Summer's in full swing meaning many of us are packing our bags, loading our cars, or hopping on flights to our next destination to enjoy the warm weather. Traveling is a great way to understand the world and experience new places, but its environmental impact isn't all that great. Luckily, companies are making innovative products that take advantage of natural and sustainable materials to reduce waste and help us keep our carbon footprint lower. Skip the single-use plastic and products that do more harm to the planet than good. Pack gear you can bring on your next trip you don't have to feel guilty about using.
1. Luci Outdoor 2.0 Inflatable Solar Lantern
This solar-powered lantern is just as lightweight as it is affordable. For only $20, the Luci weighs just 4.4 ounces and is collapsible, making it easy for you to bring it backpacking or on a camping trip. You can use it to light your table for dinner or as a nightlight for reading.
2. Goal Zero Yeti 400 Battery
Perfect for weekend trips away, this portable power station helps keeps all your electronics powered with 400+ watt hours of power. Whether you want to use it to play some tunes at the beach or to run small appliances on a camping trip, the Yeti 400 can power everything from lights to medical devices.
3. Biolite's Smokeless Fire Pit
Biolite is one company trying to make camping an eco-friendly experience for nature lovers to enjoy the outdoors with minimal harm to their environment. The smokeless fire pit aims to solve the carbon output of an open fire by facilitating a more efficient combustion process and uses up to 50 percent less wood (or charcoal), while also reducing harmful emissions.
Minimize waste for your next trip by skipping the travel-sized soap and shampoo and using reusable travel bottles. GoToob's economical travel companions come in a variety of colors and are small enough to pass TSA requirements. They're both food-safe and made out of BPA-free material.
5. Eco-friendly swim wear
Heading to the beach? Swim wear made from recycled materials is just as comfortable as it is eco-friendly. The Tropics offers a variety of options. Each swim trunk is made from about 10 to 11 post-consumer plastic bottles, which the company collects during their beach cleanups and sends to a facility to process and eventually transform them into stylish swimwear.
6. Organic sunscreen
During summer we all know how important it is to keep your skin safe from the sun, but most aren't aware that widely available sunscreens include not only sun protection chemicals, but parabens, fragrance, phthalates, and multiple ethoxylated ingredients. The ingredient list alone is a great reason to choose a nontoxic sunscreen. COOLA is one brand of organic sunscreen spray that has not only 70 percent certified organic ingredients, but it’s also water resistant, making it a great choice for swimming or any outdoor activities that leave you sweating in the sun.
7. Reusable utensil set
Plastic forks, spoons, and other utensils are not only non-biodegradable, but they're rarely BPA-free. Skip the single-use plastic for your next camping trip and bring a set of table wear made from sustainable materials you can use over and over again. To-Go Ware offers a variety of affordable options all made from bamboo.