Eco friendly products have come a long way even from just a few years ago. There is a huge opportunity to be more sustainable by purchasing and using products that are zero waste and plastic free.
With a spotlight on how damaging and destructive plastic products are for our planet many companies have started creating eco friendly products that we can use in our daily lives and while traveling. These plastic free and zero waste products are often even better than the originals and are budget friendly too!
I’ve put together a list that includes some of the best eco friendly products and which brands are my personal favorites!
What are Eco Friendly Products?
Eco friendly products are products that are made with the intention of not causing harm to the planet, animals and the environment. These items can be made using reusable or recyclable resources and are typically plastic free and zero waste.
Contributing to an eco friendly lifestyle means reducing the amount of products your purchasing, reusing those products and recycling the items that aren’t reusable.
What Does Sustainable Travel Mean?
Sustainable travel means exploring and traveling to different destinations around the world while being conscious of your impact on the environment.
It is also important to support the local economy which you can do by shopping small and eating at the local cafes and restaurants. Some of the best ways that you can be a sustainable traveler is by refusing or reducing your plastic consumption, offsetting your emissions when you fly, supporting the locals and being aware of your surroundings by not causing any harm or damage to the environment.
THE BEST ECO FRIENDLY PRODUCTS FOR SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL
Eco friendly products are getting easy to find as more brands are committing to producing sustainable products by using recycled products and zero waste packaging.
These are just a few of my favorite eco friendly products that I have used during my travels which means you can too!
Reusable Canvas Bags
Now that many countries around the world are banning single use plastic you’ll want to invest in a reusable bag to take with you on your shopping trips. I’m a big fan of the canvas tote bags since they are durable and can hold heavier objects.
Canvas tote bags are easily available and come in many sizes and styles. I’ve actually gotten all of my reusable canvas bags for free when shopping at certain stores around the world. It’s probably a good sign that a shop has eco friendly products if they are giving away canvas tote bags as the shopping bag!
Reusable Water Bottle
Probably one of the easiest ways to be more eco friendly and travel sustainably is to use a reusable water bottle during your travels. Many places, including airports, offer free filtered water making it easy to refill your own bottle while on the go. In Italy they even have water fountains located around town where you can top off your bottle which exploring the city.
These days there are so many reusable water bottles available in all shapes and sizes. You can also find reusable water bottles made out of different types of materials. My personal favorite is Hydroflask which are made with stainless steel, are super durable and come in an array of beautiful colors.
Collapsible Reusable Cup
One of the best parts of traveling to different countries around the world is trying their specialty coffees and teas. However, it’s not so great to end up with a plastic cup you’ll just throw out 15 minutes later. That is where a collapsible reusable cup can come in handy.
Most collapsible cups are made from silicone which means they can be easily cleaned and are durable for travel. These eco friendly products come in many different sizes and are super easy to throw into your day bag while you’re out exploring.
Shampoo and Conditioner Bars
Shampoo and conditioner bars have been around for years but have gained popularity recently as an eco friendly product. I first started using shampoo bars about 4 years ago when I discovered them in a LUSH store while living in Italy. Since then I have been using shampoo and conditioner bars as part of my daily routine even when not traveling.
One of the best things about shampoo bars and conditioner bars is that they are zero-waste with no single use plastic being used. Most bars come in a reusable tin or biodegradable packaging that won’t end up in our oceans or contribute to the destruction of our planet.
Besides being eco friendly and good for the earth, shampoo and conditioner bars also reduce the amount of liquids in your luggage. That pesky 3oz (100ml) limit we have to abide by? No need to worry when you’re using shampoo bars and conditioner bars!
There are so many options available for shampoo bars and conditioner bars that you’re sure to find one you like. Plus, most of them actually last longer than the traditional liquid stuff!
Another great way to reduce the amount of liquids and plastic that you are using while being a sustainable traveler is to use solid soaps. These days you can find so many options and scent combinations that it can almost be impossible to choose just one!
My favorite solid soaps are the ones you can find at local markets while you are traveling. These solid soaps are unique and you are also helping to support local shops and businesses!
Solid Lotion Bars
Something you may not have even thought about is solid lotion bars. I’ve seen quite a few of these before but have only tried the ones from LUSH so far. The solid lotion bars offer the same amount of moisture as traditional cream lotions but are zero waste and plastic free!
The way the solid lotion bar works is that when applied to your skin the natural heat of your body will soften the bar and provide the right amount of moisture. A solid lotion bar can typically last longer than a bottle and is one of the best eco friendly products to use especially while traveling!
One of the easiest ways to be more sustainable, especially while traveling, is to say ‘NO’ to single use plastics. Plastic straws are one of the biggest contributors to plastic waste on this planet and these days there are many options to avoid using them all together.
We’ve all known about metal or bamboo straws for a while now but have you seen a collapsible metal straw? I hadn’t until recently and it truly does make it so much easier to travel with!
The traditional metal straws are perfect for travel and help reduce single use plastic. However, a collapsible straw is even more efficient and easier to throw into your purse or day bag. That way you are more inclined to remember to bring it and actually use it in lieu of plastic straws that can take up to 200 years to decompose. Yes, 200 years and most of the time these plastic straws end up in our oceans destroying our marine life.
Luckily, many countries and cities around the world are banning single use plastics. This makes is so much easier to find and purchase a variety of reusable straws
A collapsible straw is one of the best eco friendly products that you can take with you on your travels or use in your daily life.
Another one of my favorite eco friendly products to add to your travel toiletry bag is a bamboo toothbrush. These zero waste toothbrushes are plastic free and last just as long as your regular toothbrush.
The main difference is that when you dispose of a bamboo toothbrush it will take around 4 months to 3 years to decompose. In comparison, a plastic toothbrush can take up to 1000 years to decompose.
These days, bamboo toothbrushes are easier to find and purchase than ever before with more people moving towards sustainable travel. I’ve seen lots of local shops and pop up markets selling bamboo toothbrushes all over Asia. Just make sure you change your toothbrushes every 3-4 months and use a soft bristled brush.
Did you know that they make toothpaste in tablet form? Maybe you already did but if you didn’t you should definitely check it out! These are one of my favorite eco friendly products to take with me while I travel as they are super convenient and reduce the amount of liquids in my luggage even more.
Toothpaste tablets are super easy to use and last a long time. All you have to do is pop one in your mouth, add just a touch of water and start to chew. Once the foaming starts to form and the tablet has dissolved you can start brushing with your bamboo toothbrush.
I find that the toothpaste tablets actually last longer than that small travel sized tube does and they are plastic free! To make your tablets last even longer you can break them in half like I do!
Reef Safe Sunscreen
Did you know that the ocean provides more than 50% of the oxygen on our planet while also contributing to 50 times more absorption of carbon dioxide than our atmosphere? In fact, our oceans cover about 70% of earth making them absolutely vital to our planet.
Additionally, the ocean is also what helps to regulate the earths climate and weather patterns by absorbing the heat from the sun.
Within our expansive ocean are many coral reefs. These reefs are one of the most important and diverse ecosystems in the world and play a huge role in protecting the coastlines.
Currently over 50% of coral reefs around the world have died from bleaching in the past 30 years and scientists estimate that over the next century that number will increase to 90%. This means that it is absolutely imperative to take the steps necessary to try and slow down this process.
One easy way you can do this is by using reef friendly or reef safe sunscreen. These sunscreens are free of toxic chemicals, namely Oxybenzone and Octinoxate, which lead to the disruption of coral reproduction resulting in coral bleaching. Studies have shown that almost 6,000 tons of damaging, chemical sunscreens enter the oceans annually and are one of the main contributors (besides global warming) to coral bleaching.
It is extremely important that we protect our oceans, the coral reefs and the marine life that lives and depends on these reefs.
When you are looking for a reef safe sunscreen be sure to read the ingredients carefully. Avoid anything that has Oxybenzone and Octinoxate as the main chemical. These chemicals are not only detrimental to the coral reefs but can also be harmful to our skin with long term use.
It is important to choose a mineral non nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sunscreen. These mineral based ingredients sit on your skin and reflect the harmful UV rays making them safer for you and the coral reef!
A few of the best Reef Safe Sunscreens on the market:
- Sun Bum Original SPF 50
- Suntribe All Natural Mineral SPF 30
- Sensatia Surf Naked Sunscreen
- Love Sun Body Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
- CeraVe Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
- Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
- COOLA Organic Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50
Sustainable Yoga Clothes
Most of us travel with at least one set of workout clothes or a pair of comfy yoga pants during our adventures abroad. So why not try out some sustainable yoga clothes?
One of my favorite sustainable brands is called Indigo Luna and is located in Bali. This small, family run business ethically produces yoga clothes, swimwear and linen items which are all made from eco friendly products. Everything is hand made by women in small stock so that no material is wasted.
The products are made from sustainable materials and are dyed using natural ingredients such as plants. Their products and packaging is all plastic free and you can feel good knowing you are helping the environment and a small, family business.
My favorites leggings are the Ananda Leggings which are made from organic cotton and are hand dyed.
Eco Friendly Yoga Mat
One of the things I miss the most while traveling is being able to get on my mat and practice my daily yoga. During my 1.5 years of traveling around Asia I decided not to bring my travel yoga mat and instantly regretted it. Luckily, I found an eco friendly yoga mat made by Jade Yoga at one of the local shops in Bali.
Due to limited weight restrictions on flights, a lightweight travel yoga mat is an absolute necessity. Fortunately, Jade Yoga makes 2 different versions of travel yoga mats which can be folded or rolled making it super convenient to bring with you on trips. The Jade yoga mats are made from sustainable, natural rubber making them good for the planet too! They also plant one tree for every mat sold.
Another incredible option is an eco friendly yoga mat from the brand Liforme. This is the first sustainable yoga mat that I fell in love with and have both the travel and regular version. Their yoga mats are super grippy, made from biodegradable materials and are PVC free.
|Jade Travel||1/8″||2.9 lbs||68″|
|Jade Voyager||1/16″||1.5 lbs||68″|
|Liforme Travel||2mm||3.5 lbs||70″|
As the climate crisis is worsening around the world more people are trying to make changes to become more sustainable and planet friendly. This also means that more companies are creating eco friendly products making it easier for us to implement those changes.
Sustainable shoes come in all shapes and styles and many manufacturers are pushing the boundaries of what they can create using recycled materials. These sustainable shoes are perfect for traveling and spending long days walking around your favorite cities!