Eco-Friendly Travel Products You Will Use Forever

These eco-friendly travel products will change your life for the better. Why, you ask? Because once you start using these eco-friendly products for travel, you will never go back. And incorporating these sustainable items into your everyday life will not only change your world for the better; it will change the world for the better. A win-win for you and the planet!

Eco-Friendly Travel Product Checklist

Disclosure: While I only promote products that I use and believe you will love, some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Eco-Friendly Packing List for Men

Let’s dive in!

Solid Shampoo and Conditioner

Ditch the plastic in those travel-sized containers and go solid with a shampoo bar and a conditioner bar. Added bonus? They pack light, last forever, and you don’t have to mess with additional liquids in the airport security line.

My favorite solid shampoo and conditioner bars right now are Ethique. They have a wide variety of types, such as the shampoo and conditioner bundle for dry hair. I’m currently using the shampoo bar for normal hair and the conditioner bar for normal-dry hair.

Solid Lotion Bar

While we’re on the topic of eco-friendly solids, I live by the Lush solid lotion bar called Scrubee.

eco-friendly lotion solid

You scrub this little guy on your body at the end of your shower and it serves as both an exfoliant and a lotion. After a quick rinse, you really feel like you’ve applied lotion. Plus there is no mess…and no plastic bottle!

Globally, we produce more than 300 million tons of plastic each year. Of that yearly production, more than eight million tons of plastic end up in our oceans. Click To Tweet

Plastic-Free, Zero-Waste Dental Floss

It’s not only the plastic packaging that sticks around for 400 years before it degrades; most dental floss itself is made out of nylon, which is a form of plastic.

When I first purchased the Radius plastic-free, organic floss, I did it to reduce my plastic consumption. What I didn’t expect was to love the floss so much! This floss slides between my teeth easier than nylon floss and it hurts much less.

Ladies: Get your FREE Eco-Friendly Packing List! (Men click here instead for your free checklist of eco-friendly travel products.)

Biodegradable, Bamboo Cotton Swabs (Q-Tips)

We use the cotton ends to clean our ears but guess what the part between the swabs is made of? You guessed it! Plastic. Cotton swabs or Q-Tips contribute to the 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic that are in our ocean.

If you must use Q-Tips at all, try a bamboo swab like the ones I am using right now:

I tried to go completely Q-Tip free because poking something in your ear is not actually that great for you and because the bamboo is still adding to our landfills (though it takes far less time to biodegrade than the hundreds of years that plastic takes!)

BUT…I couldn’t do it. I occasionally need the swab. The next one that I”m going to try are these cleanable, “zero-waste” swabs that will work for my ears and my makeup:

Natural Deodorant Cream with Bamboo Applicators

Much like it takes trial and error to find the right shampoo for your hair, it may take some trial and error to find the right natural deodorant fit for your pits. I’ve tried many different kinds from solids to creams and I find the Little Seed Farm deodorant cream to work best.

Beyond keeping me smelling fresh, Little Seed Farm offers what they call zero-waste shipping and packaging. I love that. Now, I’m not sure that I would call it zero waste since any form of packaging is waste, but all containers, shipping items, and packaging are recyclable. And there is no frustrating plastic wrapping over the top of the eco-friendly glass container.

Men: Get your FREE eco-friendly packing list here. (Women click here instead for your free checklist of eco-friendly travel products!)

Reusable, Collapsible Water Bottle

My reusable water bottle may just me my favorite traveling companion! I use the Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle because it rolls into a tiny, little ball when I’m going through airport security, and it works for both cold and hot drinks, so I never use a single-use coffee cup either!

More than 22 billion plastic water bottles are thrown away every year. Only one in six water bottles purchased in the United States is recycled. Click To Tweet

Reusable, Collapsible Wine Cup

I almost never leave home without my reusable wine cup, but it is especially important when I’m getting on a flight. Those single-use cups for our wine and ginger ale break my heart.

reusable, collapsible wine cup

Admittedly, the flight attendants do look at me a little funny when I insist on using my own cup, but most are appreciative of my efforts once I explain that I don’t want to use single-use plastic. And it almost always strikes up a good conversation with my seatmates!

I found the above cup while shopping in Cannon Beach, my favorite little Oregon beach town. It bends to fit into my over-the-shoulder bag quite nicely (plus it makes me laugh). But I also carry another collapsible cup that lies flat fits into my backpack:

In 2018, airlines generated about 6.7 million tons of cabin waste. (That reads CABIN not CARBON!) Bringing your own cups and your own cutlery reduces this waste when you travel. Click To Tweet
reusable, collapsible cup
Standing in line after a cancelled flight in Barcelona. You just never know when you might need a glass of wine!

Reusable, Collapsible Coffee Cup

I use my Nomader water bottle (pictured above) for both water and coffee, but I will admit that it is a pain to wash my water bottle properly while traveling. So my next eco-friendly travel product purchase is going to be this collapsible coffee cup.

Many people don’t know that the single-use cups made for coffee and tea are lined with plastic, making the cups nearly impossible to recycle. In fact, less than one percent of those coffee cups are recycled, and they are used for just 10 minutes on average. That is even sadder when coupled with this alarming fact brought to us by the good folks at ecoffeecup:

Half a trillion disposable cups are made each year. That's 70 disposable cups for every person on the planet. Click To Tweet

The above reusable cup comes with a straw, which brings me to the next in our list of eco-friendly travel products.

Reusable Straw

Most recycling machines cannot accept straws because they are too small. And it takes an estimated 200 years for a plastic straw to break down and decompose. Click To Tweet

Reusable, Eco-Friendly Cutlery Travel Set

I bring this bamboo cutlery set when I travel, and I often bring it with me even when I’m not on the road. It comes in handy at festivals, outdoor events, or the famous food trucks in my hometown of Portland.

Reusable, Collapsible Plate and Bowl

I also bring my own reusable, collapsible plate""“> and bowl to go along with my collapsible cup and reusable cutlery set. All fold flat and tuck nicely into my backpack when I’m out and about being a tourist.

Reusable bags and totes

This compact, reusable bag is another item that I carry with me almost everywhere. It folds up and fits in a purse or back pocket, and it can be used for groceries, laundry, or even your single-use recyclable items that you collect on an airplane.

(Side note: because airlines are dealing with different recycling systems in different cities or even countries a lot of your recyclable items from an airplane are not recycled. If I do end up using any of the single-use items on a plane, I take those items with me to recycle. I usually take my seatmates’ items, too!

Each time you use a reusable bag instead of a single-use plastic bag, you have reduced the need for more bags. That small decision is a huge achievement when you consider that 100 billion plastic bags are used every year. Click To Tweet

Reusable Sandwich Bags

These handy dandy reusable snack bags are perfect for your travel days and sunset picnics. I love to stop at a local deli, order a sandwich, and ask them to wrap my food in one of these bags before heading for a picnic in a park.

(Pro tip: If the deli or shop has a rule against using outside packaging, just ask them to hand you the sandwich without any wrapping. There is no rule against NO packaging and there is no rule that you can’t wrap your own sandwich.)

According to American Rivers, almost half of the litter in the United States is from food packaging. Much of that litter from juice boxes, snack packaging, and sandwich bags end up in our waterways. Click To Tweet

Microfiber Travel Towel

I first used this towel when I walked the Camino de Santiago. It fit easily into my backpack and dried very quickly. Usually, it was dry so fast that I didn’t need to hang it from my backpack to dry while hiking, but it’s convenient, built-in loops make it very easy to hang from your pack while on the move.

It started with the Camino, but I now carry this towel with me whenever I travel. It reduces my environmental impact if I stay in a hotel, since many hotels needlessly wash your towels every day (even when you hang them up!)

Also, it’s convenient to have in your bag. I sit on it for the above mentioned picnics or use it for a quick dip while on a hike.

Speaking of reducing your impact at hotels, avoid using the toiletries that they leave out for you. Try instead:

Toothpaste Tablets

Say what? That’s right! You don’t have to use those toothpaste tubes that are *not recyclable. There are other options!

Right now, I am using these Lush toothpaste tablets. They are easy to use: just chew them, add water and voila! Toothpaste! Now, I don’t love that they come in a plastic container, so I’m in search of a better option.

However, Lush only uses recycled plastic, and their plastic bottles are purposely made very thin to reduce the need for plastic at all.

I also use the Lush mouthwash tablets.

*Big news about recycling your toothpaste tubes and packaging! TerraCycle® and Colgate have teamed up in a new Oral Care Recycling program. Just sign up, print the shipping label, and ship your toothpaste tubes, caps, cartons, and even floss containers for recycling.

Electric toothbrush heads are not yet part of the program in the United States, but they the same Colgate/TerraCycle partnership in Australia is now accepting electric toothbrush heads, so, if you’re using electric toothbrushes, save the used heads because I think you’ll be able to recycle them soon.

In the meantime…

Bamboo Toothbrush

I use a bamboo toothbrush like this one:

More than one billion toothbrushes are thrown away every year in the United States alone. That's enough to stretch around the Earth four times! Click To Tweet

Reusable Menstrual Cup

In 2018, 5.8 billion tampons were purchased in the United States. That’s 5.8 billion with a “B”. Those tampons often come wrapped in plastic and with a plastic applicator. Pads, according to a study covered quite delicately by the National Geographic, include even more plastic, and both products end up in our landfills as “medical waste” that is not officially tracked.

I’m not here to continue the cultural shame that has long been a part of menstruation. I’m just here to point us toward a product that I absolutely love for offering an eco-friendly alternative to the tampon.

It takes a little getting used to, but the Diva Cup is actually far more comfortable, far less work, and far less expensive than tampons or pads. Another win-win – this time for women and for the Earth.

Solid Face Wash

I’m revisiting the solids here because there are many more opportunities in the toiletry department to ditch tubes and plastic bottles. Face wash is one of those opportunities.

I am currently using a Lush facial cleansing bar. It’s good…but I can’t totally recommend it. I’m generally in love with Lush products, but this one is really messy and hard to lather. While I have zero complaints about the product itself on a daily basis, it’s really hard to travel with.

The upside is that it’s so large that I haven’t had to buy face wash in months! When I do try a new product, I’ll update this post. I think I’m going to back to Ethique because I’ve liked the hair products so much.

Soap Saver Bags

I will, on the other hand, recommend the bag where I keep my current face wash bar. Using this bag I am able to get a good lather going.

These all-natural bags store bar soaps, reducing the need for plastic containers. Added bonus: They are also built-in exfoliators!

Tin Toiletry Containers

And to give Lush a little love after hating on their face wash a little, I do love their tin containers for carrying solid soaps, including shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and lotion.

Reusable Makeup Remover Cloth

I travel with my makeup remover cleansing cloth and love it. But some people really like makeup removing pads or wipes and, after a night out with heavy eye makeup, I can understand! Going with reusable bamboo makeup remover pads gets the job done sustainably.

Eco-Friendly Packing Cubes

I live by my packing cubes. They may just be my favorite item in my suitcase or backpack any time I pack. But back when I bought them I didn’t know there was an eco-friendly alternative.

The first step to sustainability is to reuse what you have as much as possible, so I’m keeping my regular old packing cubes and considering myself in packing envy of anyone who has packing cubes made from recycled water bottles, like these Florious cubes:

Reusable Travel Tubes

For me, the goal is to convert to solids packaged without plastic as much as possible. But sometimes you just need to pack a liquid. When you do, the GoToob is pretty much the best reusable liquid container on the market.

Made for travel, squishable and squeezable but with a locking cap, say goodbye to the possibility of a shampoo mess when you open your carry-on.

A Note on Eco-Friendly Sunscreen

Right now, I’m using a solid sunscreen that Lush had on the market in the UK. I stocked up in a London Lush store before they removed the “sunblock” (an apt name for this solid square of sunscreen!) from the market.

I really like it and it works well for me, but I’m going to have to wait to see what Lush is working on in terms of eco-friendly packaging for a sunscreen that is also safe for the ocean and safe for our bodies.

That gets complicated. You see, we’re starting to learn that the chemicals in sunscreen may actually be leading to skin cancers rather than protecting from it and further bleaching the coral reefs in our oceans – reefs that are already in an alarming state of decline. (More on that here.)

When my current solid sunscreen runs out, I’m going to try the Raw Elements sunscreen that is packaged without plastic and holds a spot on the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Sunscreens.

More about Raw Elements here.

Other Eco-Friendly Travel Products I Will be Trying Soon (Laundry & Shaving)

I’m in the market for an eco-friendly alternative to laundry while on the road. I’ve heard great things about the Scrubba Wash Bag paired with an eco-friendly detergent like the ""” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>BerryPLUS eco-friendly, natural detergent.

I am also going to try safety razors with bamboo handles and plant-based shaving cream. (TerraCycle® and Gillette® have partnered to make razors recyclable in the United States.)

Eco-Friendly Travel Products That Will Change Your Life!
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Thank You for Your Desire to Go Green with Eco-Friendly Travel Products!

Look, it’s not the easiest or the cheapest decision to travel – and live – sustainably. But it is the most responsible decision for the planet. Thank you for caring for our Earth.

I will continue to update this post as I find new eco-friendly travel products that work!

Printable, eco-friendly festival packing list

You might also like my 10 Tips for Avoiding Plastic Water Bottles While Traveling. Click here to return to my resource section on sustainability.

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    22 Comments on “Eco-Friendly Travel Products You Will Use Forever”

    1. These are some awesome products! I definitely need to be more intentional with the kinds of products I use. The natural cream deodorant with the bamboo app sounds so nice.

      • That’s a great goal! Just being a little more intentional with your products helps our environment one everyday decision at a time. I LOVE the deodorant but will caution that it took a lot of trial and error to find the right one. Same with the hair products. I may do a pros and cons list of sustainable hair products and deodorants soon! Thank you for reading.

    2. Great post! I use almost all of these already, but I do need to try the toothpaste tablets. We have been trying the toothpaste that comes in glass jars, but I hate the taste, so I can’t use it.

      Have you also tried using alum crystal instead of deodorant? It is magic! You rub it against your skin after the shower. It doesn’t stop you from sweating, but it does stop your sweat from smelling, so it works really well. I only started using if since January, but I have been really impressed, even when running/skiing/hiking…

      • I haven’t tried the crystal, but I will absolutely try it next. I am thinking of doing an entire post on natural deodorant products since it’s so hard to find the right one. At least I might be able to start people in the right direction. Alum crystal will be my next purchase! (And I’ll have to consult you on some of these posts!) I agree with you on the toothpaste in jars. I DID get used to it after a while, but it took a while. A long while. I find the tablets much more enjoyable.

    3. Wow, I love these product recommendations. The reusable wine cup definitely caught my eye. Definitely will have to purchase one! Such a great post. It made me want to really start incorporating eco-friendly products, not just for traveling either. Thank you for the recommendations.

    4. This is such a great list of eco-friendly travel products! I’ve been using reusable cups and bags, but clearly there is much more I could be using. I’d love to try reusable cotton pads and toothpaste tablets!

      • Thank you for reading! Let me know if you try the products and love them (or find something better). Be well, Olivia!

    5. I ❤ this! I already have my own portable utensils, coffee mug and water bottle but there is so much more! I want a toothbrush!

      • Yes! The toothbrush is such a simple way to make a difference. But you are already an Earth hero. Thank you for what you do! And thank you for reading!

    6. Wow, what a great list of eco friendly products. I can’t wait to try a few of them. I am curious, with the lotion bar do you find that it gets soft or melts in warmer temperatures? I love the idea of having access to lotion without the bottle.

      • You know, I’ve never noticed it melting…but then I guess I’ve never really left it out in the heat! I am guessing that it would get soft if left in a too-warm suitcase, but would reform into a solid once it cooled. I keep it in my Lush tin so there is no mess. As for the lotion bar itself? I LOVE it. It has all the benefits of lotion without the mess or slimy feeling. The only drawback is that the bar doesn’t last very long. A couple of weeks at most. (Maybe this is because I just use too much with each use because I love it so much!)

    7. This is a great list of eco-friendly products. We’ve been trying to incorporate more of these when we travel and I’m yet to try the shampoo and conditioner, but I’ve heard great things about them.

      • I love the shampoos and conditioners. I will admit that I occasionally need to add a deep conditioner to the mix, but the solids are getting really advanced. I can probably look for deep-conditioning solid now that I think about it!

    8. I love so many of these products. I’ve started my eco-friendly items but there are so many here that I can add to my carry-on. Thanks for sharing.

      • I’m so glad you found some new items for your carry-on! If you put together a list of your own items, please let me know. I would love to share it!

    9. Some really great products here! I have a question about the shampoo/conditioner bars. How do you pack them for your return trip? In a ziplock bag? Or do you just make sure that you don’t wash your hair before you leave so they’re already dry?

      • Great question! I actually pack them in my Lush tins. I leave the containers open for as long as possible allowing the bars to dry as much as possible. Then I pack them away. They don’t leak or mold!

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