Are you looking for the perfect travel-themed Christmas gift for your female significant other, but want to make sure it aligns with her eco-conscious values? Is your best mate about to embark on a backpacking adventure, and you want to get a useful gift which she can take with her?
This list of environmentally friendly travel products will help you pick out the perfect present for any travel lover!
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Things to look for in an eco-conscious travel gift:
- Does the product packaging come in plastic? Ideally, the packaging itself would be sustainable too!
- Concentrate on finding practical products that can be used again and again
- Check that the product was made ethically and everyone who worked on making the product was paid fairly. (If a company is ethical, this is usually listed on company’s websites.)
- Lookout for the B-certified logo or other 3rd party sustainability brands, who often verify when a company is truly eco-conscious.
- Wrap gifts in reused gift bags, newspapers, or find creative ways to reuse old packaging that would otherwise be thrown away.
A REUSABLE, FILTER WATER BOTTLE FROM WATER TO GO
This has to be one of THE most important items in every female travellers backpack! To avoid using plastic bottles in Southeast Asia, I used a Water To Go bottle.
The filters used in their BPA free water bottles are created based on technology originally developed for the NASA space programme. These provide safe water from any non-salt water source in the world.
Read more on the Water to go website and use the code HAG15 if you like what you see to get 15% off.
REUSABLE COFFEE CUP
Along the same theme are reusable coffee cups. A must-have for tea and coffee drinkers, especially if they’re travelling in cooler weather.
KeepCups are one of the most popular brands when it comes to fighting the billions of coffee cups disposed of every year. They’re recyclable, BPA-free, and perfect for storing in your luggage. They even look fairly stylish.
Alternatively, for a travel-themed mug, alongside other unique products to decorate your home, be sure to check out this fun gift guide: GIFTS FOR MAP LOVERS
Have you heard of Boody yet? I ADORE this clothing company, who specialise in comfortable clothing made of bamboo. And when I say comfortable, I MEAN comfortable.
While they also have amazing underwear and nightwear in their online store, the activewear section would be perfect for any outdoors-loving female hiker.
Shampoo bars are a fantastic and easy to reduce plastic. And better yet, they can help us save space in our luggage. One bar lasts weeks longer than a normal bottle!
The best brand I’ve used so far is Ethique. Personally, I use this eco-friendly shampoo for sensitive skin. But they have a huge variety of options with some lush scents too. Try out these ones for oily hair or this Pinkalicious bar for normal hair.
Their products are vegan, sustainable, 100% compostable and plastic-free. They also sell plastic-free deodorants, cleansers, and body lotions within their range!
ECO-FRIENDLY REUSABLE MAKEUP REMOVER PADS
Although I didn’t wear makeup very often on my backpacking adventure, these would have still come in handy for the rare occasion that I did. (And much kinder on the skin than my threadbare travel towel!)
These pads are made entirely of bamboo and come with a mesh storage bag to keep tidy in your backpack. Another fantastic zero waste gift that comes with the additional advantage of keeping us from having to look for beauty products on the road.
REUSABLE PERIOD PRODUCTS
Full disclosure: our menstrual cycles are super personal, and we all have different needs and comfort levels. Check with the gift recipient if they’re excited to try out – or – before buying them.
Personally, I can’t get over the comfort of period underwear from Modibodi. Honestly, I’d go as far as saying it’s been life-changing. I never knew I could actually feel comfortable during the most uncomfortable time of the month!
However, I know other women who swear by menstrual cups!
These are great for female travellers. They don’t take up much space in our backpacks, and we no longer have to worry about finding menstrual products on the road.
Eco Eyewear has some fantastic sunglasses available, perfect for feeling stylish on the road.
If your friend usually wears glasses or contacts, you can get their prescription. I have a pair of these clip on sunglasses which provide the best of both worlds. I can use them at day or night, and don’t need to pack an extra frame.
They have a range of eco initiatives which you can read about here.
BAMBOO KNIFE AND FORK
This is a great gift, and in particular for budget backpackers who may be more likely to eat at night markets and street food stalls, which often don’t provide reusable cutlery.
For someone who tends to cook on their travels, take picnic, or carry leftovers, these Ecoshack Beewax Reusable Wrapping Sheets are a great option for food storage on the road.
Okay, so it’s safe to say reusable straws have been popularised in recent years! Which is great, but if your friend is already a seasoned traveller, you may want to check she doesn’t already have one first!
This would make a fantastic stocking filler! As would this dentist approved bamboo toothbrush. (I like using this one because it has soft bristles.)
If your female friend is planning on swimming in the ocean, chances are that she needs reef-safe sunscreen. Why? Regular sunscreen is harmful to the very ocean we wish to explore.
This is an essential for eco-conscious travellers, yet it often gets missed. Plus, sunscreen is a MUST on the road and not always easy to find for good value in some countries.
THE TRAVELLING VEGAN COOKBOOK
Looking for the perfect gift for female travellers who aren’t currently planning a trip? The Travelling Vegan Cookbook is the perfect way to celebrate plant-based recipes from around the world.
Travelling as a vegan has it’s ups and downs, but once you know what to do, trying the vegan food of different cultures is an amazing experience. If you or your friend needs some tips on vegan travel, Lonely Planet has you sorted with their in-depth guide ‘The Vegan Travel Handbook‘.
A BACKPACK DESIGNED FOR WOMEN
While there is a huge array of fantastic backpacks available, the tried-and-tested Osprey Fairview 40L (Carry On – also available in larger sizes) remains popular with seasoned backpackers for a reason. The Fairview is specifically designed to fit a woman’s body and includes unique features such as a hidden emergency whistle on the strap. It’s also a remarkably light backpack con
And, yes, this is the backpack I travelled around Asia with, and still have ready in my closet for the next adventure.
Admittedly, Osprey is not THE most sustainable company on this list. But they create vegan, durable and long-lasting products, and aim to repair products over replacing them.
GIFT A NON-MATERIAL GIFT
Yep, the most sustainable gift is often the one that we can’t see!
But that doesn’t mean that invisible presents have to be boring. Why not get your friend a tour or excursion, booked with a family local to the area they’re travelling? Or join them on a cooking class to learn how to whip up recipes from their favourite cuisine? You can even purchase virtual cooking classes from around the world!
Thinking creatively can lead to unique and unforgettable gift-giving.
And finally, while the I love the products listed here, be sure to check in on local businesses who sell similar products too.
Hi, I’m Cassie, and I’ve been solo travelling the globe since May 2018. In this time, I’ve backpacked around Southeast Asia, Japan and The Balkans, alongside spending a year living in Australia. Currently isolating in New Zealand.