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11 travel gifts for eco-conscious wanderers

Such is the current reusable and recycling revolution, that at home, most of us wouldn’t dream of buying single-use plastic water bottles and throwaway coffee cups, or using plastic straws on nights out. Right? However, while we might be a bunch of enlightened, environmentally-conscious and all-around excellent human beings in our day-to-day life (and our night life), those good intentions can often go out of the window when we travel abroad.

Which is bizarre, when you consider that many of the places we visit need our help to reduce non-recyclables the most.

 

 

It’s time to start travelling the same way we live at home – mindful of waste, and plastic free. Be kind to the planet and your travel-loving friends and family with these super green gifts…

 

1. Stojo Collapsible Coffee Cup

Coffee to go? I should Stojo!

 

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Stojo’s collapsible coffee cups not only fit in your pocket, come with a reusable straw and can be bought in a variety of gorgeous shades, but they’re also made from recyclable material.

 

2. Upso bags

Tarp, who goes there!

 

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Only UPSO, our favourite British-made eco-luggage brand since…. THE DAWN OF TIME! (AND BACKPACKS).
Destined for landfill, UPSO use sheets of waterproof lorry tarp, recycled seatbelt webbing and firehose to create their backpacks, hand-luggage cabin bags and bike bags. Not only do they look sheet hot, but they’re also extremely durable and each one is completely original. Plus, they’re all made in a factory in Lancashire, using solar energy to power their sewing machines.
(While still dubious about the presence of sunshine and thus solar polar in Lancashire, we just adore them).

 

3. Rareform bags and tags

And top of the Billboard Hot 100 goes to…

 

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Wallets feeling fatter thanks to that tax return? Good news… We’re celebrating with a Tax Break Sale! Shop BOGO wallets. Tag a friend & get in on the deal together. @johnonelio

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Rareform! Rareform take billboard vinyl destined for the scrapheap and turn them into hardwearing backpacks, satchels, passport holders, luggage tags, washbags, laptop sleeves and more.
Because each billboard is unique in its design, colour and typography, so is each bag. As a company, they repurpose 20,000 lbs. of billboard vinyl a month into their one-off products.

 

4. Toilet Twinning

Show someone that you give a crap!

 

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Together we’ve reached 100,000 twins! Thank you so much for being part of our journey so far. #toilettwinning #twinyourtoilet

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Help to flush away poverty. 2.3 billion people around the world don’t have somewhere safe and hygienic to go to the loo. This incentive allows you to twin your toilet, or twin another person’s toilet as a gift, with a toilet in a developing country. The money then goes to help a family build a basic toilet, access clean water and learn about hygiene – a vital combination that can save lives.
The recipient of your gift will receive a framed certificate, complete with a colour photo and GPS coordinates of their twin location. Excellent reading while on the ‘throne’.

 

5. Pang Wangle journey scarf

Scarves that are safe, sustainable and scare away insects?

 

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Yep, there are no flies on Pang Wangle’s Journey Scarf!
The unicorn of the travel clothing world (it shouldn’t exist, but it does), these infinity scarves have a hidden pocket to safely stash valuables (like a credit card, ID or cash), are made from soft recycled fabric, and have a built-in and odourless insect shield® that repels mosquitos and lasts for 70+ washes!
Mind. Fully. Blown.
As well as being perfect for treks and being out and about when you don’t feel safe carrying a wallet, because of their circular shape, they’re also perfect for countries and religious sites where women need to cover up their hair.

 

6. Pela eco-friendly phone case

Hello. Ocean here, you called?

 

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Yep, and we’d like to share this: Around one billion new phones are bought each year. Which means that one billion phone cases (or more if you upgrade your look every year) end up in landfill or in the ocean.
Sure, you could probably live without a protective case while travelling. (Who are you, and why are you not accidentally dropping your phone off a. bunkbeds, b. out of moving vehicles, c. all occasions involving happy hours?).
But the likelihood is, that you’ll need the protective services of a phone case even more while you’re away. Pela eco cases are not only beautifully-designed with limited edition prints, colours and graphics, but more importantly, they are 100% compostable, plus have a heap of other clever science credentials like being free from lead, cadmium, BPA and phthalates.

 

7. 4Ocean bracelet

Trash talk! Buy someone a bracelet to pull a pound of plastic.

 

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Dogs want a clean ocean and coastline too. #4ocean #NationalPetDay #4oceanPets #WeeklyFluff 📸 : @igna.ferriol

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In the jewellery world, diamonds may be forever, but in the real world, so is plastic. A plastic bottle can take thousands of years to decompose.
4Ocean bracelets make the perfect gift for travel lovers. Supporting a different cause each month with limited-edition themes and designs, they not only look amazing and are a great talking point, but they also do good. Every time you buy a 4Ocean bracelet, a pound of trash is pulled from our oceans and coastlines. Plus, the beads are made from recycled glass and the cord is made from recycled plastic bottles.

 

8. House of Marley headphones or speakers

Sounds like a good idea to us.

 

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A soundtrack to your travels is an essential. Plus, people snoring in dorm rooms, on planes, trains, buses… in fact, any situation in life, is just annoying. Therefore, a good pair of headphones are a must-have on the road. But what if they could also have an environmental impact as well?
There are a few brands out there using recycled materials to make their headphones, but one of our favourites is House of Marley. As well as looking fresh and sounding great, they’re also made from mindfully sourced materials. The full list of materials they use to do good is genuinely too long to publish, but includes CNC milled-bamboo, recycled REWIND™ fabric and reclaimed and upcycled REGRIND™ Silicone.

 

9. Veja sneakers

… And hipster points to boot.

 

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Recognise these? Made from organic cotton, wild Amazonian rubber, veggie-tanned leather and even recycled plastic bottles from the streets of Sao Paulo, 2019’s most-Instagrammed sneakers are 100% fair trade. Perfect for urbanites and outdoorsy types, they’re paving the way for trainer lovers worldwide to start thinking deeper about where their kicks are sourced, one step at a time.

 

10. Dopper insulated bottle (and more bonus Vejas for you)

Be cool. Travel how you live.

 

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All it takes is one single sip. And bang! You’re hooked. Your Dopper is now an essential part of your day-to-day outfit. Socks? Check. Pants? Check. Pink Dopper to tie it all together? Absolutely. (We got that one way before the socks, obviously.) Picture made by: @northern_french In the picture: @teglavdweck #dopper #shopsustainable #consciouslifestyle #ecofriendly #thermobottle #theconsciouscommunity #refill #fightplasticpollution

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We get it, the first piece of health advice you get when you travel is, don’t drink the water!
Of course, be safe and drink bottled water where you need to. But so many hostels now provide drinking water where you can refill your bottle, and lots of treks and national parks have actually banned single-use plastic on their trails.
Every refillable water bottle helps the environment, but we just love Dopper for their eco-ethos, pastel colours and the fact that the top screws off to form a handy wine glass. The insulated versions also keep liquid hot for 9 hours or cold for 24 hours. (Presumably, the same can be said for keeping white wine cold, too?).
TIP. Download the Refill app to top up your bottle with free drinking water on the go. Plus, Refill have worked with many UK airports to add liquid drains at security, so that you can empty your bottle before going through and then fill it up at the other side for your flight!

 

11. Vagabands ID bracelet

Safe, eco and good-looking? We’re with the band.

 

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These award-winning bands are one of our favourite travel gifts. Not only do they help to keep you safe (just snap open to reveal all the important safety, medical and practical information that you want to keep to hand on the road), but they also look fab and are a really lovely memento of your adventure.
As well as being virtually indestructible and potentially life-saving, they’re also environmentally-conscious. Aiming to be carbon negative by 2020, the bands are 100% recyclable and hand-made in London.

 

When we’re not out exploring the world, lusting after ethically made travel accessories and, we try to be as kind to the planet in other ways too. If you want to find out how, click here.