The way we approach gift-giving has undergone a significant change. We are in an era where everyone around us is conscious of the environment. So much so that sustainability is one of the most sought-after aspects by consumers of a brand. A study in the Journal of Sustainable Tourism states that customers choose long-term environmental sustainability, looking over their short-term gains.
Ever since I started traveling full-time, I couldn’t help but notice the profound impact we had on the environment. I realized that as travelers, we hold a responsibility not only to appreciate the beauty of our planet but also to actively preserve it for future generations to enjoy. The more I immersed myself in the different communities and their culture, the more I understood what was at stake.
With so many folks resorting to mindful gifting, I have created this guide for some of the best sustainable gifts for travelers. You must have noticed in my other articles that I always vouch for quality over bragging rights. If your travel gear lasts you for years, then congratulations! You have made a small but necessary contribution to preserving our environment and reducing the overall carbon footprint.
With this guide, you will be choosing reusable, ethically made, or upcycled items to send a powerful message about conscious consumption. These gifts will stand out as meaningful choices and the recipient is bound to use them for several years. Thereby eliminating the need to buy it again.
Eco-Friendly Gifts for Travelers
1. Rocketbook Core Reusable Smart Notebook
A reusable notebook. One of the most practical and smart inventions out there, you can not only jot down notes with the Rocketbook Core Notebook but can also have your notes saved on your smartphone. Jot down the notes, scan the page with the Rocketbook app, and your notes are automatically saved onto the app. You can now wipe the page with the microfibre towel (included) and repeat the process!
This will be an excellent gift to folks who hike. Hikers usually tend to note down trail paths, landmarks, potential hazards, and a lot more.
2. Bee’s Wrap Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps
You may wonder how wrapping paper can be considered sustainable gifting. Well, the Bee’s Wrap food wraps not only keep the food fresh but can also be reused as compost or a firestarter. Made in the USA and contains organic cotton, beeswax, organic plant oil, and tree resin. It’s free from all the toxins and unnecessary chemicals.
But what’s more interesting is that you can reuse these food wraps by simply washing them. Some customers have claimed that they have been using these wraps for years and years and some have even got them recoated with beeswax. In your travels, you can use them as a firestarter in case of emergency. An excellent product in my books.
3. HiBear All-Day Adventure Flask
A personal favorite of mine. I still recall that jaw-dropping moment when a friend of mine brewed fresh coffee. In the middle of a trek. On a hill with virtually no access to a kitchen or a cafe. With temperatures as extreme as -10C.
It was all possible due to the HiBear All-Day Adventure Flask. It’s been coined as the ‘Swiss Army of Water Bottles’ and frankly, I couldn’t agree more. With the Hi-Bear Flask, you can not only store water but also brew fresh coffee or tea, make cocktails, and even decant wine.
The sleeve of the flask is removable and doubles down as a mug. It’s insulated as well to store hot water (it’s a flask after all). And in case you want to make a cold cocktail or prefer an iced americano, the HiBear includes a thermal core that you can freeze and then insert it inside the flask. Add your coffee/drink to it and your beverage will remain cold.
I have created a guide on reusable water bottles for travel. All the water bottles listed are sustainable and you can use them for years to come. They are super practical and excellent gifting options.
4. Fire & Flavor HERO Grill Kit
Plant-based charcoal pads. A bamboo spatula. A bamboo cutting board. The Fire & Flavour Hero Grill kit is incredibly eco-friendly. Weighing less than 10 pounds and collapsible to the size of a standard laptop, you can conveniently enjoy a charcoal grilled meal almost anywhere outdoors. This grill makes camping and picnics a lot more fun. The Hero Charcoal pods can be bought separately as well and are low VOC, making them an environmentally friendly fuel choice compared to petroleum-based alternatives.
You can even take the grill on a trek to make things more fun and memorable with your friends. And the fact that it doesn’t weigh much makes it super ideal for your travels.
5. Zippo Heatbank 9s Rechargeable Hand Warmer
With these rechargeable hand warmers, you can say goodbye to the old-school disposable hand warmers. The Zippo Heatbank is a sustainable option since it not only warms your hands but also recharges your devices with its USB Slot. With a powerful 5200mAh lithium-ion battery, these hand warmers provide up to 9 hours of reliable warmth on a single charge, ensuring you stay comfortable throughout your outdoor escapades.
You can tinker around with the settings and have the Zippo Heatbank warm up on either one side or both sides. With six heat settings to choose from, you can easily adjust the warmth to suit your preferences and environment. The intuitive heat and battery indicator lights keep you informed of the device’s status, ensuring you’re always in control.
Honestly, it’s a pretty handy device. Especially when it comes to traveling. If your friends or family are planning a trip to a chilly region, The Zippo Heatbank will serve as an excellent gift. Moreover, it also acts as a backup power bank.
6. BLAVOR Solar Charger Power Bank
A power bank powered by solar. I’m a huge fan of this product. So much so that I have featured them in a couple of my articles. The Blavor Solar Power Bank does what every other power bank does i.e. charging your devices. However, it is in a league of its own. Firstly. It’s solar-powered. You can charge it by leaving it out in the sun.
Reviews have mentioned that it takes quite a long time to get fully charged. However in my opinion, if you are stranded in the middle of nowhere without any support, the last thing you would want is an empty power bank and your smartphone on the brink of one bar of battery. With the Blavor Solar Power Bank, you can leave it out in the sun to charge or carry it along with you while it charges.
Secondly, it has an in-built flashlight. How cool is that? The flashlight can be very convenient on the trails. Be it rucking, hiking, or even camping, you are bound to use the flashlight.
This product was tailor-made for travel and is one of the best sustainable products you can gift someone.
7. Steripen Water Purifier’s Adventurer Opti UV
I believe every traveler needs to equip themselves with a Steripen Water Purifier. With it’s ultraviolet light rays, it sterilizes unsafe water. Something like a water purification on the go.
All you have to do is once you come across a water source like a lake or a river, simply fill up your bottle and use the device. Once the purification is complete, the smiley logo on the back of the device will light up. Pretty nifty right?
I recall carrying the Steripen with me back in Nepal. I would carry it as back up just in case i run out of water. It barely weighs much and easily fits inside any pocket.
Word of Caution: It is advisable to use clear water. I suggest staying away from water that is cloudy or just off-colored. While the Steripen Water Purifier may kill the virus and bacteria, the water can still contain tiny metal pieces that can be harmful and a filter would be advisable in this case. The Larq Bottle PureVis is a more efficient option.
8. Scrubba Portable Wash Bag
As travelers, the one thing we seldom talk about is dirty laundry. Dealing with laundry while traveling is not just some minor inconvenience. The clothes need to be washed regularly. Procrastinate enough and you run the risk of not having any clothes to wear.
Washing clothes in your hotel sink can be tedious as well. Especially if the sink is too small. With Scrubba Potable Hand Washer, you can clean your clothes while you are out traveling, camping, or even in your hotel. You don’t have to pay for expensive laundry at the hotel anymore.
With the Scrubba weighing just 16.5 oz, you can carry it with you wherever you travel. I recall standing in long queues at my local laundromat back in the day. Ever since I got my hands on the Scrubba washing kit, I made sure that I took it along for all my travels. Put on fresh clothes no matter where you are thanks to this very handy kit.
With the amount of water it uses, your friends and family who care about environmental sustenance will fall in love with the Scrubba washing kit.
More Sustainable and Meaningful Gift Ideas Worth Checking Out
When it comes to holiday shopping, Americans spend around a whopping $12 million every minute. While gift-giving may be one of the best things that has happened to all mankind, it is a tad bit out of control. And this surge in numbers ultimately won’t benefit the planet.
We need to look out for our environment and practice a sustainable way of life. It all starts with small environmentally conscious choices. When you choose a gift, your choice reflects your love for the recipient. Choosing an eco-friendly gift that conveys your thoughtfulness is bound to make for a great gift.
There’s nothing wrong with buying a physical gift during the holidays. But when you do, you have to make sure that the carbon footprint is low. But if you wish to avoid buying one entirely, check out these gifting ideas that are not only sustainable but also very meaningful.
Offer e-books, online courses, or streaming service subscriptions for entertainment and knowledge without any physical waste. And I’m not talking about the physical vouchers from your local grocery. It’s always best to buy these subscription vouchers online. The code will be delivered over email and you can forward it to your loved ones with a personalized note.
Homemade Bath Products: Create bath salts, scrubs, or bath bombs with natural ingredients. Package them in reusable containers to minimize waste. You’ll find plenty of tutorials on the web.
- Handcrafted Candles: Use soy wax and natural fragrances like essential oils to craft eco-friendly candles. Reuse containers for a sustainable touch.
- Upcycled Crafts: Transform old materials into new, functional items. For instance, repurpose wine corks into coasters or convert old jars into stylish storage containers.
Honestly, you’ll need to use a bit of creativity when it comes to DIY Gifts. If that’s not your forte then I suggest going for a consumable gift like the ones below.
- Bulk Food Items: Package organic spices, nuts, or grains in glass jars or cloth bags for a thoughtful and waste-free culinary gift.
- Homemade Jams or Preserves: Craft delicious jams or preserves from seasonal fruits and present them in glass jars with reusable lids.
- Sustainable Coffee or Tea: Select ethically sourced coffee or tea packaged in eco-friendly materials. Include a reusable mug for a complete gift.
- Plantable Stationery: Choose stationery made from recycled materials embedded with seeds, allowing recipients to plant and grow plants after use.
- Homemade Granola: Prepare a personalized granola mix using healthy ingredients and package it in a reusable container.
- Potted Plants: Indoor plants not only add greenery but also enhance air quality.
- DIY Herb Garden Kit: Assemble kits with pots, seeds, and soil to help recipients start their own herb gardens.
- Kitchen Herb Plants: Gift small potted herb plants like basil, mint, or rosemary for indoor cooking convenience.
Last update on 2024-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API