a billion plastic bags from polluting our landfills and oceans.
Eco-Friendlier Contact Lenses
When it comes to packaging, especially for daily contacts, there's a lot of unnecessary waste. For a more eco-friendly alternative, check out Warby Parker’s wide variety of breathable contact lenses.
From popular brands like Acuvue and Biotrue, to the Warby SCOUT lenses, they have options available for any prescription. Their SCOUT contacts are affordable, comfortable, and use only 20% of the traditional packaging.
On top of that, when making the SCOUT 90-day contact boxes, they use materials recycled during lens production. Not only does that make them more earth-friendly, but more travel friendly as well.
Eco-friendly highlights: Carbon neutral, recycled packaging, and conscious manufacturing.
100% Recyclable Razor
Two billion. That’s the estimated number of razors and refill blades that get tossed out in the U.S. each year according to The Environmental Protection Agency. So, we need to make a change.
Gillette’s Planet Kind Razor is made from 60% recycled plastic and comes in recyclable packaging. On top of that, each purchase prevents 10 plastic bottles from getting thrown into our oceans. What better razor to pack, right?
Eco-friendly highlights: Made from recycled materials, and the blades and razors are 100% recyclable through TerraCycle.
Odorless, Antibacterial Clothing
A shocking two-thirds of the environmental impact of a single piece of clothing occurs at the consumer level. Think about it… How often do you do laundry at home and when you travel?
Choosing clothes that don’t need to be washed as frequently saves water and puts fewer chemicals into the environment. Not only that, but it saves you time and money spent at the laundromat on your trip, too.
Check out Organic Basics for clothes that are permanently infused with natural silver to make them anti-odor and antibacterial. Their Silvertech tees are great for everything from sightseeing to hitting the gym. Oh, and they make undies, socks, and leggings, too!
Eco-friendly highlights: Saves water, reduces environmental pollution, and their products are ethically made.
Tips for Choosing Eco-Friendly Travel Products and Accessories
The eco-friendly options listed above are a great place to start, but here are some tips to help you curate your own mindful packing list:
Don’t go out and buy everything new.
Using what you already have is a key component of living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. You don’t need to go out and buy everything new every time you travel. And, if you don’t have what you need on hand, shopping at local thrift stores is a great way to keep items from winding up in the landfill.
Repair, don’t replace.
On a similar note, take good care of the gear you already own. Repair it when necessary and make it last as long as possible. If you do have to replace an item, try to invest in products that are built to last for a lifetime.
Be wary of greenwashing.
Do your research before making a purchase. Dig into the brand’s sourcing, production practices, and values to see if they match your own, and be on the lookout for greenwashing. And don’t forget, the brands we’ve shared in this article offer a variety of sustainable travel products on top of what’s listed here.
Reduce your impact at home, too.
Once you’ve curated a kit of eco-friendly essentials, don’t just leave them sitting in your carry-on when you’re not traveling. Break out your pour-over coffee kit and use it at home. Make a habit of purchasing sustainable toiletries made from natural ingredients for your home bathroom and decant them into refillable metal bottles for travel.
Learn some key phrases before you go.
Many of us practice some common phrases in the local language before we travel, but try to think about some phrases that can help you be more sustainable, too. For example, you might want to ask where you can refill your water bottle. Or, you might want to ask for a metal fork or spoon. Be prepared with some key phrases to help you avoid single-use plastics and other disposables.
Wrapping Up: Look for Ways to Offset Your Trip
Unfortunately, travel, by its very nature, can be pretty unsustainable. Even if your packing list is eco-friendly, consider how much you’re increasing your carbon footprint every time you fly. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still travel, as long as you take steps to travel in a more earth-friendly way.
Finding ways to offset your trip is a great way to give something back. Buying credits that go toward studying climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, or helping to sequester carbon dioxide from Earth’s atmosphere are just a few ideas. Just be sure to verify the legitimacy of any project you choose to support.
You can take steps to reduce your carbon footprint once you reach your destination, too. Consider biking or walking whenever possible, instead of driving. If you must drive, take public transit or rent an electric car or the smallest vehicle that will accommodate your group.