Sustainable Items to Pack For Your Vacation

It’s easy to forget about making environmentally-friendly decisions and end up creating a lot of waste while traveling. If you’re looking to have fun during your trip but also want to make sustainable choices, it’s very doable. Here’s a list of nine items that will help you to have guilt-free fun while also making traveling more convenient for you. 

Shampoo Bars

Shampoo bottles are usually bulky and take up a lot of space. If you’re traveling by plane and keep your shampoo bottle in a carry-on bag, it will most likely be confiscated at the airport because of liquid restrictions. If you keep it in a suitcase instead, there’s a good chance of the shampoo leaking if it isn’t a full bottle. 

The safest choice for you and the environment is to keep a shampoo bar instead. They’re compact and you can take them with you wherever without producing waste. Moreover, shampoo bars are better for your scalp because of their lack of harsh chemicals that shampoo bottles usually contain. They have more natural ingredients, so you can expect to see healthy hair in all your vacation selfies. 

Reef-Friendly Sunscreen

Whether you’ll be going to a beach or not, by choosing the right sunscreen you can avoid damaging the environment as well as your skin. Reef-safe sunscreens have gentle ingredients and exclude chemicals that pollute and irritate the skin. If a sunscreen doesn’t have a reef-safe label on it, you can always read the list of ingredients and make sure that the following isn’t present:

  • Oxybenzone
  • Octinoxate
  • Benzophenones
  • Paraben
  • Octocrylene

Some sustainable destinations like Hawaii also have sunscreen bans and only allow tourists to carry reef-safe sunscreens. So by being proactive about making sustainable choices you can also save money by not getting your sunscreen confiscated. 


For camping and road trips you can end up creating a lot of waste by using plastic water bottles or getting coffee to go from a cafe or diner. Use a stainless steel insulated tumbler instead. This will keep your water cold and your coffee warm, so you can enjoy your drink throughout your journey. You also don’t have to fuss over finding a trash can on your route and can avoid cluttering your car with empty water bottles and coffee cups. 

Even if you’re flying to your destination, keeping a tumbler will remind you to keep yourself hydrated. You can also drink more comfortably on the plane as compared to the tiny cups they give you. Just make sure that your tumbler is empty when you’re passing the security checkpoint.

Jute Bags

Keeping jute bags for your trip is going to make traveling easy and hassle-free for you, whilst keeping your waste to a minimum. Plastic bags are not only environmentally unsustainable, but they also tear easily and make your space messy. Jute bags are cost-effective because of their durability and lower price. You can carry more of your belongings in a jute bag without the constant fear of it ripping.

Jute bags are biodegradable so in the odd chance that it gets ripped or even stained, you can decompose it in a natural environment. This is in the case that you can’t find a recycling bin. If you want to avoid carrying too many bags, especially if there’s a chance of them getting wet, you should try a weatherproof portable bin. It’s easy to carry and lets you organize your belongings so you can find them quickly.

Eco-Friendly Sunglasses

Who doesn’t want to travel in style? Sunglasses should protect your eyes and your style but also the planet. Since this is one of the must-haves for a traveler, look for eco-friendly sunglasses so you can stick to vacationing sustainably. Consider wireframe sunglasses that are lightweight so you can practice sustainable fashion without your sunglasses constantly falling down.

Bamboo Cutlery

Disposable cutlery breaks easily and is made from plastic materials. It also creates a lot of waste since you can only use it once because washing it doesn’t make it hygienic for food. You could choose to take your silverware with you but there’s a chance that you might lose it, and you can’t take it on a plane because of safety restrictions. 

There are countless benefits of using bamboo cutlery. Being plant-based, it requires less energy and materials in the manufacturing process. It’s also a hygienic option so you can use it as many times as you want. Not to mention that it won’t snap in half if you’re trying to cut or break food. 

Microfiber Towels

Packing a towel is a necessity but it shouldn’t become an unpleasant experience. Normal towels are thicker so they take much longer to dry. Travelers end up with damp clothes and obviously, the smell isn’t great. Lots of times you’ll wash your towel but won’t have enough time to dry it out either. Avoid the hassle and frustration by packing microfiber towels instead. They’re thinner so they take up less packing space, and they dry quickly as well. 

Because of the microfiber, these towels do a much better job of removing dirt and bacteria while offering high absorption.

Tooth Tabs

Toothpaste like shampoo can leak easily on a plane, and you can’t hand-carry it either if it’s over 100ml. Let’s not forget how annoying it is to squeeze it out when there’s a little left in it. You don’t want to waste it, but you always feel like you do because it doesn’t come out towards the end. Make your life simpler and get tooth tabs. You won’t be stopped at the airport and they’re convenient to carry. 

A lot of people have concerns about how reliable tooth tabs are for cleaning teeth, and while there are mixed perspectives, it’s certainly a useful alternative for travelers. 

You can add more sustainable items to your packing list but remember to make it convenient for yourself so that it becomes a realistic lifestyle to follow. 

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