4. Organic Hygiene Products
We don’t want to pollute the water sources in foreign countries any more than we do in our home town, but it can be really difficult to find shops that carry biodegradable shampoo, conditioner, or body wash. So what we usually do is stock up when we reach an urban center that has an organic market or local shops that carry homemade products that are free of nitrates and other chemicals that pollute the water supply.
5. Lightweight Clothing Made of Natural Materials
Of all fabrics in the world, denim has one of the worst embodied environmental footprints. It requires a lot of water to make jeans and jackets, for example, and the industry (particularly in China) is often deeply socially irresponsible. Also, the dye used to put the blue in blue jeans in under-regulated countries often leaks into nearby water ways. Apart from one pair of jeans, this author mostly carries clothing made of natural materials like hemp and bamboo. Not only are they more earth-friendly, but they also take up less space and dry more quickly. (It’s possible to find natural materials that are suitable for cooler climes too.)
6. A Sarong
This may not seem like an obvious eco-choice, but the sarong is one of the best investments a green traveler can make. Ours doubles as a towel, which requires more water to wash and more “air-time” to dry, and a wet wipe. A wet wipe? That’s right: instead of carrying around wet wipes to freshen up on a long bus or train journey, for example, the corner of a fast-drying sarong can work wonders and then you don’t leave behind a trail of wasted paper. Plus, if you buy a sarong that was made locally, somebody earns money from your purchase, and you have a nice souvenir to take home!
Disclaimer: we do not endorse any particular brand. It just so happens that these are the products we are carrying with us right now.