Zero Waste Gifts // Gift Ideas for the Sustainable Traveler

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Do you have someone in your life that values sustainable and zero waste living or is trying to break into being more sustainable and zero waste? If so, I’m sure you have no idea what kind of zero waste gifts to get them. Many individuals living this lifestyle are probably content with receiving zero gifts because they only buy what they need but perhaps you really want to get something to say thank you or because its tradition or they’re new to this they still need some things to stock their zero waste arsenal so to speak. I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite plastic-free and zero waste gift ideas.  These all make wonderful gifts or stocking stuffers.


Zero Waste Gifts // Eating and Drinking


Stainless Steel Straw

Plastic straws are one of the best places to start on a zero waste journey. They are one of the most harmful single-use plastic products. I always have a stainless steel straw with me in my bag and use it in place of a plastic one.  This one comes with four straws and is extremely affordable so, go ahead, buy one for the whole family!

Buy stainless steel straws here.

Stainless Steel Water Bottle

The next thing that is incredibly easy to change that makes a huge impact is switching to a reusable water bottle. I really love my Klean Kanteen – it stays hot or cold for a really long time and is easy to clean.

Buy a Klean Kanteen here.

Lifestraw

If you’re headed somewhere where you’re worried about the water quality, take a lifestraw with you.  Most people will suggest just buying bottled water in those places but like I’ve mentioned, plastic water bottles are terrible for the environment so, between a reusable bottle and a lifestraw, you’ll be set no matter what the water quality is like!

Buy a Lifestraw here.

Travel Utensil Set

When traveling, it’s pretty common to eat out or get food to go.  Don’t worry though, you don’t need to get plastic silverware everytime you eat when you travel with a bamboo set.  I also place my stainless steel straw in the case!

Buy bamboo utensil set here.

Reusable Coffee Cup

I don’t know about you but I drink a lot of coffee and even more so when I’m traveling. Sometimes, I’ll sit in coffee shops and get work done meaning I’ll use actual coffee mugs but other times I’ll get coffee on the go or some shops don’t even use coffee mugs period. That’s where this baby comes into play. Most coffee shops will give you a discount for bringing your own cup too!

Buy the Keep Cup here.

To-Go Container

To-go containers are another thing to think about.  A lot of people who are on a zero waste path will just refrain from getting food to go but that’s not always possible when you’re traveling or just when you have a crazy hectic life. You can even use these to take your lunch when you’re at home.

Buy the to-go container here.

Reusable Produce Bags

Produce bags are often overlooked.  Everyone seems to have at least started thinking about plastic grocery bags but don’t forget the produce bags!  Often, I just let my produce go naked and don’t use a bag at all because I’m going to wash it no matter what but if that freaks you out a little, these are great.  They can be used for more than just produce too.

Buy reusable produce bags here.

Reusable Grocery Bags

I’m the worst at buying reusable bags but always forgetting them when I go to the store.  The key is to keep them in your car.  If I go but forget them, I just carry out my items.  I love getting fun reusable bags because why not?  Here are a few I like.  Plastic bags are terrible for the environment – for the same reasons highlighted above – and also for wildlife (specifically marine wildlife).  Animals, such as sea turtles, often mistake floating plastic bags for jellyfish (which they eat) and instead of consistently consuming plastic bags.

Many countries don’t even offer plastic bags anyway so you have to have your own bag or carry the items.

Buy reusable grocery bags here.


Zero Waste Gifts // Hygiene Products


Diva Cup

One of the best things I’ve ever done was switch to a menstrual cup. Tampons and pads are horrible for the environment and horrible for your body (the chemicals in tampons are disgusting and your body just absorbs it). The diva cup obviously cuts down on single-use waste, is a small investment, isn’t horrible for your body, is not tested on animals and it actually has helped my cramps.  I don’t even know how but it has and I have absolutely horrible cramps.

Buy a diva cup here.

Bamboo Toothbrush

Toothbrushes are not biodegradable and will never, ever go away. A switch to a bamboo toothbrush is easy, affordable and the best option for the planet!

Buy a 4-pack of bamboo toothbrushes here.

Solid Shampoo

I love using solid shampoo. It cuts down on plastic use, it doesn’t run the risk of spilling all over your luggage and it lasts forever. I definitely recommend making the switch. I currently use Lush products.

Buy solid shampoo here.

Safety Razor

Disposable razors are crap. They don’t last long, they’re expensive and again…so much plastic. Switching to a safety razor is a small $25 investment but as long as you take care of it, that’s a pretty good deal!  The razor blades are super cheap and last so much longer than a disposable!

Buy a safety razor here.


Zero Waste Gifts // Packing


Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are another one of my favorite inventions. When I travel, I try to pack as light as possible meaning I have to fit all my stuff in a very small space – usually carry-on only. The best way to maximize your space and keep everything organized is via packing cubes. I have both ebags and Eagle Creek brands and both work beautifully.

Buy packing cubes here.

Microfiber Towel

I love carrying a microfiber towel with me on my travels. Not all hostels provide towels free of charge, it cuts down on water usage as they dry very quick and thus, in my opinion, don’t need to be washed as often.

Buy a microfiber towel here.


Zero Waste Gifts // Electronics


Solar Charger

A great way to always make sure your electronics can be fully charged while also being environmentally conscious is a solar charger. I only recently purchased one of these myself but I can tell it’s a great addition to my travel accessories.

Buy solar charger here.

Battery Pack

My other go-to electronic accessory that I never leave home without is a battery pack. I easily go through two full charges on my phone a day when I’m traveling and having the peace of mind that I won’t run out of battery in an unknown location is necessary for me. I highly recommend always have an external battery charger with you.

Buy a battery pack here.

Didn’t find anything here that strikes your fancy? Here are some more practical gifts for every traveler.

What are your favorite zero waste gifts? Tell me in the comments below ↓↓↓

What else have I written about sustainability? You can find more here.
Looking for a book on zero waste? Here ya go!
Looking for other ways to be more eco-conscious? GO VEGAN!
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ZERO WASTE GIFTS
ZERO WASTE GIFTS

Also, some of the above are affiliate links and I will earn a very small percentage of the sale if you purchase through them at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting A Southern Gypsy!

Traveler. Freelance Writer. Blogger. Vegan. Risk Taker. Voice for the Voiceless.

5 Comments

  1. Jenn and Ed Coleman

    November 17, 2017 at 2:11 AM

    I love micro fiber towels when travelling. They are the best. I don’t know how many times my microfiber towel has saved the day, from car spills to euro showers in a park. There are hundreds of uses.
    Jenn and Ed Coleman recently posted…Our Five Favorite California Adventures (along the San Andreas Fault)My Profile

  2. Jackie @Reusable Menstrual Cups

    November 29, 2017 at 2:01 PM

    Yes! I love your list of eco-friendly gifts, especially the one about menstrual cups. It’s kind of an odd thing to give someone, but it’s also totally and completely awesome. I didn’t discover menstrual cups until my mid-30’s and I seriously regret all those wasted years. If only someone gave me one for my birthday or Christmas far, far sooner.
    Jackie @Reusable Menstrual Cups recently posted…Dutchess Cup vs. Diva CupMy Profile

  3. Lauren Reese

    December 2, 2017 at 11:54 PM

    So diverse gifts, hmmm, how about DIY organic cosmetic?

  4. Kath Mendez

    December 9, 2017 at 11:57 PM

    These look great. Being able to give to people you and being able to help save the environment at the same time. Win-win!

  5. Matthew

    January 20, 2018 at 2:27 PM

    Really great list. The bamboo toothbrush is one I haven’t used but really should try- one of those things that’s awkward to try to recycle/repurpose. Good advice.
    Matthew recently posted…Best Cover Material for Composting ToiletsMy Profile

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