Gallery: 6 Easy-to-Carry Essentials That Will Keep Your Travels Green

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.

1. Water Bottle

Many tourists are so afraid of the water in foreign countries that they end up buying bottle after plastic bottle that then lands either on the ground or in the local dump. Even when recycled, plastic exacts a terrible toll on the environment and never biodegrades. But in developing countries using plastic bottles is even worse because they frequently lack recycling facilities. A good, durable water bottle that was made without Bisphenol A (BPA), an organic compound that is considered by some to be toxic to humans, will last forever and leave you with a clear conscience.

2. Water Filter

But maybe the water isn’t safe to drink, you say? In some countries this is a valid concern. This author usually drinks the local water because it’s safer than most people think, and bottled water, since it is less regulated than municipal supply centers, often contains harmful chemicals. Recently in Saudi Arabia, for example, it was found that one company was selling water laced with Bromate – a chemical that causes tumors in rats and mice, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Still, it’s not safe to drink water in some places, in which case a water filter is a great solution. We picked this one from REI but there are dozens of them on the market. Check out camping stores for one that suits you.

3. Travel Coffee Cup

We’re addicted to the bean, there’s no way around it. While it’s not always easy to find fair trade coffee on our travels, the least we can do is carry this coffee cup so that we’re not throwing away paper or styrofoam cups every time we go to a cafe for a caffeine fix. Even if you prefer tea, this is still a handy thing to keep, it packs pretty easily, and it has the added benefit of keeping your warm beverage warm.


or your inhabitat account below

1 Comment

  1. travelwitheric February 29, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Nice ideas, however, remember to pack any water bottles and any liquids over 3 oz. in your checked luggage. Even an empty water bottle will get confiscated by the TSA if you try and take it through security in your carry-on luggage.

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home