Eco-friendly travel, ultimately, is to travel responsibly. With more and more eco-warriors determined to shrink their carbon footprint and enlightened travellers grapple with questions of what can and must be done to protect our Mother Earth while travelling, we identified a few travel accessories that can minimize the environmental impact of travel.
Travel can be exhausting, so it is always important to stay hydrated — and equally imperative not to pollute the planet with single-use plastic water bottles. Cut your consumption of single-use plastic drastically with a BPA-free reusable water bottle. You may use a bamboo reusable water bottle, as bamboo is a natural, renewable resource but also very hard wearing – it looks sleek and contemporary but is durable enough for any activity. For those that travel further afield where water may not be safe for consumption, you can use a reusable water bottle that comes with a built-in water filtration system. Some bottles with filter, like Lifestraw, can even remove waterborne bacteria and protozoa from lakes, streams, and more, ensuring you can always stay well-hydrated with safe and clean drinking water.
When travelling, it can be all too easy to use a lot of single-use utensils, while on a camping trip, grabbing an on-the-go meal or rushing through airports. Single-use plastic utensil is used for minutes, then tossed and left to degrade in landfills and oceans for centuries. To go beyond eco-friendly travel and truly curb your carbon footprints, bring a set of reusable, recyclable, BPA-free bamboo utensils. Bamboo is an amazing resource; its antibacterial properties mean it requires no pesticides or fertilisers to grow, so the land is nurtured, not scarred by its production. And, bamboo fibre has incredible tensile strength, making these utensils reliable and durable.
Research has shown that certain chemicals in sunscreen – including oxybenzone, octinoxate, octocrylene, octisalate, avobenzone and homosalate – are extremely dangerous for ecosystems, making coral more susceptible to bleaching, deforming baby coral and degrading its resilience to climate change. These compounds have been found entering the environment both through wastewater effluent and directly from swimmers wearing sunscreens. To help stave off further damage from these harmful chemicals, travellers should always use natural and environmentally safe suncare products. Before purchasing your next bottle of sunscreen, read and check the ingredient list to make sure it is free from the aforementioned chemicals. Also, if you truly want to reduce the negative impact sunscreen has on reefs and marine life and to protect your skin, invest in good sunwear and sun accessories. Sun protective clothing with a UPF rating will prevent the sun’s rays from penetrating the fabric. Therefore, further reduce the use of sunscreen.
We rarely give our daily toilet routines much thought, but thanks to the rising awareness of plastic pollution, more of us are reconsidering our everyday choices. Trial-size toiletries found in the travel aisle and in hotels are typically packaged in plastic that’s discarded after use. Every year a billion plastic containers and toothbrushes are thrown away, ended up in oceans or landfills, where they pose a risk to marine life and habitats.
Carrying your own eco-friendly toiletries in reusable containers reduces plastic creation and decreases its negative impact on local ecosystems. For example, these TSA-approved and waterproof Matador’s reusable travel bottles are made of Cordura fabric are five times lighter and nearly four times more compact than their silicone counterparts. These bottles can be filled with just the right amount of liquid soap, gels, shampoo, and toothpaste, needed for your trip. Also, a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush is a natural alternative to the carcinogenic plastic-handled brushes that dominate the industry.
Source: Tough Tested
We just cannot travel without our tech gadgets and therefore power bank is an inevitable travel accessory. Power banks keeping you from keeling over with boredom on transcontinental flights, on-call in emergency situations, and always just one GPS query away from a shortcut to your next destination. When you are in far-flung destinations or remote destinations where electrical outlets may be inaccessible or scarce, having a solar power bank is a great addition to your travel gear. The solar panel on the power bank can juice the battery storage with sunlight, which is an abundant source of energy in nature. A solar power bank is definitely a great accessory for any eco-warriors!
Small steps can go a long way. If all travellers use these eco-friendly accessories to offset your environmental impact, little by little, we will ultimately make a difference.