Eco Friendly Gifts for Travel – Environmentally Friendly Gifts Ideas

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When birthdays and holidays approach, eco friendly gifts are the only way to go for the environmentally-conscious people on your to-do list. And for good reason! The planet isn’t going to fix itself in time for us to survive, so every little bit helps. Below we list up some of the best environmentally friendly gifts ideas for all types of traveler. 

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Eco Friendly Gift Ideas for Travelers

The more people travel, the more they tend to value the precious (and limited) resources our planet can provide. You don’t have to be a big traveler to value green gifts and eco friendly materials. Yet many people awaken to the real environmental issues once they’ve begun to explore the world. Look through these eco friendly gifts and see what the people on your list would appreciate. 

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Whether it’s a birthday, an anniversary, the Christmas season or some other gift-giving holiday, there are easy ways to limit your ecological footprint. Here are a few tips on how to make your next gift-giving opportunity a more earth-friendly one. 

Limit/Recycle Wrapping Paper

Presents don’t always have to be in shiny new wrapping paper. Try using newspaper, recycled wrapping paper or other eco friendly materials. Reusable gift bags work, too. 

Bring Your Own Shopping Bags

Whether to the mall or the market, get in the habit of bringing your own reusable bag. It can be simple. Just something that folds up small that sits in your car, your purse, or your daypack that’s easy to access. Each time you use it is one less plastic bag thrown away. 

Order Amazon all at Once

Ok, so this is a tricky one. We use Amazon a lot, and you probably do too. In fact, many of the eco friendly gifts ideas in this post link to Amazon. My suggestion here is to try to do your online shopping in large batches. By doing so you can limit the number of trips the postal service makes to your house. Therefore, you also limit packing materials used and fuel the postman burns going to and from your lace multiple times. Ordering everything ay once doesn’t always mean it all arrives at once, but it can limit trips over time. 

Limit Disposable Items

Plastic forks. Paper plates. Napkins, placemats, and drinking straws. These are all items you’ll find filling a garbage can after the typical birthday party or holiday get together. Whenever possible, try to limit your use of disposable stuff like this. Use paper products made from sustainable materials, or invest in some eco friendly cutlery and other utensils. 

Eliminate Food Waste

Eating together is such an important part of special days. If you’re having a big meal together, try to limit how much ends up in the trash. Send people home with a to-go plate or see if there are places where it can be donated. 

Rethink Cards

Yes, it’s the thought that counts. We give cards at birthdays, Christmas and anniversaries, but it’s quite easy nowadays to find cards made from eco friendly materials. Then there’s always the idea of making cards yourself from found materials. 

Give Gifts that Last 

So much gift-giving ends up in the trash days after it’s received. Think of all the useless crap used as stocking stuffers or given at white elephant parties and secret Santa events. All those people searching “gift ideas under $10.” So much of those gifts are straight-up garbage. Consider that before you buy them. Think practical before comical. The silly-gift joke lasts a few minutes. Plastic lasts centuries. 

Give Experiences Instead

We think the best eco friendly gifts idea is an actual visit to the great outdoors. Search your area and elsewhere for experiences. One suggestion is Get Your Guide, a reputable online tour outfitter that connects you with amazing experiences around the globe. Think rafting, hiking, camping, and cooking classes. There are countless experiences out there. The results are amazing memories, and that’s one of the best gifts of all. 

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Eco-Friendly Materials for Eating/Drinking

So much of the world’s disposable waste involves food. Just think about the amount of paper & plastic you’ve thrown out over the course of your life. Crazy, right? Well, today we have better tools to resist the convenience of plastic. Today’s reusable straws and utensils are made of eco friendly materials and last for years. Here are a few of our favorites. 

Reusable Straws 

I don’t need to tell you how single-use plastics like drinking straws are becoming a serious environmental problem. The solution: reusable straws. There are many types going around now: paper ones, bamboo ones, and these stainless steel models. Aesthetically, I like the bamboo straws best, but the steel ones feel easier to keep clean. They come with a carrying pouch and a cleaning brush. You can also purchase silicone ends with your mouth but I prefer drinking through them without. 

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Check Price: Ruby-Q Stainless Steel Straws (Set of 4) w/Brush & Pouch

Titanium Cutlery Set

Like with straws, much of the world goes through tons of wooden chopsticks and plastic forks and spoons. Get a cutlery set like this and you’ll never have to use them again. They’re titanium so they’re strong, lightweight and easy to clean. They’re perfect eco-friendly gifts for travelers and coworkers alike. They come in 3, 4 and 5-piece sets. I prefer the 5-piece since it comes with chopsticks and a straw. If you only need a fork, knife and spoon then follow the link to the 3-piece.

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Kleen Canteen Eco Friendly Water Bottle

One of the simplest ways to use less plastic is to carry your own eco friendly water bottle. Kleen Kanteen stainless steel bottles are a great way to carry your own beverage on the go and stop picking up as many plastic bottles. I bought the sports cap separately for my own 27-ounce bottle, but some models come with it, which makes it easier to drink on the go and they still have a loop so you can clip them to a bag. 

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SteriPen Water Sterilizer

Some of the most exciting places to travel don’t have the best water quality, which means you constantly have to drink bottled water. If you’re heading to one of these places (or someone you love is), then a SteriPen is a great travel gift. SteriPens use UV light to kill or denature the stuff that makes you sick in water. You get around 50 treatments per charge. We like the Ultra model because it also charges from a USB port.

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Platypus Ultralight Collapsible Eco Friendly Water Bottle

Anyone heading into the woods needs to stay hydrated. On the other hand, they also want to pack light. With a Platypus bottle like this, they can have both. Platypus makes great sturdy water filters and containers. This one holds up to two liters but then folds down into 1.3 ounces that fit in your pocket. If you’re looking for the best gifts for campers on your list, then this might be what you need.

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Eco-friendly Toiletries

Some of the best eco friendly gift ideas for travelers are items that help them look and feel good on the road. Look here for Eco friendly toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo and more. 

Bamboo Toothbrushes

To continue our message of limiting plastic use, another eco friendly gift for travelers are bamboo toothbrushes. Toothbrushes aren’t single-use plastic, but billions of them end up in landfills every year. That’s billions with a “B.” One way to curb this is to use eco friendly toothbrushes made of bamboo or other biodegradable material. This set of eight has BPA-free bristles and heat-treated wooden handles.

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Check Prices: Kooler Things Natural Charcoal Bamboo Toothbrushes 

Hello Activated Charcoal Eco Friendly Toothpaste

All Hello brand products are cruelty-free and vegan certified. Here they use active charcoal made from sustainable bamboo to naturally whiten teeth. This eco friendly toothpaste comes in four 4-ounce bottles for easy travel sizes.Hello Activated Charcoal Eco Friendly Toothpaste

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O Naturals 6-Piece Eco Friendly Soap Collection

This variety pack of luxury eco friendly soap is made with sustainable palm oil and other eco friendly materials. In addition to bars made with coffee and tea tree oil, there are bars made from the Dead Sea mud and other sustainable materials. There’s also an African Black soap bar — my son says it helps with acne.

O Naturals 6-Piece Eco Friendly Soap Collection

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Exfoliating Soap Bag – Eco Friendly Soap Saver Pouch 

These are both useful and sustainable eco friendly toiletries. You just put your soap inside the bag and then use it to later up and scrub down. It exfoliates the skin, all while using every bit of the soap. Throw all the little soap scraps in here to make the most of them. We use a Japanese version of these soap bags all the time. And they’re washable too.

Exfoliating Soap Bag - Eco Friendly Soap Saver Pouch

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J.R. Liggett’s Eco Friendly Shampoo Bars

We’ve mentioned these eco friendly shampoo bars is several travel gift posts, and that’s because we really like them. They smell great and limit the plastic you travel with. Not to mention not having to try to get liquids through security at the airport. Eco friendly shampoo bars make it easier. 

J.R. Liggett's Eco Friendly Shampoo Bars

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Ethique Eco Friendly Deodorant Bar

Just because you’re environmentally conscious doesn’t mean you have to smell like a hippie at a music festival. The Ethique Eco Friendly Deodorant Bar is made from sustainable, eco friendly materials. Smells great, too.

Ethique Eco Friendly Deodorant Bar

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AusKit TSA Approved Travel Bottles 

Pack your own shampoo and other cosmetics into these leak-proof TSA-approved silicone tubes. This set of four comes with a clear travel case. There’s also a lanyard that hooks on so you can use them better in guesthouses and gym shower rooms. Each tube has a rotating label so you can tell the difference between the body soap and the conditioner.

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Lena Cup

The amount of paper and plastic involved in the production of pads and tampons is considerable. That’s why many women are choosing to use a menstrual cup instead. The cup is made from medical-grade silicone and can last for years. Even the packaging is made from eco friendly materials.

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Kokua Natural Zinc Sunscreen SPF 50 – Reef Safe Sunscreen

As we continue to discover, many of the best sunscreens are quite harmful to ocean life. This goes double for areas with coral reefs, and so we urge you to be responsible when visiting these places. Kokua Zinc Sunscreen uses eco friendly materials that meet strict standards, yet still gives you SPF 50 coverage for up to 80 minutes in the water. Just take your time rubbing it in, and scrub well to remove at the end of the day.

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Best Eco Friendly Gifts for Teens & Students

It’s never too early to learn about conservation, sustainability and eco friendly materials. Here are a few environmentally friendly gift ideas for the younger ones on your list.

Pela: The Eco Friendly Phone Case

Pela believes in a waste-free future. That’s why their phone cases are 100% biodegradable. The cases are made of eco friendly materials, yet they remain stylish and have good shock absorption. A great eco friendly gift for teens with a new phone.

Pela Eco Friendly Phone Case for iPhone

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Pela Eco Friendly Phone Case for Samsung

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4Ocean Signature Blue Bracelet

Started by two surfers, the 4Ocean company has grown into a global force. For each bracelet purchased, 4Ocean clears one pound of plastic from the seas. The bracelets are made from recycled glass and plastic. Each purchase helps fund a worthy cause. 

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Alba Botanica Acnedote Maximum Strength Face & Body Scrub

Alba Botanica has been building a great reputation as a player in the green, cruelty-free cosmetics space. Their Acnedote cream uses natural, eco friendly materials to treat acne on the face, back, and other regions. 

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Decomposition Ultimate Wild Style Set 

This set of six college-ruled notebooks are made completely from eco friendly materials like recycled post-consumer waste paper and soy-based inks. Each has a cool cover with nature-based themes. Great eco friendly gifts for teens to use at school, for a journal, and more. 

Decomposition Ultimate Wild Style Set - Eco friendly materials - environmentally friendly gifts for teens

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Eco Friendly Clothing

Only in the last few years have people begun to realize the environmental impact of shoes and clothing production. By some estimates, it’s worse than the carbon footprint of air travel, which is saying something. Yet even if this data is proven wrong, the true consequences of the constant churn of fashion will be felt for decades to come. That doesn’t mean you can’t buy clothes and look good, however. You just need to buy smart, wear things longer and don’t let things go to waste. Go with environmentally friendly brands that use eco conscious methods and materials. Here are a few suggestions. 

prAna Permafrost Fleece Women’s Eco Friendly Jacket & Hoodie

With a shell made from 100% recycled polyester, the prAna’s Permafrost hoodie is an excellent eco-friendly gift for women. Side pockets keep hands warm and the fuzzy hood makes for excellent cuddle-friendly wear in the tent or on the sofa during a Netflix marathon. It also comes as a full-zip coat.

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prAna Permafrost Fleece Women's Eco Friendly Jacket - environmentally friendly brands for women

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Patagonia Men’s Better Sweater Eco Friendly Jacket

Consistently one of the most respected eco friendly brands in the world, Patagonia makes solid, stylish clothing that lasts forever. They are the vanguard on sustainability and environmentally friendly practices in the clothing space. On top of that, they stand by all of their products with a lifetime warranty. The Better Sweater Fleece is Fair Trade certified using 100% recycled polyester. 

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Need More Jackets?

The jackets mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg. Follow the link below to see our complete list of recommended travel jackets.

Best Travel Jackets How to Choose the Best Jacket for Travel

Read More: Best Travel Jackets for Men & Women

Eco Friendly Bags & Luggage

Most eco friendly travelers like to pack light, but they still need something to carry their stuff in. Here are a few bags and luggage items made from eco friendly materials from eco friendly brands. 

Patagonia Atom 8L Sling Bag

This has been my go-to day packs for a few years now. Its storage space is limited but holds a lot more than it looks. Exterior compression straps give you a place to attach a water bottle, or strap on a spare jacket or a yoga mat. And because it’s Patagonia, 50% of the exterior and 100% of the interior are recycled.

Patagonia Atom 8L Sling Bag - Eco friendly bags

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More Sling Bags

Want to see more cross-body style shoulder bags? We’ve written a feature on some of the best ones out there. 

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Read More: Best Sling Bags & Shoulder Bags for Travel 

Cotopaxi Del Dia Bataan 3L Travel Fanny Pack

Using excess materials, Cotopaxi creates hand-made, unique, ecologically conscious fanny packs. Their manufacturing teams choose different combinations of zippers, clips and other eco-friendly materials. Then they then mix and match them to make one-of-a-kind fanny packs. Each one is unique, and by using up the scraps and other materials they’re a great waste saver for the planet.

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Want to see more fanny packs?

The Cotopaxi Del Dia Bataan is just one of many great fanny packs for travel. Follow the link below to see more. 

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Patagonia Black Hole Duffel

If you’re carrying a load, then Patagonia’s Black Hole Duffel bag is up to the task. It comes in four sizes — from 40 liters to 100 liters — and it’s made from 100% recyclable material. That includes the lining, webbing and main fabrics. For easy storage, it folds into its own pocket. 

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Any Eco Friendly Gifts Missing?

What other eco friendly gifts for travelers could we add to our list. Are there any environmentally conscious gift ideas you could share with us? Let us know!

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which cost you nothing. However, when you use our links, we might receive a small commission if you buy any of the eco friendly gifts that we recommend. My opinions are my own and I only environmentally friendly gift ideas that I believe in. 

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