Do you know someone who LOVES to travel? Chances are you do, because really, who doesn’t love to travel? Maybe you know someone who loves to travel AND is super into saving the environment. Or maybe you just want to start purchasing more eco-friendly products and gifts. Whatever the case may be, here are the top eco-friendly gifts for every traveler you know!
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We all know that traveler (aka me) who can’t stop taking photos or is addicted to Instagram. Juggling all those electronics and also hopping from one city to the next, this traveler needs to be on top of their game. One of the best eco friendly gifts you can get a traveler like this is a solar powered charging device! This one has three USB ports so you can charge three devices at the same time! Clean energy doesn’t have to break the bank either since this solar charger starts at just $39.99CAD. You can buy it here.
This gift is also perfect for travelers with Instagram obsessions. Or just for anyone really. I mean who do you know that doesn’t own a cell phone? PELA Phone Cases are incredible. They are made entirely out of flax and are 100% compostable. How many cell phone cases have you had that you had to throw away eventually due to wear and tear or due to upgrading your phone? Think about that number and multiply it by the billions of people on the planet who use cell phones. That is a ton of plastic in landfills and in the ocean. The PELA Case is perfect for lovers of zero-waste, and really anyone with a cell phone. It’s on my wishlist for sure (hint hint). PELA Phone Cases come in a variety of colors and start at $34.97CAD. You can buy them here.
Health nuts everywhere know the importance of staying hydrated. So why not stay hydrated in style and give to a good cause at the same time? Wellness Bottles are definitely the way to go on this one. They are stainless steel and have a wooden lid. Talk about being earth-friendly right? They are also BPA Free and FDA Certified. I have one that I take with me everywhere and it is amazing! Not only is it super eco-friendly to use this rather than plastic bottles, but it will also keep cold drinks cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 12 hours! Plus 20% of profits are given to build wells in rural parts of the world where people don’t have access to clean drinking water. They really are the best gifts for hikers and health enthusiasts everywhere. Wellness Bottles are $38.55CAD but you can get 20% off with my discount code, AprilVL20! Buy them here.
I cannot recommend Sand Cloud Towels enough! They are hand-loomed in Turkey and are made of 100% Turkish cotton. They are super lightweight, soft and perfect for travel because they roll up really small. Plus 10% of profits are donated to different organizations that help to save marine life! Sand Cloud is based out of California where they also organize large beach clean ups to help keep the ocean clean and free from plastic! Sand Cloud Towels start at just $55.00CAD but you can get a 25% discount by using my discount code AprilVL25. Buy one here!
Love Your Melon beanies (toques if you’re Canadian like me) are amazing! Not only are they made out of cotton (a sustainable fabric) but 50% of profits are given to support research and provide hats to kids battling cancer. Love Your Melon works with a variety of nonprofit partners to help fight pediatric cancer in America and worldwide. Recently, LYM released a line of vegan patch beanies so if you want to make the most sustainable choice out there, definitely buy one of the vegan beanies and not one of the ones with a leather patch. Love Your Melon Vegan Beanies start at $38.19CAD and you can buy them here.
Although I adore reading physical books I love having a Kindle for travel. There is definitely some controversy as to whether Kindles are ‘greener’ than paper books. I think it really depends on how many books you read in a year. If you read all the time then I think Kindles are greener, but if you only read a little then it’s probably better to just buy a previously used book. Truthfully the most eco-friendly thing to do would be to recycle a Kindle or book by buying either one used. And honestly buying a used book and not having to charge it would be the most eco-friendly option.
The thing with books though is that they are heavy and Kindles are amazing if you are an avid traveler. You can literally bring one tiny little Kindle with you and have it loaded with hundreds of books. Plus if you want to really blow someone away you could get them a Kindle AND the solar powered charger mentioned above to make it even more eco-friendly. Kindles start at $79.99CAD but if you look carefully you might find a used or refurbished one on sale. You can buy used books at your local used book shop or buy a Kindle here.
Totes are so perfect for shopaholics! What better way to store your souvenirs than a super cute, organic cotton tote bag. They roll up so easily into day-packs, purses and suitcases and are so much stronger than plastic bags. Plus they don’t clog up landfills or end up in the ocean. You can find reusable totes at a variety of places but I personally love this one! This tote starts at $14.99 CAD and you can buy it here.
Every travel writer needs a journal… Or twelve. I have kept so many journals in my life and most of them are filled with stories, photos, postcards, plane tickets and so much more. I love using my journal as an on-the-go scrapbook to keep memories from my travels. Plus it’s also the best place to write rough drafts for blog posts and articles like this one. If you know a travel writer chances are they don’t only write for other people, but they also write for themselves. There are a huge variety of eco-friendly travel journals that you can find but I personally love this one. I don’t know about you, but this one is definitely on my wishlist. It’s made out of leaf leather. Leaf leather is a sustainable leather alternative that is made from teak leaves. Plus it’s made by Tree Tribe which also plants ten trees for every sale made. This eco-friendly journal is $15.96CAD and you can buy it here. You can also find other amazing eco-friendly and fair trade journals from another brand I love called Ten Thousand Villages here.
Last but not least is for that one friend who travels the world in search of the best yoga retreats. Perhaps he or she is a yoga teacher or maybe just a yoga addict. Regardless they need a yoga mat by Affirmats! These mats are amazing! I have one at home that I love and even brought with me to Mexico. These mats are made out of Jute and PER (Polymer Environmental Resin) which means they are totally biodegradable as well. Each one contains an affirmation printed on the top so you can always stay inspired. Mine says Believe There is Good in the World, and depending on how you look at it, it also says, Be The Good in the World. Affirmats start at $66CAD and you can buy them here.
One last thing I want to share here is how to wrap your gifts without sacrificing the health of the planet. Wrap your gifts in recycled paper or newspaper and decorate with twine or plastic free thread. It’s so much better for the environment and super cute as well. If people give you gifts wrapped in plastic wrapping paper or bags then don’t throw them out! Save them for next year and reuse them.
April is the founder and main author for Just Leaving Footprints. She has written for numerous blogs and publications such as Explore Magazine and Snow Pak. April loves writing about sustainable tourism, and promoting other sustainable travelers on her Facebook Group and Instagram Community, Ladies for Sustainable Travel. Currently, April is living and teaching English in Mexico City with her husband Arturo and they don’t plan on stopping their travels anytime soon.
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