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Sustainable travel essentials: seven eco-friendly buys

If you're a keen traveller with an environmental conscience, try out these sustainable swaps for everything from make-up wipes to toothbrushes

More and more of us are becoming aware that demand for cheap and disposable products are causing huge damage to our environment, and shopping more sustainably as a result.

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When we’re on-the-go, it can be especially tempting to opt for throwaway items out of convenience – but a bit of forward-planning can make you a more eco-friendly traveller.

With that in mind, here are seven handy ideas to take the pressure off your purse and the planet when you’re travelling.

And when you get home from your travels, why not bring sustainability into your home with our eco-friendly kitchen swaps?

Sustainable travel essentials

Shampoo bars

Naturtint shampoo conditioner bar
Naturtint shampoo and conditioner bar, £12.99, Amazon
  • £12.99

Miniature toiletries are handy for stuffing into a packed overnight bag or staying within liquid limits in your carry-on baggage – but they represent yet more disposable plastic. Luckily, there is an eco-friendly alternative! Ditch the mini shampoo and conditioner bottles in favour of dry bars.

This combo shampoo-conditioner is especially useful if you’re tight on space. Containing coconut, cocoa butter and meadowfoam seed oil to cleanse, hydrate and volumise your hair, it also leaves behind a sweet smell thanks to bitter orange and cinnamon essential oils.

Reusable water bottle

Butterflies & Bugs Insulated Bottle Emma Bridgewater
Butterflies & Bugs insulated bottle, £25, Emma Bridgewater
  • £25

Every year the UK uses 7.7 billion plastic bottles – that averages 117 per person. So investing in a reusable bottle you can fill at home and top up while you’re out and about is an easy way to join the fight against everyday waste. Not to mention, having a bottle on hand could save you hundreds of pounds in soft drinks!

There are countless choices on the market, but we’re partial to this quirky butterflies design from the Emma Bridgewater early summer 2021 collection, made in collaboration with American bottle brand Chilly’s.

Solar-powered charger

Anker PowerPort Solar, Currently priced at £59.99
Anker PowerPort Solar
  • £59.99

For all the convenience of a regular charger and then some, buy the Anker PowerPort Solar. This nifty gadget is a worthy investment, as it’s wireless, weather-resistant, easily portable and of course, is an eco-friendly way to solar charge your smart-tech appliances including iPhones, iPads and the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

Reusable make-up remover pads

Reusable make-up remover pads, AndKeep
Reusable make-up remover pads, £8.49 for 16, Amazon
  • £8.49

A fresh face doesn’t have to come at the expense of the Earth – disposable wipes are a scourge on the environment, clogging up drains and polluting our waterways. Instead, invest in reusable make-up remover pads, made of washable natural materials ready for you to use again and again.

This smart set contains 12 soft bamboo and cotton make-up pads for everyday use, as well as four ‘scrub’ pads for deeper cleansing or removing waterproof make-up. To clean them, simply place inside the included wash bag and machine wash at 40c or lower.

Eco-friendly travel mug

Stojo On The Go Collapsible Coffee Cup in a pretty pastel pink
Stojo On The Go collapsible coffee cup, £11.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • £11.99

A hot drink is vital on a long journey, but you can do your bit for the environment and save money by pre-prepping a warm brew you can store for hours in travel mug. And even if you prefer a barista-made brew, simply ask if your cuppa can be poured into your travel mug – at several chains, you could even get a discount for your eco-friendly credentials!

There are no shortage of options on the market, but we really like this collapsible travel mug from Stojo – it can compress down to just two inches when empty, making it easy to slip into your bag or pocket on the go.

Reusable cutlery set

Screenshot 2021-04-22 at 10.41.09
EcoSlurps cutlery set, £9.99, Etsy
  • £9.99

Whether you’re crazy about camping or prefer a relaxed picnic, a reusable cutlery set is a must for al fresco dining. Ditch throwaway plastic sets in favour of eco-friendly materials that can be enjoyed for years to come.

We love this cute pastel set from EcoSlurps. Their reusable cutlery is made from recycled wheat stems, making use of what would otherwise be discarded waste. Plus, the company will plant a tree for every purchase through its partnership with OneTreePlanted.

Buy the EcoSlurps Cutlery Set now from Etsy 

Bamboo toothbrush

Bamboo Toothbrush and Travel Case
Bamboo Toothbrush and Travel Case, £10.99, Etsy
  • £10.99

Bamboo toothbrushes have rapidly become a popular sustainable alternative to plastic ones – they’re lightweight and naturally antibacterial, making them a handy and hygienic choice for your overnight bag.

This bamboo toothbrush set from Reusaboo comes with a matching travel case, which will keep your brush safe and clean when you’re on the move.

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Buy the Bamboo Toothbrush and Travel Case now from Etsy