8 gifts for eco-conscious travelers

Photo: Brandless
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Lately, travel — especially by air — has drawn criticism for its environmental toll. According to The New York Times, one round-trip flight from New York City to San Francisco accounts for one-eighteenth of the average American’s carbon emissions for the year. But seeing as many of us have no choice but to travel, we might as well minimize our carbon footprint while we’re at it. If your loved one racks up a bunch of frequent flyer miles, yet worries about the environmental impacts of doing so, consider giving them something to help offset their emissions this holiday season. Peep our gift guide for the eco-conscious traveler, below:

The carry-on

Available in recycled polyester, washed cotton canvas, or organic cotton canvas, the Catalina Deluxe has pretty much all the qualities you’d want in a carry-on bag: It’s stylish, lightweight, and sturdy, not to mention spacious yet compact enough to fit in an overhead compartment. A separate storage compartment and pockets galore maximize space. The Catalina Deluxe comes in two sizes, as well as various chic, understated colors and patterns.

The water bottle

Made largely from bamboo, a renewable resource, this sleek reusable bottle keeps drinks hot for up to 14 hours and cold for up to 24 hours. If you’re feeling fancy, you can fill the removable infuser with tea or fruit, and a wide brim allows you to easily drop in a handful of ice cubes. It comes in nine designs, including a vibrant Monstera plant pattern. Three percent of Welly’s sales go toward projects that improve access to clean water, making this bottle a gift that literally keeps giving.

The toothbrush

When you buy a toothbrush from Bogobrush, you can choose either a recyclable plastic handle, or a compostable handle made from a composite of coffee, hemp, or other materials. The nylon bristles aren’t recyclable or compostable, though, so the brand recommends pulling them out with pliers, then recycling or composting the handle. When you buy one toothbrush, Bogobrush gives one to communities in need, making it another gift that gives back.

The packing cubes

Made from recycled plastic water bottles, the packing cube trio from Paravel maximizes space, and keeps items organized and easy-to-find. Handy “view windows” allow you to quickly see what you’ve packed in each cube. Each trio contains a large, medium, and small cube, and you can choose from five different colors.

The jacket

There's no explanation for why it's so cold on airplanes, but that still doesn't warrant us donning a Snuggie or equally unflattering blanket-like apparatus on an international flight. Paskho's travel jacket is lightweight, actually has the word "cozy" in its name, and is made from 100% reclaimed fabric. Also, all of the line's apparel is produced under safe, legal, and humane working conditions — because cultural sustainability is a thing too.

The food container

Made from polyester and cotton, according to Good Housekeeping, these reusable bags are not only more sustainable than disposable Ziploc bags, they also look way more chic. The set of four bags — two large, one medium, and one small — is available in about a dozen designs. To clean them, simply throw them into the dishwasher.

The toiletry container

An eco-friendly alternative to the mini plastic bottles of shampoo and body wash found in most hotel rooms, these reusable toiletry bottles are made from Cordura fabric, a waterproof material that accommodates liquids and the like up to the TSA’s 3-ounce maximum.

The roller bag

Harm reduction is the name of the game if we want to travel with a hard-shell roller bag. Brandless's Carry On has a lightweight, recycled plastic interior which makes it both sturdy and sustainability-conscious. The company's entire travel line — all of its products, actually — are created, manufactured, and marketed with the environment in mind.