In honor of Earth Day, April 22nd, here are some of the coolest eco-friendly tips and tricks for sustainable travel.14 April 2022
What started as a protest movement after a massive oil spill off the central coast of California in 1969 has become an annual event. Today, Earth Day is recognized as a day of action all around the world. It has inspired people to carry reusable water bottles, straws, coffee cups, toiletry bottles, and shopping bags rather than contributing to plastic pollution.
Many travelers and travel providers are actively seeking to make travel more environmentally friendly.
In the spirit of Earth Day’s legacy of empowering individuals with information and the tools to make an environmental impact, here’s a list of unique eco-friendly travel gadgets and tricks you can use on your next trip.
Important note: I do not earn a commission on any products in this article. In most cases, I’ve intentionally avoided referencing specific brands or products trusting you to make your own choices.
The scarcity of clean, drinkable water is a very real problem in many parts of the globe. It’s an issue that affects one fifth of the world’s population, and yet, staying hydrated is critical to your health. Being well hydrated improves your quality of sleep, your mood, and your body’s ability to fight off infection.
Go beyond simply carrying a reusable water bottle to packing one with a built-in filter. This way, you can fill your water bottle at any sink or fountain and be certain that the water is deliciously drinkable.
Pro tip: traveling where the water quality is questionable? Tuck an ultraviolet water purifier in your bag. It will destroy viruses, bacteria, and protozoa including Giardia in less than a minute.
If you like to play music everywhere you go, you’ve probably experienced the need to amplify the sound for the space you’re in. What’s better than setting your smartphone in a leftover soda container?
A piece of bamboo.
No kidding. The natural acoustics of a bamboo tube — with a phone-size wedge cut out — will amplify the tunes you’re playing. No electricity required.
Washing your clothes as you go lightens your suitcase considerably. But forget using gallons of water to get your stinky clothes clean and wearable again. Instead, carry your own DIY portable laundry kit that includes the following:
Set up your clothesline by tying or hooking each end to the shower bar, doorknobs, or balcony. When you take a shower, wash your body and your clothes. Wring out the excess water from your clean clothes and hang them over the clothesline.
See how to design your own travel clothesline.
Running out of power is not only annoying, it can be dangerous when you’re traveling.
Dozens of solar chargers are available at all price points. Some come in the traditional rectangular block shape, and others come as backpacks with built-in solar bank chargers.
According to PC Magazine, here’s how to choose the best portable charger/power bank for your collection of travel devices.
No one really likes using a plastic fork or spoon when you have a delicious new food to enjoy. To avoid using plastic cutlery while traveling, consider a set of bamboo travel utensils. They’re lightweight, easy to clean, and can be used for years. Tuck a set into your backpack and you can say ‘no thanks!’ to single-use utensils everywhere you go.
If you’re interested in more eco-friendly travel products, take a look at The Ultimate Packing List for a Sustainable Vacation: 22 Eco-friendly Items.
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.