There are many ways to travel more sustainably, including how you pack your toiletry bag. So, what do I look for when I’m choosing products to travel with? They must be as low waste as possible, as natural as possible, and as kindly produced as possible. If they can serve more than one purpose, then I have found a winner! Here are my top items to include in your eco-friendly toiletry bag.
I try to buy vegan products for skincare as I really don’t need my vanity products being tested on animals. I also try to buy organic if possible, as they are kinder to the environment in production and they have much stricter rules governing payment and treatment of workers, animal helpers included!
Let’s start with the bag itself. Although the most sustainable thing to do is to use the one that you already have, sometimes they do wear out. When that happens, why not treat yourself to a fantastically smart bag that also happens to be eco-conscious! There are so many options to choose from: a 100% organic cotton bag, a bag made out of recycled bouncy castles or bicycle inner tubes, or simply a PET bag.
For travel, the bag that is currently on my ultimate list is from a small UK company that ships worldwide and accepts USD and the Euro. They have designed a bag that is not only effortlessly stylish, it also makes traveling with hand luggage so much easier and saves hundreds of single-use clear plastic bags. What makes the OneNine5 travel wash bag different? It has a clear detachable TSA-approved inner bag for going through security and a useful hook to hang it up. They have also teamed up with TerraCycle to make sure that once it is no longer usable, it doesn’t go into a landfill. The only downside is that in order to look luxe, its outer layer is made from polyurethane (PU vegan leather) which has its own environmental issues. All other materials, including the packaging, are either recycled or recyclable.
Now that you’ve got the bag, it’s time to fill it with my ultimate list of products.
One of the great things about going low waste is that most products won’t even need that lovely clear detachable bag!
1) Toothpaste Tablets – My favorites that also contain fluoride are by Ben & Anna, in the spearmint flavor. They come in a recyclable bag and you only need to take the number of tablets you need with you. If you don’t want fluoride, then Geoganics are also a great option.
2) Deodorant – Earth Conscious is my ultimate deodorant. It is a cream stick in a fully recyclable cardboard container that actually glides on beautifully and WORKS! I use the Jasmine and Rose, but for those who need something stronger, the Strong Mint is apparently fabulous.
3) Bar Soap – I am currently loving the Shea butter bar from Source, in Brighton. It is soft enough for your face, but can also be used on your body. The bonus is that it is also soft enough to be used on very grubby children!
4) Shampoo Bars – I use the lavender & tea-tree bar from Friendly Soaps. For those outside of Europe, I also love the soap from the Unscented Company. These also work on my children, who do need their hair washed occasionally!
5) Conditioner Bar – I also use the lavender & tea-tree conditioner bar from Friendly Soaps. As an alternative, my friends rave about Lush’s solid conditioner.
6) Shaving Soap Bar – I absolutely love the shaving soap from Lamazuna. It’s made with shea butter and lathers up beautifully – it is simply divine!
7) Shaving – I use a safety razor and would never go back. It is effortless to use and is entirely plastic-free. The blades are fully recyclable with normal metal recycling. Friendly reminder: don’t put the blades in your hand luggage!
8) Make-up – I’ve recently discovered the brand, Zao. All of their liquid cosmetics are refillable and the main casing is made out of bamboo. It is also fabulous to use!
9) Moisturizer – You don’t need to look much further than good old coconut oil. It is a fabulous product, and when sourced carefully, can be used for a multitude of things! I am careful when purchasing things with coconut oil as it is sometimes produced in the worst of conditions with monkeys being used as slaves. I love the coconut oil from Lucy Bee, which is rated highest by Ethical Consumer magazine and reasonably priced. They NEVER use monkeys to harvest their coconuts.
10) Clothes Wash – You just never know when you will need to wash dirty clothes or reusable make-up pads. I recommend the Ethique Flash bar which is available in the USA & UK at the moment. EU is in the pipeline!
I hope you find these suggestions helpful for you to make the switch to a more sustainable toiletry bag. Tell us about some of your favorite products in the comments below!
Do you use sustainable products to make an eco-friendly toiletry bag? Let us know which ones you love?
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