We know that searching for the perfect eco-friendly travel gifts for your friends and family can be a challenge as you try to strike the right balance between minimizing your consumption and supporting worthy causes and organizations that make a difference in the world. But whether you’re shopping for the holidays, a birthday or a going-away party, sharing gifts and experiences with loved ones is a timeless tradition that makes any occasion feel extra special.
To help make your shopping list more manageable, we decided to put together this sustainable travel gift guide, where we share some of our favorite eco-friendly travel products as well as gifts that support environmental and social causes around the world. So whether you’re interested in I Like Local’s collection of sustainable travel experiences, WWF’s Adopt-a-species program, or MPOWERD’s compact travel lanterns, there is sure to be the perfect gift for the traveler in your life on this list!
Designed using recycled plastic bottles, the multipurpose Nomadix Towel is the perfect gift for the minimalist traveler on the go. Whether you’re relaxing by the beach, drying off after a dip in the pool or wiping the sweat off your brow after a long hike, this towel is suitable for just about any situation. To top it off, this lightweight and quick-drying towel also doubles as a yoga mat, allowing you to free up extra space in your luggage.
Depending on where you’re traveling to, you know just how difficult it can be to find clean unbottled drinking water. Fortunately, the LifeStraw is here to help. Whether you purchase a LifeStraw or LifeStraw Go, it’s built-in microbiological filter will help protect against harmful bacteria, parasites, microplastics, and chemicals in sources of drinking water. To top it off, for each product sold, Lifestraw provides safe drinking water for an entire school year to a child in Kenya or India!
Power A Life Chargers
Keeping your mobile devices charged on the go can always be a challenge, but with Power A Life’s arsenal of portable charging devices, you’re in safe hands. If you’re in the market for a compact charger, then the Wee PAL is an excellent choice as it offers multiple charges without all the extra weight. But if you need something a little more heavy-duty for your off-the-grid adventures, then check out the Mega PAL, which not only has the capacity to charge your mobile devices but can even power your laptop as well! For each Power A Life product sold, you provide a solar charging reading light to a child in a developing country, which encourages continued education and renewable energy use.
Package Free Zero Waste Starter Kit
If you’re looking to minimize your waste on your travels, then this Zero Waste Starter Kit from the Package Free Shop is the perfect place to start. Included in this kit are a set of bamboo utensils (a fork, knife, spoon, and chopsticks), a stainless steel straw, bamboo toothbrush, and your choice of a 16oz tumbler or 18oz water bottle. This entire set is complete with an easy to carry drawstring produce bag, which should come in handy as you carry around your utensils or even go shopping at the local markets.
Samsonite Eco-Nu Luggage
For a sustainable luggage line that suits just about any travel style, check out Samsonite’s Eco Nu Collection. Made entirely from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, the Eco Nu Collection features innovative eco-friendly design highlights such as Smart Fix Buckles and the Saguaro Wheel System, making sure that you don’t sacrifice function for sustainability. With 5 sizes to choose from, the Eco Nu Collection is sure to be the perfect gift for the traveler in your life.
Sackcloth & Ashes
If cold weather is in your gift recipient’s upcoming travel plans, why not gift them an eco-friendly Sackcloth & Ashes blanket? Not only are these blankets perfect for a chilly evening, but they also come in a variety of beautiful patterns. And for every blanket purchased, Sackcloth + Ashes donate a blanket to a local homeless shelter as part of their ‘Blanket The United States’ campaign, which has a goal of donating one million blankets to homeless shelters around the United States by 2024!
Tree Tribe Water Bottle
Tree Tribe’s eco-friendly water bottles are perfect for every situation as the double-layered insulation helps to keep drinks color or hot, regardless of the outside temperature. Beyond its eco-friendly design, Tree Tribe has also planted 400,000 trees in 12 countries, with a focus on species that strengthen the local ecosystem.
Green People Sun Lotion
If a beach holiday is on the horizon, we suggest investing in Green People’s eco-friendly sun lotion to minimize your environmental impact. This 100% ocean-friendly sun lotion is not only a better alternative for the environment but also offers the same protection you would expect from traditional sun lotion. Your purchase also goes on to support Green People’s partners, such as the Marine Conservation Society, which works for the increased protection of the seas around the United Kingdom, via the creation of marine protected areas.
Hand in Hand Soap
Whether you choose to stay in a hotel, hostel or homestay, you can opt-out of using the provided toiletries and instead bring your own, such as Hand In Hand’s fresh scented selection of bar soaps. Not only will these bars of soap leave you feeling refreshed, but your purchase will also provide one bar of soap and a month of clean water to a child in need in Haiti or Cambodia.
Stojo Collapsible Travel Cup
For a more convenient alternative to bulkier travel bottles like the Tree Tribe collection, try gifting the Stojo Collapsible Travel Cup instead. This environmentally friendly silicone cup comes in multiple sizes and easily folds to fit into any backpack or pocket. Offering a heat sleeve and an option straw, this compact cup is perfect for hot or cold beverages on-the-go.
If you’re shopping for an outdoor enthusiast, then MPOWERD’s solar-powered lanterns make the ideal gift for any time of the year. These inflatable lanterns are the perfect companion to bring along on all kinds of overnight adventures, whether you’re camping out in the remote wilderness or in your own backyard. And through MPOWERD’s Give Luci program, you’re also supporting the company’s various nonprofit partners who operate search & rescue missions, disaster relief, community health and safety, and education initiatives. To date, MPOWERD has already impacted over 3 million lives and counting through this fantastic initiative!
I Like Local Gift Card
For travelers that prefer experiences over physical gifts, the I Like Local Gift Card is the perfect option. I Like Local is a social impact travel marketplace that connects travelers with over 500 local hosts across 19 countries in Africa and Asia. So whether your friend is interested in learning how to cook traditional Nepali cuisine with a local host in Pokhara, learning to design jewelry with a community organization in Nairobi, or supporting community-based tourism initiatives with ActionAid, the immersive travel options are endless!
WWF Adopt A Species
If you have an animal lover in your life, then the World Wildlife Foundation’s Adopt A Species Kit makes a fantastic gift. Whether you choose to adopt an African Rhino Calf, Snow Leopard, Polar Bear, or Panda, each Adopt A Species Kit comes with a plush doll, photo, adoption certificate, species card, and a gift bag. So not only does your gift come with such fresh goodies, but it also goes on to support vital conservation initiatives around the world.
Kiva Gift Card
Instead of giving a traditional gift, why not give the gift of long-term economic impact? With a Kiva Gift Card, you can gift a loan to a borrower somewhere in the world and help support their long-term growth plans. Whether you’re interested in empowering female entrepreneurs, agricultural initiatives, education, or the arts, Kiva gives various areas of focus for you to choose from. Once the loan is repaid, you can continue to lend those funds again and again. These life-changing loans are indeed the gift that keeps on giving!
Heifer International Donation
If you like the idea of investing in local entrepreneurs, then another attractive gift-giving option is donating in honor of a friend to Heifer International. Heifer International focuses on supporting and investing in local farmers and communities across 21 countries, with your donation helping to fund projects in sustainable agriculture, economic development, environmental sustainability, food security, women’s empowerment, and risk mitigation.