Traveling offers a greater understanding of the world but can also damage it. Here are some gift ideas for those who prefer to tread lightly. Almost all are from small businesses.
1. Water filtration bottle. Drink filtered water on the go instead of buying plastic water bottles with Hydros 20 oz Water Filter Bottle $20 or if the local water quality is iffy, protect against bacteria, parasites, dirt, and sand with a Lifestraw bottle $40.
2. Shampoo/conditioner bars. Eschew plastic shampoo bottles and airline liquid restrictions with shampoo and conditioner bars from Green Ablutions $12, Ethique $15, HiBar $13.95 or good juju $19.95. All brands have discounts on your first purchase.
3. Solar powered phone charger/lantern. This flat solar-powered phone charger from Luminaid is also a folded-up lantern that pops up into a cube shape for night time. A red light mode ensures your star-gazing won’t be interrupted if you are using it for camping. $60
4. Laundry saver. Do less laundry on the road with Magic BrushOff, designed as a reusable spot lifter/sponge to get rid of deodorant, makeup marks, lint, salt marks, and more from clothing and cloth surfaces. $14.50.
5. Makeup remover. Use this specially-designed washcloth from Make Up Eraser instead of packing and throwing away disposable makeup wipes. $20.
6. Personal lubricant (for vehicles). Gear Hugger’s plant-based lubricant can help keep bike parts, strollers or wheelchairs moving so the recipient can “buy less, fix more and play longer.” $13
7. Cozy hat made of sustainable recycled wool and cotton for your winter travels. Designed in Denmark. Comes in recycled packaging. From Trendhim $39
8. Silk Travel Eye Mask to help get some shut eye on the road. Silk can biodegrade, and uses less water, chemicals, and energy than many other fibers. From Saatva. $60
9. Reusable lunch and snack bags Eschew plastic bags and foil wrap on your day trips with colorful reusable, washable, dishwasher-safe zip up bags $13.50 from Green City Living.
10. Natural Bug Repellant. Murphy’s Naturals DEET-free, plant-based Mosquito Repellent Balm $9.99 or Bite Relief Soothing Balm Stick $5.99 can be thrown in a purse or backpack.
11. See home in a new way – Give the gift of experience with a food, coffee, or street art tour guided by local experts from the Tours By Locals website.
12. Recipient’s Choice: Reduce returns and waste by giving the recipient their choice of travel item from Snappy Gifts website. Items include a solar phone charger and sustainability sourced toiletry organizer.
Note to readers: I received product samples for evaluation but I will pass them along if possible (not the used shampoo bars) and I do not/will not receive any payment from the companies listed.