In honor of Earth Day, we’re focusing on ways we can all become more sustainable travelers. There are so many small decisions we can make that can lessen our negative impact on the Earth as we explore it. If we’re all doing our small parts, together we can make a big difference. We’re going to highlight 10 of our favorite must-have Eco-friendly travel products that you need to have for your next trip!
We’ve made all of our favorite products available for you to find easily. You can use the links below or you can do directly to our Wandering Moms Amazon Influencer Store where you can find all of our favorite Eco-friendly travel products for purchase in one place! Please note that Wandering Moms is an Amazon Affiliate and, at no extra cost to you, any Amazon purchases you make through our page help us earn a little bit of money so we can continue to bring you great travel content! Thank you for supporting us!
Our 10 Favorite Eco-Friendly Travel Products
1. Reusable Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is an absolute must for travelers. It’s easy to get dehydrated when traveling, especially when flying or traveling to a destination at increased elevation. Keeping up your water intake is important if you want to feel your best wherever you go. Plastic water bottles may seem like the easiest way to drink enough water while traveling, but a quick look at a few basic facts about plastic water bottles is enough to help anyone realize that plastic water bottles are bad news for the environment. 38 million plastic water bottles go into landfills each year- and that’s just in the USA. It takes each of those bottles over 700 years to decompose. In the USA< only about 23% of plastic water bottles are ever recycled. So- what do we do? Invest in a high-quality reusable water bottle! Skip single use plastic water bottles all together by refilling your own reusable bottle. Most airports, and a growing number of public places, have water bottle filling stations with their drinking fountains- so you can refill just about anywhere!
Our favorite bottles are Hydroflask bottles. They’re sturdy, durable, control the temperature of your drinks better than anything else, and they don’t leave that weird water bottle taste in your water.
2. Reusable Coffee Mug
If you’re a coffee drinker, it’s important to be aware that despite how much we all love that paper Starbucks cup, they’re just not good for the environment. Many coffee cups are made of recycled cardboard, but most are lined with a thin layer of plastic which means they’re not fully recyclable. And that plastic lid- definitely not good for the environment. But there’s another easy solution- invest in a high-quality reusable coffee mug.
Again, we’re huge fans of the Hydroflask coffee mugs and tumblers, for all the same reasons we love their water bottles. Heck, I even use mine at home because it keeps my coffee warm… and if you’re a mom, you’re lucky if you ever get to finish a cup of coffee before it goes cold!
3. Stainless Steel Travel Utensil Set
Americans throw away over 40 billion plastic utensils per year. 40 BILLION! Using a plastic fork or spoon is so ingrained in our daily routines that we don’t even think about tossing them in the trash. It’s easy to think, “It’s just one fork.” But each fork adds up. And when we travel, we tend to eat out even more- which means we’re using a lot more than “just one fork”. Just like you can purchase reusable water bottles and coffee mugs, consider investing in a set of stainless steel travel utensils to take with you. Then you can say no thanks to the plastic silver wear when you grab a meal to go!
4. Stainless Steel Straw
Over 500 million plastic straws are used in the US every single day. That’s enough straws to fill 125 school buses every single day. Straws are especially bad f or the environment because they’re easily blown around and often find their way into our rivers, lakes and oceans where they can negatively impact marine life. Switching to a reusable stainless steel straw can help reduce single use plastic straws. Stainless steel straws can easily be slipped into your purse or backpack- it may seem like a little change, but it can make a big difference.
5. Silicone Snack Baggies
If you travel with kids, you know how many snacks they’ll eat! I swear our kids eat their own weight in snacks within the first two hours of a road trip. We used to pack all those snacks in disposable plastic baggies- until we realized just how much plastic trash we were throwing away on the road. We’ve since switched to reusable silicone snack baggies. They’re actually quite easy to clean and it feels better to know we’re not throwing away so much plastic!
6. Solid Toiletries
Travel sized toiletries may seem convenient. They come in the perfect airplane carry-on size and you can just toss them before you head home. But they all come in plastic bottles that contribute huge amounts of waste to our landfills. The first step you can take in reducing single use toiletry plastics is to buy your own reusable travel bottles. This way, you can fill them at home and reuse them for your next trip which reduces waste. But if you want to go one step farther- solid toiletries are a hot new trend in the world of sustainable travel. That’s right- we’re returning to bars of soap! You can also now get shampoos and conditioners in bar form- which reduce the need for plastic bottles all together!
7. Toothpaste Tablets
Ok, so plastic toothpaste bites are better for the environment and that’s really important. But let’s be honest- they’re just plain FUN! Every year in the USA, 1.5 BILLION toothpaste tubes end up in our landfills, and each one takes on average 500 years to decompose. Kudos to all of you folks on brushing your teeth so often- but we gotta cut down on that waste! Enter toothpaste tabs. They come in a reusable glass or stainless steel bottle and they are little pellets of toothpaste that have been compressed into a bite-sized nugget! Pop one in your mouth, chew it up and voila! Toothpaste!
8. Bamboo Toothbrush
Now that we’ve taken care of those empty plastic tubes of toothpaste- let’s take a look at toothbrushes. Yup, they’re all plastic. 50 million pounds of plastic toothbrushes are thrown away each year in the US. We all need toothbrushes, and our toothbrushes do need to be replaced every three to four months- so making the switch to a bamboo toothbrush can eliminate a lot of that plastic waste. Bamboo is biodegradable. It also has antibacterial properties which makes it a great material for a toothbrush.
9. Reef Safe Sunscreen
This isn’t an issue most people are aware of- but the sunscreen we use to protect ourselves from the sun’s harmful rays is actually incredibly dangerous for coral reefs. We lather up with sunscreen before jumping in the ocean- and then a lot of that sunscreen is washed off into the water. Coral reefs are giant living organisms that support more than 25% of all marine life by providing food and shelter. Chemicals from regular sunscreens, such as oxybenzone and octinoxate, can seep into the water. Nano-particles of these chemicals can disrupt the coral’s reproduction and growth cycles, ultimately leading to bleaching and death. What can you do to help? Switch to “reef-safe” sunscreens that do not contain oxybenzone or octinoxate. Instead, look for sunscreens that use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as their active ingredients. They may be a little bit harder to run in, but they can help us protect our coral reefs and the marine life that depend on them. Here are some of our favorite reef safe sunscreens:
10. Solar Power Charger
If you’re heading anywhere in the great outdoors- even just for parts of your travels- consider investing in a solar power charger. It will help cut down on the use of electricity when you plug your phone or other devices into an outlet in your hotel room. Simply attach your solar power charger to your backpack, set it in your beach towel or outside your tent and you’ll be able to store up enough solar power to charge your phone!
Let us know which Eco-friendly travel products you’re going to try adding to your travel routine!
Also be sure to check out our favorite Eco-friendly Travel Tips as you work towards becoming a more Earth-conscious traveler.