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Traveling and keeping all your sustainable habits is not always easy. Depending on where you travel, some cities make it easier than others to protect the environment, and when you are a stranger to the area, it is just that much more difficult. However, every bit helps, and these four travel accessories are great examples of ways you can help the environment before you even leave home.
Platypus Soft Bottles—You save the environment; they save you space.
When visiting destinations where the tap water is safe to drink, bring your own water bottle with you. Not only will you save money, but you will avoid having to add to the 3 billion pounds of waste each year produced by plastic bottles that are not recycled. This way, you do not have to worry if you cannot find a recycling bin! Although any reusable water bottle without BPA and PET will work, sometimes space in your suitcase or carry-on can be a problem.
Platypus sells soft water bottles that fold up when empty, saving precious luggage space. These bottles are sold in lots of different colors and sizes, are completely BPA free, and are much lighter than the typical hard water bottle. The bottles are made in the United States, and less energy and materials are used to manufacture them, compared to the typical hard water bottle. Starting at around $7.00 (for a 0.5 liter bottle), the prices do not break the bank either.
Use eco-friendly footwear.
No matter where you plan on going this summer, chances are pretty good you are looking for new flip flops or sandals to replace grungy, old ones. This year, why not buy biodegradable ones? Feelgoodz sells fair trade flip flops made of top quality, all-natural rubber. This means you do not have to add them to a landfill when you want to dispose of them. Not only are they safe for the environment, but Feelgoodz claims that their flip flops are “curiously comfortable”. The flip flops are available in several different designs and colors for women, men, and children.
Before you throw out your flip flops from last year, check out Feelgoodz “Recycle your un-flop” campaign. You mail them your worn-out footwear, and they send them to Kenya where local artists transform your trash into “eco-boutique” items to be resold in Kenyan villages. Not only are you recycling your shoes, but if you join the Flipsquad, their rewards program, they will give you points towards a free pair. You can buy the flip flops directly online, or search for a store near you.
Travel-size natural bath products
If you are looking for green bath products, check out Indigo Wild’s Zum line. All their soaps and other bath essentials are made with all natural ingredients, such as goat milk, shea butter, natural oils, and vitamins. The ingredients are all listed on their website, and all their merchandise is vegetarian-friendly. Many of their products are also vegan and gluten-free. Products are sold in various sizes and with their travel-size zip bag, everything is under three ounces, so you do not have to worry about them not passing through airport security.
Record your journey with a tree-free journal.
Keeping a travel diary is a great way to remember your vacation and ends up being a priceless souvenir. If you do not already have a journal, consider buying one made with recycled materials. Several companies produce journals with recycled paper, but Ecopaper goes one step more.
Ecopaper makes journals and stationary products with tree-free paper. Their products are 100% recycled, produced from leftover materials from bananas, coffee, lemons, and mangoes. For example, their Banana Paper is made from the pinzotes (stems) of bananas.
Normally, these stems are not used for anything and can actually be harmful to the environment because their strange composition does not decompose fully. However, Ecopaper extracts fiber from these stems to create paper. Their website gives you in-depth information about how they make their paper, and their online store has numerous options of styles and sizes, all for very affordable prices.