So you want to plan an environmentally friendly vacation. You’ve chosen a hotel that reduces water waste and serves organic food. You’ve opted for an airline that offers drinks in recycled cups and minimizes food waste. You’ve even chosen the ideal destination to encourage your love for the environment. But to take that last little step towards the perfect green vacation, you need to make sure your travel accessories are the most eco-friendly options on the market.
While green technologies are ever evolving and it can often be difficult to keep up on the latest in sustainable design, there are a few key characteristics to keep in mind when choosing an ecofriendly accessory. For one, the use of natural or recycled materials is essential. Reusing existing materials (especially those that would otherwise damage the environment like plastic) is an important factor in reducing pollution and waste. Another factor is whether or not the product is culturally responsible or sensitive: was it made by local artisans, or sold by a company that’s run by or works with locals? In a related consideration, does the company donate some of the profits to charitable or environmental organizations?
If you take into account these qualifications when choosing a green accessory, you’ll feel better about what you buy and how you use it. Here’s a list of a few popular and useful travel accessories to consider for your next trip.
Sleep masks or pillows made from recycled material
Comfort when flying (especially to faraway destinations) is important. But what’s even more important is making sure that your favorite accessories are good for the environment. Airplane pillows in particular are often made of synthetic material, so be sure to look out for one made of recycled or natural materials.
Water bottles made out of recycled or sustainable materials
Eco-friendly water bottles have been a big thing for a while, so these should be easy to find. Companies like SIGG (which is a leader in healthy, environmentally friendly bottles) offer products in a wide array of styles and colors, so you can be fashionable and eco-friendly. They even make special patterns for kids, so the whole family can get in on being green.
Journals from recycled or chemical-free paper
The best parts of travel are the memories you make along the way. Record those memories in an eco-friendly journal made from recycled or natural paper, so you’re reducing environmental pollution. Plus, they come in a wide variety of patterns and sizes, so it’s easy to find one that speaks to you. Companies like Paperblank also donate a portion of their profits to charitable organizations.
Luggage or bags that are made from environmentally friendly materials
There are actually several companies currently producing luggage or other bags made from recycled materials. Again, here you’re reducing your impact on the environment by choosing something that isn’t made from artificial materials. Many of them are also lighter and easier to use than standard luggage, like the super environmentally friendly LiteGear.
With consumer interest in ecofriendly gadgets on the rise, there are plenty of companies producing everything from water-powered alarm clocks to tech made partially from bamboo (like external hard drives and laptops). You’ll also find a lot of solar-powered options, like headsets and media players. These gadgets range widely in price, too, so there’s no need to drop a ton of money for sustainable and recycled goods.
While most of our technology these days relies upon rechargeable batteries, on the off chance that you have something that does take AAs, opt for rechargeable varieties. The materials that batteries are made of can be very toxic to the environment in landfills, so the fewer batteries that we dispose of, the better.
Travel or hiking gear from ecofriendly materials
If your green vacation involves hiking or backpacking, you’ll want to make sure these bags are environmentally friendly, too. Companies like Eagle Creek, Osprey Packs, and Timbuk2 offer products from recycled and ecofriendly materials that are designed to last and last, ensuring that there’s no need for frequent replacements and the subsequent waste.
Environmentally friendly toiletries
Even your toothpaste makes a difference when it comes to your impact on the environment. Anything you put on your body from soap to shampoo is not only better for you, but also better for nature when it’s organic and chemical-free. Because beauty and health product companies have been working to encourage the development of natural products for a while now, you’ll have plenty of options, too, from Tom’s of Maine and Burt’s Bees to smaller companies.