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Guest Blog: The Mindful Traveler: 6 Eco-Friendly Essentials To Pack For Any Trip

Published: August 24th, 2018

As more and more travelers explore far-reaching destinations, countries like Palau are encouraging tourists to be mindful of the environment. With more options than ever, eco-conscious travelers can pack sustainable items that keep their carbon footprint light as they trek around the globe. Below are six eco-friendly essentials to consider bringing along on your next adventure!

1. Bags & Luggage

First up, what you put in your luggage is just as important as what the luggage is made out of. There are endless options when choosing an eco-friendly backpack, purse or luggage. One of the best bags is FREITAG’s R123 WOOLF. The durable backpack is created using upcycled truck tarpaulins and PET. Named after the famous author, Virginia Woolf, this carry on option can be converted from a backpack to messenger bag for whatever needs your adventure may bring.

Sea Bags is another innovative brand that offers a range of stylish luggage and carry-on pieces. This Maine based company diverts thousands of discarded boat sails from landfills every year by collecting and redesigning them into durable items like duffles, totes, and handbags. Through this transformation, the old sails are able to live on and continue their voyages around the world.




2. Toiletries

Once you have your eco-friendly bag ready, the next essentials to consider are toiletries. Travel sized personal-care products at drugstores get a bad rap since they often come in extra plastic packaging. Lush has you covered in this department from head to toe with their colorful soap, shampoo and conditioner bars. Not only can these items be bought without any packaging, but Lush also sells a metal soap bar container for easy travel. With these personal care items, you won’t have to count ounces again or hope that TSA doesn’t hold you back for that extra bottle of conditioner you tried to sneak past them.

Solid sunscreen is another handy item the can help you breeze through TSA lines. Sunscreen can be challenging to travel with since it’s often sold in liquid form or aerosol containers. All Good has an easy solution that is not only is not only good for the environment but it’s also good for you. Their zinc sunscreen butter is coral reef safe and boasts organic ingredients.

Lush Cosmetics

Lush Cosmetics


3. Reusable Bottle

Struggling with plastic water bottles or single-use cups while on the go? To help you nix single-use bottles, Pura offers reusable metal water bottles that keep your water cold for hours. To make sure users could get the most out of just one bottle, the company invented lid variations that can be swapped out and used by babies, toddlers, athletes, and everyone in between.

More of a coffee lover? Single-use coffee cups are also an environmental concern since they can take ages to decompose in landfills. Instead, reach for a reusable coffee cup like Joco’s which offers a chic alternative that is non-toxic and plastic free. Better yet, it keeps your coffee warm longer than most single-use cups and many coffee shops offer discounts when customers bring their own container.

Pure Stainless

Pure Stainless


4. Footwear

Whether you’re taking a train, boat, car or plane, chances are you’ll still need to do a bit of walking at some point. It’s always ideal to pack comfy shoes and, for daytime excursions, you can never go wrong with a pair of sleek sneakers. Nike’s FlyKnit sneakers are breathable, stylish and double as gym footwear so you can save space in your luggage with one less pair of shoes. More importantly, these lightweight sneakers are made with a special technique that can create a top quality shoe while utilizing minimal materials and waste during the manufacturing process.

At night, kick off your sustainable sneakers and slip into a pair of Rothy’s. These sophisticated flats come in a range of styles designed to feel soft and comfortable. You’d never suspect that these lightweight, vegan-friendly shoes are made from discarded plastic bottles. They also have moisture wicking properties so feel free to trek through rainy weather or muddy landscapes to your heart’s content knowing you can pop these shoes into a washer when you get back home.

Traveling Girl with Rothy's Footwear

Traveling Girl with Rothy’s Footwear


5. Clothes

Packing clothes can also be a tricky game-time decision before embarking on a trip since you have to consider the number of clothes you’ll need and other variables like the weather. Packing neutral tops and bottoms to mix, match and layer is the best way to extend outfit options without busting the seams of your luggage. Many fashion-conscious travelers tend to use this rule of thumb since it focuses on selecting a few high-quality pieces rather than many trendy fast fashion items.

An excellent place for inspiration is ADAY, a New York-based director-to-consumer brand that incorporates conscious design into basic everyday clothing that can be mixed and matched easily. The company prides itself on creating high-quality clothing while minimizing waste, fabric usage, and energy consumption. They also have a program which allows customers to recycle their garments in exchange for ADAY credit.




6. Entertainment

Finally, every trip needs some entertainment for downtime and a good book is a classic must-have. Borrowing an adventure novel like Madeline Miller’s Circe is a great way to get inspired for your journey. Other options like digital eBooks are also fantastic alternatives since they bypass the use of paper. Library Hotel offers guests not only an Advanced Reader’s Edition from Simon & Schuster when checking-in, but also a choice of bestselling eBooks from Simon & Schuster via the Foli App.

Simon & Schuster Foli App at Library Hotel

Simon & Schuster Foli App at Library Hotel



Desirée Kaplan is a freelance writer based in Manhattan. She focuses on sustainability topics such as green travel and business. To find more of her travel-related work click here.