Pack With Purpose: 13 Sustainable Carry-On Items For The Conscious Traveler
It’s Easier Than Ever To Be Green On-The-Go
We write a lot about conscious travel: eco-friendly hotels, ethical travel fashion, tips on how to reduce your impact while abroad – but what about in-flight sustainability? Conscious travel isn’t only limited to what we pack for our vacation or the choices we make once we’ve arrived at our destination. In fact, conscious travel is not something we do at all, rather it’s a lifestyle – a lifestyle we maintain while en route to faraway cities, even at 30,000 feet in the sky.
We admit it can be difficult to navigate airports and flights with all the pre-packaged meals, plastic wrappers, and disposable containers. Everything is built for convenience and one-time use; it can all seem so daunting. Even small choices though – like eating our in-flight meal with reusable, eco-friendly utensils instead of plastic ones, or staying warm with an ethically-created blanket – makes a difference and positively impacts our planet.
To help with this, we’ve compiled a list of conscious carry-on travel essentials that ensure convenience, comfort, and sustainability – even while in the air.
1. Healthy Locks Dry Shampoo Powder | One Love Organics
Ethics | Organic, Non-GMO, ECOCERT Seal, free from parabens, silicon, nanoparticles, PEG, phenoxyethanol, & synthetic perfumes & dyes
If your hair needs a little love during your layover, Healthy Locks Dry Shampoo Powder has you covered. All-natural and containing silica-rich bamboo extract, this travel essential nourishes, strengthens, and softens traveler’s hair. It’s not only carry-on friendly, but organic, natural, and ethically produced.
Shop Online | Starting at $12
2. The Anti-Bottle | Vapur Inc.
Ethics | BPA-free, made in the USA, 2010 FPA Silver Award for Sustainability & Environmental Achievement, packaging printed with soy ink on wind-powered presses
Not your average water bottle, The Shop Online is designed to roll, flatten, and fold in your carry-on. It’s sustainable and consciously produced, making it easy to stay hydrated during long flights without purchasing single-use water bottles.
The California-based company also partners with like-minded organizations to provide anti-bottles to charitable groups around the world. Vapur refill stations continue to be installed on school campuses and in parks, making clean drinking water more readily available to everyone.
Shop Online | Starting at $7
3. Bamboo Toothbrush & Travel Case | Brush With Bamboo
Ethics | 100% plant-based, BPA-free, vegan, compostable packaging, verified non-toxic, USDA Certified Bio-Based, made in the USA
Keeping your teeth clean and your breath fresh while in-flight is easy with Brush With Bamboo’s toothbrush and travel case. Founded by the Kumar family in Southern California, the toothbrush handle and travel case is made entirely of organic bamboo, and the bristles are the most advanced bio-based bristle in the world.
Additionally, the Kumar family has turned their suburban home into a model for sustainable living by planting an organic permaculture garden in their yard. Now producing 5,000 pounds of food annually and harvesting rainwater, the family teaches others how to work towards a zero-waste lifestyle.
Shop Online | Toothbrush 4-pack $20, travel case $20
4. Amp Solar Charger | Voltaic
Ethics | U.S. company, sustainability model for production and packaging, partnership with conservation organizations
Charge your electronic devices with stored solar power with the Amp Solar Charger from Voltaic. For every hour of sunlight stored in the charger, your smartphone will gain one hour of use. At 1.1 lbs, the charger is compact and lightweight for travel, and the waterproof fabric storage case is made from recycled PET (soda bottles).
Shop Online | $99
5. Compact Neck Pillow | Bucky
Ethics | Millet hulls filling, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, produced without the use of fertilizers or pesticides
Unless you want to spend the first day of your vacation at a chiropractor, we recommend investing in a sustainable travel pillow for in-flight naps. The Bucky Compact Neck Pillow is not only environmentally friendly but thermo-sensitive and ideal for quality rest. The pillow also comes with a snap & go feature for convenient and easy access.
Shop Online | $29
6. Coconut Oil | Conscious Coconut
Ethics | 100% USDA Organic, cruelty-free, Fair Trade Certified, non-GMO, free from alcohol, parabens, sulfate, artificial colors, fillers, unnatural preservatives, & fragrances
For all us travelers trying to figure out how to bring coconut oil on a plane, Conscious Coconut just made long flights a lot more enjoyable. At 3.4 oz exactly, this carry-on friendly tube of virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil is perfect for moisturizing, de-frizzing hair, whitening teeth, or sweetening airplane coffee.
A social enterprise fueled by love, the organization works directly with farmers and suppliers, maintaining fair trade practices, and every tube is packaged by adults with developmental disabilities at the MacDonald Training Center, empowering them to lead the lives they choose. Furthermore, for each tube purchased, a child is given a meal through Feed America food banks.
Shop Online | $15
7. Diamond Throw | Hygge Life
Ethics | Artisan made
Hygge Life, a women-owned and operated business in Denver, Colorado, supports artisans in Turkey while also keeping conscious travelers cozy in-flight. The Diamond Throw, made with the highest quality Turkish cotton and dyes, is soft, lightweight, and perfect for keeping warm. Drape it around your shoulders or gently stuff it inside your purse for easy access.
Shop Online | $65
8. Spork & Cork | Bambu
Ethics | Organic, locally sourced materials, Gold Seal of Approval from Green America, 100% bio-based product, vegan
The go-anywhere whimsical eating utensil is perfect to reduce trash and plastic use during in-flight meals. Designed in Portland and produced with local materials in China, the Bambu Spork & Cork is only 4” by 2” and stores easily in a durable and washable cork fabric sleeve. Bambu products are food safe, vegan, and packaged with environmental sustainability and waste reduction practices.
Shop Online | $10
9. Sustainable Socks | Thought
Ethics | Made from recycled plastic bottles, organic cotton, or bamboo
Keep your feet warm and cozy in-flight with the sustainable socks by Thought, originally Braintree Clothing. Made from sustainable fabrics, you can find adult & children’s socks of varying lengths, patterns, and feels.
Thought also practices slow shipping to reduce its environmental footprint, as well as commits to sustainable, ethical, and fair trade production models.
Shop Online | £4.95-£18.95
10. Flushable Wipes | Stall Mates
Ethics | Made in the USA, cruelty-free, biodegradable, hypoallergenic, free from alcohol, parabens, & fragrances
Airplanes normally have toilet paper, but conscious travelers can never be too prepared with Stall Mates Flushable Wipes. Made with cucumber, aloe, and chamomile, the individually-packaged flushable wipes are essential for on-the-go freshness and travel emergencies. Because the wipes are hypoallergenic, you can also use them for head-to-toe freshening up. Even better, the organization plants a tree for every box purchased and the factory is powered by solar power.
Shop Online | 30-pack $11
11. Voyage! Travel Kit | Earth Tu Face
Ethics | 100% plant-based products, non-GMO, organic, reusable, recyclable, and compostable containers, no animal testing, made in the USA
After 5+ hours on a plane, nothing feels as rejuvenating as washing your face and hydrating your skin. The Earth Tu Face Voyage! Travel Kit contains three products necessary for any long flight: Face Wash, Face Serum, and Body Butter. Founded by two herbalists in Northern California, Earth Tu Face grows its skin care brand from the ground up – literally. Focused on creating a purely plant-based 100% natural skin care line, free of toxins or synthetic compounds, every product contains plants that heal, restore, and rejuvenate skin cells.
The skin care line also donates a percentage of proceeds to various organizations, including Planned Parenthood, ACLU, and the Center for Biological Diversity. Take note conscious travelers, these carry-on sized skin care bottles are essential for long flights.
Shop Online | $64
12. Liberate On-Ear Headphones | House Of Marley
Ethics | FSC Certified wood, created with recycled and sustainable materials, recycled packaging
Michigan-based House of Marley is changing the way conscious travelers listen to music. Crafted with only earth-friendly materials – including bamboo, wood composite, recyclable aluminum, and organic cork – the signature Marley sound is unique and sustainable in every way. Whether you are listening to music, enjoying in-flight entertainment, or catching up on your favorite podcast, these headphones and the included recycled fabric carry case fit easily inside your purse or carry-on.
The organization also gives back to the community and the environment. Every pair of headphones sold supports One Tree Planted’s reforestation efforts, as well as 1Love, a global movement dedicated to supporting youth, planet, and peace.
Shop Online | $80
13. Trace Mineral Tooth Brushing Powder | The Dirt
Ethics | All-natural food grade ingredients, fluoride-free, recyclable, cruelty-free, non-GMO, free of corn, soy, grain, & gluten
To pair with the bamboo toothbrush and travel case, The Dirt’s Trace Mineral Tooth Brushing Powder is perfect for convenient and conscious travel. Made only with the most natural ingredients and essential oils, this travel-sized toothpaste is good for the environment, as well as your teeth and gums.
Shop Online | $12