Tips on Winter Scandinavia Travel

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Tips on Winter Scandinavia Travel – Did you know that traveling in Scandinavia is fascinating?

Scandinavia is one of the profoundly serene regions of the world.

It is full of stunning mountains, beautiful coastline, friendly locals, super-efficient cities, and postcard-worthy farmland.

Travel Packages & Tours to Norway for seniors will make you feel like you are on another planet.

In this article, it will explain the tricks of exploring Scandinavia on a reasonable budget tremendously.
Tips on Winter Scandinavia Travel

Tips on Winter Scandinavia Travel

Where to Go Backpacking in Scandinavia

A trip backpacking in Scandinavia will precisely show you all the beautiful natural landscapes, a diverse culture, and a unique history.

Backpacking in Scandinavia is a trip that makes you feel like a king or a queen.
Backpacking in Scandinavia
Travel to the foggy fjords of Norway.

Climb the Kings Trail via the Sweden of wilds.

Come across the delicious food culture in Denmark and be delighted by the Northern Lights of Finland.

Scandinavia has all sorts of lovely nature photography, exploring tiny villages, hiking, excellent cuisine, and coming across all big cities.

Get a Wonderful Adventure to Travel in Scandinavia Cities

Let your journey kick off by going to see these eye-catching cities: Stockholm, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Oslo, and Bergen.

Stockholm is a gorgeous city to explore.

If you are in love with museums, this is the best place for you.

There are more than 100 museums in Stockholm to fit the blazing desire of every tourist.
Adventure to Travel in Scandinavia CitiesThe famous ancient town, Gamla Stan is one of the highly conserved in old districts of any main European capital.

Pass over the cobblestone roads going in the small shops, restaurant, before visiting the Stockholm’s Royal Palace.

After full and half day travel in Stockholm, it’s now the right time to move to Copenhagen and Denmark.

Take the sights of the striking Danish capital before your backpacking Scandinavian adventure comes to an accomplishment.

A stroll along the old harbor of Nyhavn and an exploration to the top of the Round Tower are inevitable.

Tales of People Killed by Icicles

Now it’s the opportune time to cross over to Sweden.

The next place to have a wonderful adventure is the Gothenburg, in Sweden.

Big things do happen in Gothenburg.

This is the second biggest city in Sweden where you enjoy some delicious meals and drinks from the fabulous hotels.

Afterward, you can proceed to the harbor to see the popular market of fish.

You can choose a boat that takes you on tour around some of the neighboring islands, or you opt to spend your day trips of the hidden gems.

Northern Lights tours to Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Finland and Greenland are the most fabulous trips that you can have.

My buddy don’t miss the Scandinavia trip it will make you a legendary explorer of the 21st century.

Make sure you save your cash in exploring these countries.

It will be a time to enjoy, bond, and have all manner of exhibitions that you usually admire.

The article has explained to you the kinds of stuff that you will get after exploring Scandinavia countries.

The adventure is a spectacular deal for you!

Sustainable Travel in Lapland

Lapland is a cultural region in Scandinavian Europe, which includes the most northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.

The area’s scenic beauty is world-famous and Lapland rightfully takes its responsibility to the environment seriously and for ecotourism destinations.

To many people, Lapland is synonymous with snow-covered wildernesses, the dazzling Northern Lights and the hero of Christmas himself, Santa Claus.

Naturally, ecotourism is now one of the major employment sources in areas such as Finnish Lapland and there’s no shortage of visitors all year-round.

The excellent skiing conditions, eco hostels and festive attractions explain why winter is one of the most popular times for Lapland breaks, but if you’re taking holidays to Lapland at any time this year, then there are several ways to help to support local communities and sustain the environment. Tips on Winter Scandinavia Travel

Top Travel Hacks from Experienced Travelers

Etcotourism and Sustainable Travel in Lapland

Eco Touring the national parks

Lapland is home to some of the most beautiful national parks in the world; eighteen in total.

The green spaces, including the Urho Kekkonen National Park in Finland, are where to come to hike through stunning landscapes, get up close to the reindeer and enjoy an abundance of sports such as skiing, snowboarding and ice fishing.

Guided tours are available year round and these can be on foot, snowmobile or in some areas on husky-driven sleighs.

Booking eco tour of the parks by locally operated tour guides will help to financially support the local community.

Engaging with the indigenous population

If you’re travelling to northern Norway you can meet some of the indigenous Sami population and enjoy traditional reindeer sledging as well as exploring the Sami capital of Karasjok in Finnmark.

There are a number of Sami festivals each year including Sami Week in Tromso, where visitors can buy hand-crafted goods as well as traditional food from the markets.

There is always the option to purchase locally-made Sami products from Finnish villages like Enontekiö, including reindeer skins, wooden and leather goods and clothes from the many traditional sellers.

Eco-friendly accommodation and Eco Lodge

There’s no shortage of options if you’re looking for eco-accommodation or an Eco Lodge in Lapland.

In Swedish Lapland, the Ice Hotel has to be redesigned and rebuilt every year, always with the environment in mind when it comes to innovative lighting and heating systems.

In addition, the people behind the TreeHotel in Sweden have actually found a way to secure cabins high up in the trees without damaging the trunks with nails.

Elsewhere, the Igloo Village in Kakslauttanen, Finland is another amazing Eco Lodge accommodation option, with igloos constructed from thermal glass (so heat energy efficient), under which you can fall asleep to the sight of the Northern Lights.

Supporting the environment and EcoTourism

There are holiday companies that take their responsibilities to the environment seriously and you can help promote ecotourism by choosing a responsible travel company.

Many Eco tour operators will give a percentage of each booking towards environmental and conservation concerns; this is usually in the form of a voluntary donation by the traveler during the booking process.

Flight emissions are another concern and many holiday companies provide the option of making a small financial offset, which will then be donated to organizations such as Climatecare.

Tarja Mitrovic, used under Creative Comms licence

Why Non-Stop Flights Are Better for the Environment

resources for volunteering abroad

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why non-stop flights are better – When I’m checking for prices of flights and seeing what days work best for my schedule, I am always trying to find the cheapest non-stop flight that I can.

Time is of the essence, and as I am often traveling with my children, it is worth the extra money to book a flight that is nonstop, instead of having layovers.

I am also one to not check bags.

It is difficult to drag bags on and off planes, also with kids, to try to catch the next, connecting flight.

I booked these flights thinking why non-stop flights are better.

For the convenience, our comfort, and my sanity.

But then I started thinking about why non-stop flights are better, not just for myself, but for the environment too.

How is a direct flight different than a non-stop flight?

Most people believe if they do not have to change planes, they are on a direct, non-stop flight.

This is not true as they do not have the same meaning.

When you are online searching to make a flight reservation, it is most always better for the environment to take a non-stop flight.

This means it goes from one airport to another, without stopping.

A direct flight has several destinations, whether or not the final destinations affect all of the passengers, it makes stops from the original airport before arriving to its final destination.

While some passengers may deplane at the first destination, other passengers may remain seated on the plane as new passengers board.

So while they seem to be interchangeable terms, they are not.

Why non-stop flights are better

Aside from the time and convenience, I never really stopped to think why non-stop flights are better for the environment than direct flights with a stopover.

It seems like the latter would burn only slightly more fuel (and thus emit slightly more carbon), since it requires just a few more miles of travel.

It turns out, however, that non-stop flights are exponentially better for the environment.

It’s not just because you’re traveling fewer miles.

It’s because as much as 50% of carbon emissions come from takeoff and landing!
why nonstop flights are better
photo by: Global Jet

I really wanted to know exactly how and why non-stop flights are better.

Surprisingly, it took a lot of research to figure this out.

I thought a simple Google search would turn up the answers.

Instead, I spent hours digging through websites, running calculations and conversions, and even browsed through flight school manuals to learn why stopover flights are worse for the environment.

Because it’s so hard to find this info, I encourage you to take notes and spread the word.

Knowing that all flights are not created equal will help you to make informed choices.

Some calculations of airplanes’ fuel usage

During a 143 mile direct flight (roughly Washington, D.C. to Philadelphia, PA), 51% of fuel burned is from the taxi, takeoff, climb, and landing.

During a 863 mile direct flight (roughly Washington, D.C. to St. Louis, MO), 16.6% of fuel burned is from the taxi, takeoff, climb, and landing.

During a 1,151 mile nonstop flight (roughly Washington, D.C. to Minneapolis, MN), a plane burns about 13,896 lbs of fuel (1,819 of which come from take-off and landing).

Thus, 13% of fuel is burned from taxi, takeoff, climbing, and descent.

But, if you stopped in Chicago for a layover on your way to Minneapolis, your planes (jointly) will burn at least 15,715 pounds of fuel (3,638 from takeoff and landing).

So a whopping 23% of the fuel your planes use goes toward takeoff and landing.

Always remember that a direct flight is different from than a flight that is non-stop.

In other words, because you took a flight with a layover, your itinerary burns at least 1,820 more pounds of fuel than a non-stop flight.

Additionally, because you likely sat on the extensive runway traffic that is Chicago O’Hare Airport, your plane probably burned through even more fuel.

Since 1,820 pounds of jet fuel probably doesn’t mean much to you, I’ll translate.

Jet fuel weighs approximately 6.7 lbs/gallon.

Therefore, 272 extra gallons of fuel are burned during this stopover itinerary than during a non-stop flight

That’s the equivalent of filling up my Honda Accord 20 times!

Next time you fly, ask yourself: “Is saving $50 by flying with a layover really worth the environmental cost?”

For me, it’s not.

Knowing why non-stop flights are better will hopefully encourage you to consider them the next time you schedule plane reservations.

I’m not a mathematician.

I haven’t taken a real math course since my MBA over 20 years ago.

There were a lot of calculations and conversions and searches that went into these numbers.

I doubled checked my work, but please feel free to run the numbers for yourself.

Also, note that the type and size of plane changes these calculations as does the distance flown.

Calculations are based on Climate Care.org’s Aviation Emissions and Offsets.

Traveler Security Lanes ~ Here’s 7 Tips How to Use Them Like an Expert

Remember the days it used to be fun and exciting to go to the airport and embark on your trip?

Now with increased security, crowded airports and overbooked flights, things often take more time and patience.

Yet airports are always working to streamline processes to make the customers’ experience faster and hopefully better.

On recent trips to from Minneapolis to Dallas and Chicago, I noticed Expert Traveler security lanes are cropping up at more airports.

That’s great news for savvy travelers.

But be warned — these lanes are self-select so you don’t have to be a frequent traveler to use them.

Don’t be surprised to find people there who should be in the Casual or Family Traveler lanes.

Here’s how to use the Expert Traveler security lanes like a pro

Have your boarding pass and ID out

Before you get to the agent who will check your papers, take out your boarding pass and ID.

Make sure they’re facing the right way when you hand them to the agent.

Be friendly and polite but don’t engage in idle chitchat with the security personnel.

Wear slip-on shoes

Wear shoes that you can quickly remove when you get to the front of the line.

Or, untie your shoes while you’re waiting in line so they’re ready to slip off when you get to the conveyor belt.

Remove your liquids

Don’t wait until you have a tray in front of you to start digging through your luggage for your bag of liquids.

Take your liquids out while you’re waiting in line.

Take off your coat (or sweatshirt or sweater)

Don’t wait for the TSA agent to ask you to remove your jacket.

Even if you think you can get by in your light-weight button up shirt, it’s better to play it safe.

If you’re wearing anything that could be interpreted as outerwear, take it off.

Remove your laptop from your bag

Unless you have a TSA-approved laptop bag, you must take your laptop out of your bag.

Do your research about your bag beforehand; don’t hold up the line.

This also goes for your C-PAP machines and other devices.

Plan your trays

Before you get to the conveyor belt, know how many trays you’ll need.

Grab your trays and move out of the way.

Plan on one for your laptop, one for any small luggage (depending on the airport), and one for everything else.

Some airports may require you to divide up your things further.

If you have kids, help them get the trays and load their belongings as well.

Once you’re through security…

Take your tray(s), grab your things, and move out of the way.

Be considerate and keep the line moving.

If you need to tie your shoes or put your luggage back together, carry them with you to the chairs a few feet away.

Do your best to get out of the way and do not stop suddenly.

The Expert Traveler security lanes are excellent for people who travel frequently.

But anyone who considers himself an “expert traveler” can go through that line.

Even if he’s traveling with a 3 year-old and hasn’t flown in a decade.

Just follow these tips to make sure you’re not holding up the line.

Damages of Air Travel on Our Environment

Most of us love air travel from one destination to another and we love to get the aerial view of the cities around the world.

It is not uncommon to have anyone who mainly gets to only travel on land get excited over the idea of flying.

And air travel definitely has its benefits and exciting moments, right from the desire to get a window seat to maximize the benefits of a guaranteed perfect aerial view to the thrill of cruising several thousand feet above the ground.
airport security screening
It is indeed an experience that one would probably want to take advantage of severally.

It has its disadvantages though, for example, any aviation accident has fatal effects and may probably not have any survivors after the accident.

It is also a very expensive affair to construct an airport and purchase all the airplanes used in air transport, so it requires a huge capital outlay in order to be effected.

Additionally, in relation to the environment, air travel has increasingly caused concern over the pollution it causes on our environment.

The negative impact caused by air transport on our environment is outlined below;

It has been estimated that air travel contributes at least 3-30% of all the global warming on our earth.

One transatlantic return flight for example, emits almost half of the carbon dioxide emissions as from all the other sources like heating, lighting and car use, according to research.

They are mainly a source of greenhouse gases like nitrogen oxides, water vapor and carbon dioxide CO2.

Chemicals like Benzene which are found in cigarettes are to make used this fuel.

Research documents that in order to stabilize the atmospheric carbon dioxide current levels, we need to work towards ensuring that our total carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by 60%; and already, the developed world emits more than its fair share due to all the industrialization and developments going on.

Water vapor emitted by the aircraft reacts with nitrogen dioxides in the atmosphere leading to destruction of the ozone layer in the stratosphere Nitrogen found below the ozone layer (in the troposphere) contributes to ozone formation, but unfortunately, it doesn’t assist in replenishing the ozone layer at this level.

Instead, it actually contributes to the smog found around the airports and additionally acts as a greenhouse gas.

Another negative effect of water vapor is that it leads to the formation of increased cirrus clouds, and this contributes to global warming.

Additionally, it has been proven that contribution to the negative impact on the environment is caused by the aviation industries themselves, over and above the emissions from the airplanes.

This is mainly brought on in the course of processing and transporting the aviation fuel.

The whole process of maintaining and manufacturing the airplanes, the airports and all the vehicles used in support services have gone a long way in the creation of extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Air transport consumes particularly large quantities of non-renewable fossil fuel.

The jet fuel that is used in the aircraft is mainly non-renewable and the need to find alternative sources of energy to be able to sustain air transport cannot be underestimated.

It is needful that a solution is found soon to this predicament, so that we will not soon deplete this valuable resource.

It is therefore correct to say that air travel essentially promotes an unsustainable form of transport.

Jets that are mainly used in army operations are some of the noisiest crafts in aviation.

Together with other passenger and cargo airplanes, though these may not produce as much noise as the jets, aircraft in general are a major source of noise pollution in our environment.

So the next time you need to air travel, consider the environment and where possible, find alternative means of transport to your destination.

Travel Green On Your Next Vacation to Reduce Impact

photo credit: TSA

Travel Jackets Rain Jackets, Fleece Jackets, Lightweight Jackets

Travel Jackets

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Continuing on with our travel clothing week series, today’s post is all about the best travel jackets and what type of coat you should bring with you when you travel.

One note about travel jackets that doesn’t necessarily apply to all of our clothing posts.

If you’re investing in a coat that will survive your trip and longer – don’t skimp out.

You’ll be happier in the long run if you get a good jacket that will last for decades and not a cheap off brand jacket that will fall apart after a few trips.

Take it from someone who has been there, Best Travel Pants for Women that are Stylish and Comfortable and my best travel jackets for women articles.

Here are some questions to consider before taking a look at our travel jacket recommendations below:

Before Buying a Travel Jackets Ask Yourself

What Type of Climate Are You Traveling To?

Before you find the best travel jackets you should first consider the type of climate you’re visiting – is it warm or cold, wet or dry?

This may seem obvious but visiting the hot and humid rain forests of Belize will require a different type of rain jacket (i.e. lightweight and breathable) than the kind you’ll want on a chilly, rainy, early spring day in the Pacific Northwest.

The best travel jackets will be adaptable for many types of weather, but before you make a purchase think about where you’ll wear the jacket the most.

How Long Will You Be Gone?

If you’re going to be going on an extended multi-month trip you’ll want a lightweight jacket that you can layer with a fleece that you can layer with a raincoat as it will presumably change seasons while you’re gone.

If you’ll just be gone a week you only need to find something that will meet your needs for one season and one climate.

What Type of Traveler Are You?

If you’re an adventurous traveler on study abroad.

You’ll want something that’s more informal and all-weather, if you’re a person traveling with your spouse and will mainly stay in hotels and not venture out of museums on rainy days.

You’ll want a jacket that is nicer looking.

So think about what kind of traveler you are.

Will Travel Jackets You Already Own Suffice?

Before you go buy a new jacket just for an upcoming trip, first make sure you don’t have a travel jackets tucked away in the back of a closet that will work just as well as a new jack.

If you do, save your money and take an awesome excursion or have a fabulous meal on your vacation.

Is this a Jacket You Will Continue to Wear?

Make sure that you buy a travel jacket that you will continue to wear around after you’ve returned.

Maybe you’ll only need it when you go on hikes or walking the dog or in a crisp fall day, but buy a quality jacket that will last and be practical for other occasions.

Best Travel Jackets by Category

Rain Jackets

If you’re on your way to a destination notorious for rain, I highly recommend investing in a good rain jacket – with a hood.

Find a lightweight rain jacket that you can wear on a daily basis (black coats always blend in well) will be critical to your happiness and comfort.

Places like Ireland, anywhere with a rain forest, the Pacific Northwest all come to mind as places I would want to bring a good rain jacket.

Remember, you can always buy a cheap rain poncho if you’re somewhere and it rains unexpectedly, but for places where it usually rains for a least part of the day you’ll want a raincoat.

Here are the best six rain jackets I’ve come across for men and women travelers:

Best Women’s Rain Jackets

Best Men’s Rain Jackets

Fleece Jackets

I cannot remember a trip I’ve taken where I haven’t brought along my Columbia zip up fleece jacket.

Even in most incredibly warm climates I’ll find myself in a hostel that’s over air conditioned or an evening with a strong wind.

Even if I didn’t bring pants on my trip I can always throw on my fleece with shorts and stay toasty.

Generally there are two types of fleeces – full zip up and partial zip up.

You’ll have to decide which you prefer.

You may also want to consider whether you want a thicker polar fleece jacket or a thin one.

My preference is for a thin, but warm jacket.

Best Women’s Fleece Travel Jackets

Best Men’s Fleece Travel Jackets

Travel Jackets

Winter Coats

This is an easy one.

If you’re going someplace cold, bring your regular winter coat from home.

You’re probably wonder which winter jacket – my nice wool coat or more casual skiing jacket.

Unless you’re planning on skiing or participating in some other adventurous outdoor sport – bring your wool coat.

You’ll feel more comfortable walking into museums, restaurants, and bars.

Plus you’ll look less like a tourist.

Even if you do plan on trekking on some glaciers or skiing for a day, you’ll be able to either get a travel jackets with your equipment or rent a jacket from the ski shop.

Plan to Hike to Everest Base Camp

Lightweight Travel Jackets

Lightweight jackets for travel fall into several categories.

Formal and informal and rain proof or water resistant.

Which category you need goes back to the questions I posed for consideration in the beginning.

If you a twenty something traveler backpacking around Eastern Europe you’re probably going to go for a less formal jacket than you would if you’re a middle aged retired couple taking a river cruise down the Danube and stopping off at fancy restaurants in cities in Europe.

Here are the best lightweight jackets I’ve found based on reviews and personal experience.

Best Women’s Lightweight Travel Jackets

Best Men’s Lightweight Travel Jackets

*I would highly recommend the IceBreaker Nomad.

We received this jacket to try out courtesy of Icebreaker and I can honestly say it’s awesome.

It’s lightweight, but thin, made of wool and extremely warm.

It’s marketed at adventurous types – it even has a hood and thumb holes for runners.

But because it’s wool I would argue that it’s cute enough to wear at many nice functions.

With it you may still want a rain or wind jacket over it, however.

Best Organic Travel Products Review ~ What to Buy

Organic Travel Products Review

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Organic Travel Products Review: While finding organic personal care products is getting easier, it’s still difficult to find organic products that are travel sized.

Read the best organic travel products review to make your shopping easier.

Ideally, everyone would transfer their bulk shampoo into smaller containers, but some people prefer the convenience of buying travel size products.

Vacation Guide to Travel Size Products
Organic Travel Products Review

Organic Travel Products Review

We like organic products.

Organic toiletries and personal care items are made from high quality ingredients and generally do not contain chemicals.

These products are much gentler than most non-organic products as well as being good for the environment.

We love them so much that we even use organic products when we travel.

Below is a roundup of some of our favorites.

Organic travel products review for hair

Desert Essence nourishing coconut travel shampoo

Organic coconut oil gently cleanses hair and conditions it as it goes.

This Desert Essence product also contains olive oil and Jojoba oil, which are both organic.

There is no drying alcohol in these products and no artificial chemicals either.

Desert Essence nourishing coconut conditioner shampoo

There are also fragrant free, raspberry, lemon and red grape versions of this product available.

The basic composition is the same as the shampoo, but a different natural fragrance is added.

Argan Oil hair mask

If you are looking for a way to deep condition, your hair while traveling this organic hair mask is definitely a great option.

It contains several natural oils including organic Argan oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil and Shea butter as well as several important vitamins and minerals.

Organic Body Washes and Soaps review

Dr. Bronner organic liquid travel soap

This amazing product is a fantastic multipurpose soap. This old style soap is made from completely natural and organic compounds.

You normally buy it as a bar, but the company recently released a liquid soap version, which they sell in travel sizes.

It is one of the most versatile travel soaps out there. Dr. Bronner organic liquid travel soap

You can use it as a shower gel or for washing clothes. However, it is not suitable for washing your hair, but weirdly people do use it as a less abrasive alternative to toothpaste.

It smells heavenly too, the version featured here is almond scented.

This soap formula has never been tested on animals and is 100% biodegradable, so is safe for the environment too.

Kiss My Face Anti-stress Shower Gel

This is a great all round organic travel wash.

You can use it to wash your hair as well as use it as a shower gel and a face wash.

This versatile product now comes in travel sizes.

Other Organic Travel Personal Care Items

Bigelow travel size organic shave cream

This beautiful shaving cream is suitable for all skin types.

This travel shaving cream is infused with coconut and eucalyptus oils, contains menthol to cool the skin, and leave it pleasantly taunt.

Even a small dab produces a softening lather that spreads a long way. This may be a small pack, but it really lasts.

Organic toothpaste in travel pack sizes

You can now buy Auromere herbal toothpaste in travel pack sizes.

Each tube contains 4.16oz of paste.

Auromere make a range of different flavors including liquorice, mint free, fresh mint and a non-foaming version, which is perfect for people with a hypersensitive gag reflex.

These products are 100% natural and organic, they do not even contain fluoride, but they do contain 24 natural cleansing agents that are also known to be good for dental health.

US Organic insect repellent in travel size

This USDA certified travel-sized insect repellent contains no alcohol or synthetic chemicals and it has not been tested on animals.

It is certified as kid safe and is DEET free as well.

This is a very effective insect repellent.

Organic Travel Toiletry Kits

One of the most economical ways to buy you travel organic toiletries is to buy them as a kit.

Here are a few of the best ones.

Honey Girl Organics facial care travel kit

If you want to carry out a full skincare routine while on the go, this kit is great.

As the name indicates, all of these skin care products are honey based.

They all come in a zipped travel pouch and the kit includes lip balm, facial cleanser, toner, moisturizer and eye crème.

PAYA Organics travel toiletry set

If you want to order everything in one go the PAYA organics travel size kit is the answer.

This kit contains a 1.5oz bar of organic soap with orange peel, a bottle of organic shower gel, a small bottle of organic body lotion, as well as a bottle of both shampoo and conditioner.

Acure Organics dry shampoo and leave in conditioner kit

For those who are not sure they will have access to water for a while a travel dry shampoo can work wonders.

It is easy to use, is suitable for any type of hair and keeps the hair free of dirt until you can get access to a water source.

It is also a great option for business travelers who may experience delays, which does not leave them enough time to wash and dry their hair before a meeting.

Couple that with leave in conditioner and you have access to a complete water free hair care system.

Acrue Organics products are all high quality and they really do wash and condition your hair.

Miessence travel pack review

  • 2 Different Varieties of Shampoo (for normal to dry and normal to oily hair)
  • Conditioner
  • Hair Repair
  • Hair Styling Gel
  • Body wash
  • Body Cream

All of the products are products of Australia and Australian Certified Organic.

Overall the products worked well.

I really liked the B5 Hair Repair and the shape Hair Styling Gel. I have curly hair and they did a good job of keeping my hair from frizzing.

One thing that stood out about the shampoo containers was that they are made of extremely hard plastic. This is great for traveling as they won’t get smashed in your suitcase leaving shampoo-soaked clothes.

The downside of this is that you have to take the entire cap off the bottle to get shampoo out since you can’t squeeze the bottle to get it out of the flip-cap.

A minor annoyance, but the benefit of not squishing in the suitcase is nice.

Miessence has a range of organic skin, hair, body and cosmetic products.

It’s stressful enough traveling so it’s great if you can use great products along the way. By bringing your own toiletries, you can decline the mini shampoo, condition and lotions that come in plastic containers. 

We try to use organic travel products when traveling. It’s been easier than ever to find them. If you have other favorites, we would love to hear from you.

Best Water Bottle with Filter Guide ~ What to Buy and Why

Zero Water Cup

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Best Water Bottle with Filter – Of course we need to think about what’s in our water.

It’s supposed to be the best drink for us, yet it’s often filled with harmful bacteria, viruses, lead and heavy metals.

The great news it’s fast and easy to filter contaminated water and drink it safely.

There are many times you will benefit from a water bottle with a filter:

  • At home, work, school, gym
  • Traveling abroad, local travel, hotels, motels
  • Outdoor activities: hiking, backpacking, camping, RVing, Scouts
  • Emergency preparedness and prepping
  • When you refill from a drinking fountain
  • If you live in areas with severe weather, such as tornadoes or hurricanes
  • Basically, use it anytime you want to know you’re drinking clean water without harmful pathogens.

Best water bottle with filter

Best Water Bottle with Filter Review

LifeStraw Water Filter Bottle with LifeStraw Filter

This is a great leak-free, BPA-free plastic water bottle with filter.

  • Best use: Great for traveling, hiking, camping, etc., as well as work and around town.
  • Why: I like the option that you can drink water from a stream or pond as well as tap water. It’s lightweight.
  • Capacity: 23 ounces
  • Best feature: The filter will stop taking on water when it’s time to be changed, which is fantastic so you will know for sure when it isn’t working anymore.
  • Also great: You won’t need to replace the filter for awhile. It will work for 264 gallons of water.
  • Lightweight: 5 ounces

LifeStraw is an industry leader, known for quality products.

Their portable water filter and water bottle filtration system eliminates 99.99% of waterborne bacteria and waterborne protozoan parasites.

The LifeStraw Go Water Bottle is one of the only water bottles with filters that can filter water from ponds and streams as well as regular tap water.

It’s light and it’s leak proof too which make it ideal to bring on hikes, camping, and while traveling.

I love how light it is when empty, just over 5 ounces.

Like most plastic water bottles, this is hand wash only.

GRAYL Ultralight Purifier Bottle

This is the latest and greatest in purifying and filtering water.

It’s also BPA-free and doesn’t leak.

  • Best use: Easy to take anywhere.
  • Why: Purifies and filters water fast. I like that I can change out the water filter to a water purifier to use when adventuring outdoors in nature. It will work with any freshwater source.
  • Capacity: 16 ounces
  • Best feature: Takes just 15 seconds until you can drink clean water.
  • Also great: This is essential when you travel internationally.
  • Lightweight: 10.9 ounces
  • How does it work? Think of a French press — you use your body weight to press down on it.

We love it because it offers great filtration and water purification (easily change it to a water purifying filter).

It does a great job of filtering silt and particles.

You can filter 40 gallons of water before needing a replacement cartridge.

GRAYL products are also exceptional at removing 99.999% of what you don’t want in your water, including bacteria, viruses and protozoa.

It also will filter dangerous heavy metals, particulates while removing odors.

This is also hand-wash only.

GRAYL redesigned this bottle to be very lightweight while offering the superior ability to remove contaminants.

Just a filter: LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

LifeStraw also offers an essential item — the filter on it’s own.

This small filter is great because it’s:

  • Lightweight: At just 2 ounces, you can bring it anywhere.
  • Ideal for outside activities: It eliminates 99.99% of parasites and bacteria.
  • Lasts a long time: One filter can filter 1,000 liters of water.
  • Best feature: It’s just so small and handy and easy to take with you. There really isn’t a reason not to own one, even just for an emergency situation.

You won’t need iodine tabs or batteries or anything to eliminate toxins from any freshwater source.

This is truly a must-have item but know that this is just the filter, not the water bottle too.

Keep it in your car, bring it when traveling, RV-ing, hiking, camping or keep it as part of your emergency-preparedness planning.

It can be absolutely invaluable and possibly lifesaving should you ever need to use it.

Brita

Best water bottle with filter — other bottles we reviewed

Brita Water Bottle with Filter

  • Best use: The gym, for toting around town, and for your kids at school.
  • Best kids water bottle with filter: This is perfect for children who refill water using drinking fountains.
  • Why: These would be fine for work too but have a more sports-look to them. Also good for hiking because they are lightweight but you have to bring your own water, not source it from nature.
  • Capacity: 20 ounces or 24 ounces
  • Downside: This isn’t geared toward outdoor activities or international travel

We like Brita products as Brita is a long-time recognized name in water filtration for the home.

One of their water bottle filters can filter the equivalent of 300 of the standard 16.9 ounce sized water bottles.

They are made from BPA-free plastic.

Great for kids at school water fountains

I like that I can throw this bottle in my gym bag and not worry about it leaking.

I typically fill it up at home and once again after my workout from my gym’s water fountain.

Who knows how often places service their water fountains, so this is a great bottle to choose if you or your kids refill at water fountains at school, the gym, at work, etc.

These Brita water bottles filter out lead, chlorine, and other contaminants for fresher tasting water.

They come in a set of two.

My kids use these in the hotter months during the school year, and say they are easy to refill at their school’s water fountain.

Bobble Bottles

We love products made in the USA and Bobble bottles are.

  • Best use: The gym, work and toting around town.
  • Why: Easy to take with me.
  • Capacity: Vary in size.
  • Downside: Can also take hiking and biking but need to have your own water source. You can’t use this to purify water from rivers and streams.

The Bobble with water filter is meant to filter tap water, and they do an excellent job of filtering water to make it free from chlorine and other common organic contaminants.

These filtered water bottles comes in a wide range of colors.

The filter lasts for 300 bottle refills.

Plus it has a recyclable carbon filter.

Bobble Bottles are so fun, cute and colorful.

I always get a compliment when I use one of the two I own.

Best water tumbler with filter

ZeroWater Portable Filtration Tumbler

You can also use it without the filter.
Best Water Bottle with Filter

ZeroWater Portable Filtration Tumbler

This tumbler isn’t leak-proof but we love it all the same.

  • Best use: Taking it from your home to the office, around town, toting in your car’s drink holder, etc.
  • Why: I like drinking from a straw in the car instead of tilting my head back — eyes-off-the-road hazard — with the traditional water bottle.
  • Best feature: What I love about the ZeroWater tumbler is that there is a color-changing indicator right on the filter so you know when it’s time to change it.
  • Capacity: 26 ounces

The ZeroWater Portable Filtration Tumber can be used with or without the filter.

The only downside to this for traveling is that it has a removable straw that doesn’t seal.

You wouldn’t want to take this hiking, etc.

Otherwise, we love it.

It quickly filters water in 5-stages to remove 99.6% of dissolved solids.

Note, this is a water filter for a tumbler.

It beats other brands filters for tumblers for eliminating the contaminants typically found in tap water, including:

Inorganics:

  • Chlorine
  • Nitrate
  • Chlorite

Metals:

  • Arsenic
  • Lead
  • Mercury

Pesticides: Removes 14 prevalant pesticides

VOCs volatile organic compounds: It removes these as well.

So many times you don’t know if a filter is still working and effective.

This tumbler comes with the filter.

There’s also an option to buy a set that comes with two additional filters

Best Water Bottle with Filter Guide

When buying a water bottle with a filter inside of it, there are a few important features to consider:

What is the water bottle made from?

All of the water bottles we’ve featured are BPA Free.

Many people prefer stainless steel water bottles because they trust stainless steel more than unknown chemicals in plastic.

I always prefer stainless bottles or glass water bottles when available.

What exactly can the filter, filter? Does it only remove chlorine? Or also lead or other toxic chemicals?

Note that the majority of water bottles with filters are for potable water, like you get from your sink or a drinking fountain.

Before you fill your water bottle from a lake or stream, check whether it can be used to filter microorganisms and toxins.

And be sure to double check the claims and do your own research before taking risks with unclean water.

If you’re going somewhere and you want to ensure you have safe, clean water, we recommend a Steri-Pen.

How long will the filter last before you need a new one?

There’s a big difference if a filter has to be changed after 150 uses compared to 300 refills.

Best filtered water bottle for personal water filtration

There are many filtered water bottles to choose from, but these remain our favorites.

You will be glad you have it whether you use it everyday or are looking to use it just occasionally.

If you are looking for the best portable water purifier for travel or for several people, there are many great ones as well.

LIFESAVER Systems 4000 Ultra Filtration Water Bottle

We love the fresh, clean taste of water and like to feel good about using a reusable water bottle so using a water bottle with a filter is a good idea.

Eliminate the dissolved solids and other contaminants and enjoy water again.

Filters eliminate odors and improve clarity as well.

All of these are great choices.

When you consider:

Where you will be using it most often

Where you will be sourcing the water

Then you will be able to choose the best water bottle with filter.

Some will be more practical for you, depending on where you see yourself using the water bottle most often and where you will be sourcing the water from.

Maybe you want to use it everyday; it’s essential for traveling.

Or maybe you want one to be prepared in case of emergencies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have this in-depth guide for using a water filter to avoid Cryptosporidium.

Whether you live in a tornado or hurricane-prone area, are prepping, backpacking, or just want to drink safely, it’s important to have access to clean water.

These water bottles with filters are effective and convenient.

Best Portable Water Purifier for Travel

Last year, my husband and I took three months to road trip through Africa.

Visiting over a dozen countries in our 4×4 was no small feat and there were countless hours of planning.

While I am happy with how we planned and stayed on budget, there is one piece of equipment I wish we would have had with us: a portable water purifier for travel.

Instead, we carried 5 liter bottles that we bought along the way.

Thankfully, we were able to refill them when we stayed in places with water purifiers so they didn’t end up breaking the bank.

However, we saw so many water bottles littered in ditches along the way, we knew that we would choose a more eco-friendly option for our next trip.

Best Portable Water Purifier for Travel

We have been talking about another African road trip, so it’s a great time to start looking into the best portable water purifier for travel.

There will be four of us next time, so we’ll need something that can purify larger amounts than the water bottle size purifiers that are perfect for backpacking.

Here are three of our favorite Water Filters:

First Need XL Water Purifier

We used this while traveling with Peace Corps members in Namibia.

While living in rural Uganda, they used the First Need Water Purifier to purify rainwater that they collected outside of their hut.

After getting stuck in Dead Vlei and running out of drinking water, we were thankful that they had their purifier with them.

I like that this is chemical-free water purification and is certified to EPA Guide Standards.

It also removed dirt and unpleasant tastes, which is a huge plus for drinking water.

It purifies quickly, which is helpful while traveling.

The original purifier will clean 150 gallons of water before needing to be replaced.

MSR SweetWater Water Purifier System

This MSR purifier uses Chlorine-based purification, without the iodine taste.

This is probably one of the easiest pumps to use—it’s quick, which is helpful when you are pumping drinking water.

This would be great for an overland trip, but it is also pretty lightweight, so it could be used for backpacking as well.

This is a little bit different than the First Need Water Purifier because it uses drops to treat the water.

So, each filter can treat up to 200 gallons, and each 2-ounce bottle treats 80 gallons of water.

The MSR SweetWater Water Purification System comes with the drops.

Katadyn Hiker PRO Water Filter

Unlike the first two purifiers, this Katadyn water filter is not a purifier.

So even though the water will be safe to drink, it may still have some unpleasant taste.

However, I like this particular water filter because does have a glass-fiber element inside that does help to improve the taste of water without chemicals.

This Katadyn water filter is easy to clean — you just have to swish the filter in water.

It also has a handy water bottle adapter, which can be really helpful.

I appreciate that this filter does not use any chemicals so there is no chemical aftertaste.

It also can filter the most water per filter — depending on the water quality, the Katadyn Hiker PRO can filter up to 1150 liters.

LIFESAVER Systems Filtration Water Bottle

This is my all time FAVORITE!!!

LIFESAVER Systems 4000 Ultra Filtration Water Bottle

Any of these portable water filters can be lifesavers and are great to have, even if you’re not planning a trip out of the country.

How to Choose Healthy Water Bottle – 34 Resources
Best Water Bottle with Filter
Filtered Water Bottle Review
CamelBak BPA Free Better Bottle Water Bottle Review
Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle Review

Mavea Water Pitcher Review: Stylish and Effective

Carbon filter pitchers are one of the cheapest and most convenient ways to eliminate harmful contaminants from your tap water.

For years, I relied on my trusty Brita pitcher, but when it cracked, I decided to branch out.

The folks at Mavea were kind enough to send me an Elemaris XL to try out.

It’s attractive, effective, easy to use, and holds a lot of water.

As we all know by now, it’s a good idea to avoid bottled water — it’s terrible for the environment and is often just tap water in disguise.

A countertop carbon filter pitcher like the Mavea Elemaris XL is an excellent, sustainable way to avoid bottled water and make sure your water is healthy.

My green Mavea Elemaris XL pitcher

Mavea Water Pitcher Review : Elemaris XL

I’ve been using my Mavea Elemaris XL pitcher every day for a few months and I really like it.

Here are my favorite features and the one downside I’ve found.

Removes Many Harmful Contaminants

As you know if you’re a regular reader, we’re all about healthy water and healthy water bottles.

Tap water sometimes gets a bad rap, but the truth is, many of the harmful chemicals and pollutants in your water can be easily removed with an inexpensive carbon filter like the one in the Elemaris XL pitcher.

The Mavea pitcher carbon filter reduces:

  • Chlorine taste and odor
  • Heavy Metals (mercury, cadmium, copper)
  • Agricultural Chemicals (atrazine, simazine)
  • Industrial Pollutants (benzene, tetrachloroethylene)

Holds 9 Cups of Water

I drink a ton of water every day and it’s a hassle to constantly have to refill a pitcher, so I appreciate that the Mavea Elemaris XL holds 9 cups (just over 2 liters) of water.

It’s big enough to hold a lot of water, but not so big that it takes up too much space on the counter or in the refrigerator.

Easy to Refill

It may seem like a no-brainer for a water pitcher to be easy to fill up, but not all water pitchers are simple to refill.

The Elemaris XL has a pour-through lid, which makes filling it up a cinch.

It even has a flap in the pour-through area that automatically closes when it’s full.

My recently retired Brita pitcher didn’t have this feature, and I’m really glad my new pitcher does.

Comes in 6 Great Colors

One of my favorite things about the Mavea Elemaris XL pitcher is that it comes in 6 fun colors: white, black, purple, green, orange, and red.

I generally care much more about function than aesthetics, but I use my water pitcher constantly throughout the day, and it’s fun to see that splash of color in my kitchen.

Part of a Filter Recycling Program

It may sound crazy now, but for many years the filter pitcher giant Brita didn’t recycle their filters.

After successful lobbying by environmentalists, the company finally started to take back their filters.

Fortunately, Mavea has a great filter recycling program.

They’ll even pay for shipping when you send your used filters back.

Learn how to recycle your Mavea filter on Mavea’s website.

Downside: Price (Especially of Filters)

The one negative I’ve found with the Elemaris XL is that both the pitcher and the filters are a bit more expensive than similar items from other brands.

I’m willing to spring more for a pitcher I really like, but the price difference in the filters will add up over time.

These filters are a bit more expensive than some other brands; Brita’s filter, which also filters 40 gallons.

Is price a deal breaker?

I don’t think so.

I really like the Elemaris XL’s features and, for me, they outweigh this one negative.

Interesting Tidbit: Why Haven’t I Heard of Mavea?

While Brita has become a household name, Mavea may not ring a bell. So why haven’t you heard of Mavea?

The short answer is you have — sort of.

There’s some interesting history with Mavea and what it boils down to is that Mavea is the current incarnation of the original BRITA brand.

Clorox bought Brita in 2000, so current Brita products are owned by Clorox.

The Brita parent company, though, retained its name — BRITA Gmbh — and now sells its American products under the Mavea brand.

A confusing, but interesting, piece of filter pitcher history.

The Bottom Line

The Mavea Elemaris XL is a nice, solid carbon filter pitcher.

It comes in great colors, is easy to use, and eliminates a number of harmful contaminants from tap water.

The one downside is that it’s a bit pricier than some competitors, but I think the features outweigh the slightly higher price.

Mavea Elemaris XL is an excellent alternative to bottled water and I would highly recommend it.

Glass Brita Pitcher

Glass Brita Pitcher

I’ve long been interested in finding a Brita pitcher made from glass.

You can’t buy any glass pitchers with a built in filter in the United States, but Brita makes a version sold in the UK.

You can buy the glass Brita pitcher on Amazon.

While expensive, it’s the only place you can buy one, unless you’re headed to England.

Photo credit: brianandjaclyn

Best Glass Water Bottles: BPA Free Water Bottles

Updated:

Glass water bottles are becoming more popular as people seek to be healthier.

They are BPA-free, easy to clean, and are often made from recycled glass.

Depending on the brand, they may not be made in China like other water bottles.

The best thing about glass water bottles is you will never have to worry about plastic breaking down over time.

Also great is they are dishwasher safe, saving you time from hand-washing and ensuring they are germ-free.

Yes, there is the chance of it breaking if you drop it.

But you will buy a glass water bottle with a silicone holder — which most of them have — so you will protect the bottle and may get lucky should it drop.

After years of using glass water bottles, I’ve accidentally dropped them 8-9 times.

But only once did one break.

It broke on my concrete driveway.

It really depends where you are, and how it hits when it lands.

The best things about glass water bottles are also that there won’t be a metallic taste when you drink from glass water bottles.

Chemicals won’t leach into your water like they might from plastics or non-food grade metals.

Worth repeating is that you can usually put them in the dishwasher which you can’t do with other types of reusable water bottles.

This is a huge time saver, especially if you get in the habit of bringing your glass water bottle with you every day.

And because you can wash them in the dishwasher, you may find yourself adding tea bags or fruit to your water knowing you can wash it out well.

Best Glass Water Bottles

I am always on the lookout for the best glass water bottles and love trying them out.

Here’s a review of glass water bottles.

All of these bottles are lead-free and BPA-free.

EcoVessel Surf Glass Water Bottle: 22 ounces.

Made with up to 60% recycled glass. Dishwasher safe.

This one has a flip straw top.

Zulu

Lifefactory Glass Water Bottle

Camelback Glass Eddy

Takeya glass water bottle: 22 ounces. Twist cap.

The silicone sleeve protects most of this bottle making it safer if you drop it.

You can still see inside it.

We love that it’s dishwasher safe.

Bottle opening is 1.25 inches.

You can definitely fit ice cubes in it but not as easily as a wide-mouth bottle.

The glass bottle is made in Japan; the silicone sleeve and cap are made in China.

Ello Pure BPA-free glass water bottle:  20 oz.

Twist cap; no straw.

This one is made in China.

However, they offer so many colors that it’s a popular choice.

It has a smaller mouth opening which takes longer to fit ice cubes in.

Be sure to check out our review of the recycled glass water bottles: Eco Vessel and Zulu.

Glass water bottle review

For my use, the best glass water bottle is the Lifefactory 22 ounce bottle.

The Lifefactory 22 ounce glass water bottle is easy to grip.

It has a wide mouth which makes easy to add ice to it.

With the wide opening, it’s very easy to clean the bottle too, though I usually put it in the dishwasher.

Plus, because of the silicone grip if there’s condensation on the bottle it won’t be slippery.

Like most of these water bottles, it’s dishwasher safe (even the silicone sleeve).

This bottle has the best reviews on Amazon.

Also note that they make a glass Lifefactory baby bottle.

These bottles are made in France, and the silicone sleeves are made in the United States.

UPDATE: CamelBak has come out with a glass version of their popular Eddy glass water bottle.

The CamelBak glass Eddy is a great bottle.

Glass Water Bottles
Glass Water Bottles Lifefactory

Other glass water bottles

The Takeya glass water bottle comes in sizes 16 ounces and 25 ounces and features a silicone sleeve.

They also have a wide mouth.

Takeya glass bottles are made in Japan.

A great option is buy 6 Aquasana 18-ounce bottles.

These bottles also have wide mouths but they don’t come with silicone sleeves.

You can, however buy a 6 pack of colorful silicone sleeves designed just for these bottles on Amazon.

These bottles are a little smaller than some, holding 18 ounces of water.

Bormioli Rocco Giara Bottles are made in Italy (though there is some indication that some are made in the United States) and very reasonably priced.

They come in the largest size of the glass water bottles at 33 3/4 ounces and there are lots of cool colors.

These bottles seem to us to be more for your dining table instead of toting about, however.

The Love Water Bottle allows you to write on your own bottle.

However, these glass bottles are made in China.

Glass Water Bottles Made in the U.S.A

(…or at least not made in China)

Glass water bottles that are (mostly) made in America include Lifefactory and BottlesUp bottles.

Because of production costs and requirements, it’s difficult to find a glass water bottle made in the USA completely.

Lifefactory’s bottles are made in the USA, Poland, and France.

Parts of BottlesUp glass water bottles are made in the USA; the other parts are all made in North and Central America.

These (partially) American-made bottles are the only bottles I can find that are made in the US.

Even though it’s tough to find a bottle made in America, the glass bottles listed above, with the exception of the Love Bottle, are not made in China.

Why Use a Glass Water Bottle

Glass bottles are free of chemicals including BPA/S, phthalates, PVC, lead and cadmium.

With a glass water bottle you know what you’re getting – a BPA free water bottle that’s durable and dishwasher safe.

People tend to prefer glass bottles to stainless steel water bottles because they are made in countries other than China.

Plus, if you don’t like the slight metallic taste that comes with some stainless bottles you’d likely want to try a glass bottle.

They also usually can be washed in the dishwasher safely.

It’s also great to be able to see into the water bottle.

Other water bottles, especially if they aren’t cleaned well, can grow mold if they aren’t washed well and air-dried.

But how would you know if you can’t see inside?

Downsides to Glass Water Bottles

The biggest problem with glass bottles is that they break more easily than stainless steel.

The silicone cases are supposed to help, but because they break so easily a glass water bottle may not be the best choice for children.

What to Considering when You Buy Glass Water Bottles

Size:

The Sizes of water bottles made of glass vary.

Ranging from 22 ounces to 33 ounces.

Though there are also very large containers, see below.

Depending on your access to water during the course of the day you may want a larger bottle.

Sling/Protection:

The best bottles have a built-in protection via a silicone sleeve.

But depending on your lifestyle and use for the bottle you may be fine with no sling or protection.

But really, you won’t regret having this sleeve.

It’s meant to stay on the bottle, even in the dishwasher.

It will protect your bottle and give it more of a chance if you should drop it.

Where It’s Made and Manufactured:

As previously mentioned, many people like glass water bottles because they aren’t made in China.

If this is important to you consider the bottles that are manufactured in France, Italy, or the US.

Use of the Bottle:

Are you planning on using your glass water bottle for sports?

Hiking?

Sitting at your desk?

Around your house?

You may want a wide-mouth bottle if you are more active or one with a straw if you will use it a lot while driving.

Straw or No Straw:

I prefer drinking right from the bottle so my mouth is on the glass and not a silicone straw.

It’s also more difficult to clean when there is a straw.

But this is really a personal preference.

Large 3 Gallon Glass Water Bottle or 5 Gallon Glass Water Bottle

If you’re looking for a large glass water bottle, consider a 3 gallon or 5 gallon (sometimes called a glass carboy).

These are great for storing water as well as more making homemade beer and wine.

They are generally not for toting water around, however.

BPA Free Water Bottles

Can You Just Reuse a Glass Water Bottle?

You can certainly choose to reuse a glass water bottle from another container.

Or you can buy a 12 pack of Voss Water which is packaged in 27 ounces glass bottles and just reuse those bottles.

We did review the Eco Vessel Glass Water Bottle…and it’s one of our favorites!

How to Choose Healthy Water Bottle – 34 Resources
CamelBak Kids Water Bottle Review: BPA-Free Eddy

What is the best glass water bottle?

We believe the best glass water bottles have a plastic sleeve on it and is one that you will use.

Decide if you prefer the screw on top which is easier to clean and prevents leaks, or if you prefer one with a flip cap, which is easier to open and close and use in general, especially on the go.

It’s great to use a reusable water bottle, whether it is glass, plastic or stainless steel.

Get in the habit of carrying one wherever you go.

Not only will you likely be taking on healthier habits — drinking water — you will reducing the demand for plastic.

When you choose a glass water bottle, you know it’s BPA-free.

Learn from the Mayo Clinic why you want to avoid BPA.

Are BPA Water Bottles Dangerous

Chemically speaking, the world is now a more dangerous place than it ever was before.

It’s not just about the drugs such as heroin or meth that some people choose to put inside their bodies.

It’s also about the pollutants we put into the air, water, and the food we eat.

And it turns out that some studies also prove BPA water bottles dangerous for our health as well.

bpa water bottles danger – Plenty BPA water bottles sold in the market today.

But what’s the truth behind the purported dangers of this type of containers?

BPA stands for bisphenol A, and it’s an industrial chemical that’s been in use since the 1960’s for manufacturing certain plastics and resins.

Until very recently, it’s a common component of polycarbonate plastics that are used for making various products, such as water bottles and other containers used to store food and beverages.

It is also used in epoxy resins, and these resins are used to coat the inside of metal products.

These products include bottle tops, food cans, and even water supply lines.

BPA may even be found in dental sealant and composites.

The problem with BPA is that the chemical can seep into the food or beverage from the containers that are made with BPA.

And BPA has been implicated for causing several serious medical conditions.

BPA is a known endocrine disruptor, and it can scramble hormone signals.

Studies have long proved BPA water bottles dangerous, and that also included other canned food containers.

For example, BPA has been linked to obesity and diabetes.

One study conducted in the Miguel Hernandez University in Spain found that BPA causes the release of almost double the insulin that the body actually needs to break down food.

Having high insulin levels can make the body less sensitive to insulin over time, and for some people that can cause weight gain and Type 2 diabetes.

bpa water bottles danger

There are other risks as well:

It can be dangerous for the unborn and for young children.

It can act like a hormone in the body which can disrupt normal hormone levels in fetuses, infants, and young children.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study and found that BPA exposure for unborn baby girls may cause behavioral problems when they become children.

The National Toxicology Program at the FDA reviewed the available evidence and afterwards expressed concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain and behavior of infants and young children.

The BPA may cause more serious effects on children because their bodies are still developing and they aren’t as efficient as adults at eliminating the BPA from their system.

Other studies show that there may be a link between BPA exposure and an increased risk of cancer.

Of particular concern are types of cancer that include breast, prostate, and uterine cancer.

Two independent studies also show that adults who have the highest rates of BPA in their bodies also have a higher incidence of heart problems.

BPA can also cause sexual dysfunction.

A research article published in 2009 reported that men who were exposed to high levels of BPA at work were 4 times as like to experience erectile dysfunction and reduced sexual desire, compared to men who didn’t work with BPA.

These workers who were exposed to BPA were also 7 times more likely to have ejaculation problems.

It also affects women’s fertility.

BPA has been linked to miscarriages, and women undergoing in vitro fertilization and who had higher BPA levels had more difficulty in becoming pregnant.

They had lower estrogen levels, they had fewer fertilized eggs, and their eggs were of lower quality.

BPA contamination is rampant.

The Centers for Disease Control and prevention took urine samples from a statistical group that was representative of the US population, and found that traces of BPA were present in 90% of the urine samples.

BPA Water Contamination

Scientists have also proved BPA water bottles dangerous not just in the food and beverage containers we use.

The problem is that these plastic containers we use that have BPA are being dumped in the seas.

Even the ships that cross these seas have their hulls coated with anti rust chemicals that contain BPA.

BPA is a man-made chemical, and it does not occur naturally in the environment.

So if BPA traces have been found in the seas, then they must have come from man-made sources.

It’s already been found that as early as 2010 BPA environmental contamination is widespread.

Japanese scientists and researchers took water and sand samples from more than 200 sites all over the world, mostly on the coasts of Southeast Asia and North America.

What they found is that every batch of water or sand they tested was found to contain BPA.

It was found in the shorelines of 20 countries.

They found widespread decomposition of polycarbonate, which is a hard type of plastic made from BPA.

The researchers were actually surprised at the time when they discovered that polycarbonate plastic biodegrades in the environment.

Of course, the American Chemistry Council (the lobbying group that represents BPA manufacturers), immediately expressed their skepticism.

But other scientists expressed alarm at the news.

Dr. Frederick von Saal, a biologist at the University of Missouri and a highly regarded expert on hormones, expressed concern that people can go to the beach and absorb the BPA through the skin from the water and from the sand.

The implications of the findings are still being studied to this day, because plastic continues to flow into the oceans.

There’s a huge patch of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean that’s as large as the state of Texas, and that’s a lot of BPA seeping into the water.

Are BPA Water Bottles Dead?

BPA Free Water Bottles

BPA Free Water Bottles

The lobbying group American Chemistry Council was unable to stem the tide of alarm these news reports have caused, and as a result people were made aware of the dangers of BPA.

Several states in the US imposed bans on the use of BPA for water bottles.

Other countries have put up similar legislation, including the countries of the European Union, Canada, China, and the United Arab Emirates.

Still, there are other actions you can do, especially if you are a parent.

While totally eliminating BPA may be impossible due to its ubiquitous presence, there are steps you can take which may minimize your exposure, and your child’s exposure as well.

Buy food products that are fresh or frozen, instead of buying them in cans.

BPA may still be used in many containers of canned food, because it helps in preserving the food.

Check for labels that state they are BPA-free.

Nowadays, this is not more common.

Many brands of tableware, sippy cups, and bottles have prominent labels stating that they are BPA-free.

If you have to buy infant formula, again you need to check for a BPA-free label.

If there is none and you really want a particular brand that comes in a can, perhaps you should choose the powdered formula over the liquid option.

Liquid products are more likely to absorb BPA from the container lining than powdered products.

Your best bet for food products is to use or buy containers that are not made of plastic at all.

Containers that are made from stainless steel, glass, enamel, or porcelain do not have any BPA.

Never use plastics with a recycling coding of 3 and 7 for food storage or preparation.

Plastics with the code 7 are OK only if they also say “PLA” or have a leaf symbol on them.

Codes 2, 4, and 5 are safe, but you should only use the code 1 plastics once.

Keep all the plastic containers out of the sun.

Aluminum containers may also contain BPA, so you should avoid them too.

Some kinds of aluminum bottles are lined with an epoxy resin that leached even more BPA into the water they contained.

They may actually be more dangerous than the products they were supposed to replace.

The exceptions were the aluminum bottles lined with EcoCare copolyester (Sigg), plastic bottles made of Tritan copolyester (Nalgene), and uncoated stainless steel bottles (Sigg and Steel Works).

If you’re concerned about the tap water in your home, you may also want to think about a water filter.

Just make sure that the filter you use is rated to screen out BPA.

Is the problem solved?

When BPA-free products began appearing in the market, many believed so.

However, a new study found that the substitute for BPA (called BPS or bisphenol-S) may be just as dangerous as the BPA it replaced.

The study found that BPS may also affect prenatal brain development.

Of course, true to form the lobbying group American Chemistry Council objected to the findings, but nowadays no one really takes them seriously anymore since they work for the manufacturers.

Still, the findings are preliminary, but it only goes to show that the chemicals in modern society can be very difficult to eliminate in the face of corporate convenience.

So for the meantime, the best way to minimize BPA (and BPS) contamination is to avoid buying prepackaged foods as much as possible.

Scientists have already proven BPA water bottles dangerous your health, so a stainless steel cup for drinking is your best bet.

How to Choose Healthy Water Bottle – 34 Resources
Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle Review BPA-free Bottles
Glass Water Bottles: BPA Free Water Bottles
CamelBak Kids Water Bottle Review: BPA-Free Eddy

Are BPA Water Bottles Dead

Have you heard about the chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA) which is used in the manufacture of plastic and resins?

There was a controversy regarding the presence of the said chemical in various products like water bottles, feeding bottles, and soda cans as it was reported by different organizations that BPA can cause various health problems like diabetes, obesity, and asthma.

This health scare has led to the use of BPA-free plastic products like water and feeding bottles.

Which leads us to the question—are BPA water bottles dead?

BPA has been harnessed in commercial applications since 1957.

It is used for making clear and hard plastic and epoxy resins.

Aside from water bottles, BPA is found in CDs, DVDs, and sports equipment. Bring your own water bottle

It is also utilized for lining water pipes and for coating the insides of beverage and food cans.

On the surface, BPA sounds like a very valuable resource.

But in 2008, the potential hazards of the chemical on human health were revealed and made headlines.

Many health issues were raised regarding the use of BPA in various consumer products.

One study conducted by Dr. De-Kun Li indicated that exposure to the chemical may increase the risk of erectile dysfunction.

The study was reported in the Human Reproduction Journal and indicated that sexual desire and ejaculation problems may also be affected by BPA exposure.

Scientists at the University of Cincinnati also found in a study that BPA may cause heart diseases in women.

While another US study suggested that BPA exposure may increase the risk of diabetes and heart diseases in adults.

BPA exposure may also cause loss of connections between brain cells, resulting to memory and learning problems and depression.

And even women may not be spared from reproductive problems caused by BPA as exposure to the said chemical was found to affect the quality of woman’s eggs, according to Californian researchers.

BPA exposure was also found by University of Cincinnati scientists to reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatment.

Meanwhile, a Yale School of Medicine research suggested that BPA exposure can increase the risks of cancer among females.

Fueling the fire, so to speak, was a report from the US Food and Drug Administration in 2010 that affirmed that BPA can cause possible hazards to children, infants, and fetuses.

The agency even supported moves to stop production of BPA water bottles and infant feeding cups, and recommended the development of alternatives to BPA.

With the many findings about the ill effects of BPA on human health, it was not surprising that many people were rattled.

The health scare was enough for many people to turn to BPA-free products like water bottles.

Parents were particularly worried that the feeding bottles used by their babies had BPA, so they bought BPA-free bottles and sippy cups instead.

Other stores voluntarily pulled out BPA products from their shelves in response to the public outcry.

Even the top retailers like Babies R Us, Toys R Us, and Walmart decided to stop selling baby feeding bottles with BPA.

Countries like Canada banned the use of BPA in baby bottles.

This move spurred calls in the U.S. Senate to prohibit the use of the said chemical in consumer products.

In the U.S., states like Chicago and Minnesota banned BPA in water bottles and sippy cups.

Connecticut also passed a law that banned BPA in reusable water bottles for children’s, as well as infant formula containers.

Even before that pronouncement from the FDA, six bottle makers all agreed to stop using BPA.

These were Avent, Gerber, Disney First Years, Playtex, Evenflo, and Dr. Brown.

BPA Free Water Bottles

Are non-BPA plastic water bottles safe now?

So just when everybody was buying BPA-free plastic bottles, a surprising turn of events happened.

The US FDA took a different stand on the issue three years later when it reported in March 2013 that BPA is safe at very low levels.

It added that the use of BPA in food packaging and containers is safe, and that the assessment was based on a review of scientists of hundreds of studies.

The US FDA reaffirmed that statement in July 2014, saying that BPA is harmless at current levels in occurring foods.

The finding was based on a four-year review of more than 300 studies conducted by FDA experts specializing in various fields like toxicology, endocrinology, analytical chemistry, and epidemiology.

One of the studies conducted by FDA scientists showed that BPA does not have any health effects particularly when in low doses.

The experiment had rats fed with low doses of the chemical did not have any changes in their body weights, hormone levels, and reproductive development.

However, the studies did mention that rats that were exposed to the two highest doses of BPA had lower body weight and abnormal female reproductive development.

How to Choose Healthy Water Bottle – 34 Resources
Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle Review BPA-free Bottles
Glass Water Bottles: BPA Free Water Bottles
CamelBak Kids Water Bottle Review: BPA-Free Eddy

The FDA was not the only one who made that assessment.

Regulatory agencies in various countries like Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and even in the European Union conducted extensive reviews on the subject.

Their findings were basically the same.

That the current levels of exposure to BPA through water bottles and food packaging do not pose a significant health risk to the public.

The contention is that the level of BPA in water bottles is too low to make any impact on human health.

Another argument is that BPA is quickly eliminated from the body.

It is immediately metabolized, and does not accumulate in the blood or tissues.

So it is highly unlikely that humans would be exposed to high levels of BPA and suffer from the various health problems that were said to be caused by BPA exposure.

So don’t be surprised to see BPA-free water bottles slowly losing their appeal to the general public.

With the FDA ruling out any harmful effects of BPA exposure on human health, it would only be a matter of time before non-BPA free water bottles inundate the market again.

Obviously, the answer to the question ‘are BPA water bottles dead’ is a resounding no.

Digital Luggage Scales Reviews: Save Money and the Environment

Luggage Scales

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Digital luggage scales reviews – Digital luggage scales seem to be all the rage these days.

Well, at least that’s what the ads I’ve seen have led me to believe.

And with the increased airline baggage fees for pretty much every single U.S. airline, and stricter weight policies — “You’re 3 pounds over, that’s going to cost you!” — perhaps it’s time to invest in a luggage scale.

But is this just another electronic gadget to have to deal with?

Is buying yet another thing helping to go green? Well, it depends….

Why buy a portable luggage scale?

Personally, on the occasions I’ve needed to weigh my luggage, I always used a bathroom scale.

And I’ve never given any thought to buying a special suitcase scale since my bathroom scale works fine.

However, when researching luggage scales and trying them in order to write these digital luggage scale reviews, I realized there are plenty of reasons why a portable luggage scale might be a good choice.

Luggage scales help you to be eco-friendly

Using a portable digital luggage scale can help you and/or your family to plan and stay within packing limits.

I know a family who travels with a family of five and doesn’t bring more than 70 pounds for the entire family.

Just because I am allowed to pack and bring a 50 pound suitcase doesn’t mean I have to.

So, having a scale like this can be helpful for the environment in that you can use it not to maximize what you can bring with you, but to minimize what you bring.

When you pack and tote less stuff with you, it lessens your impact on the environment.

Other times a luggage scale will help

If you’re likely to have more stuff when returning home.

If you are going somewhere (e.g. a trade show or winery tour) and are planning on bringing a lot more home with you, a portable luggage scale would making packing a lot easier.

If you frequently pack bulky or heavy items.

Knowing how much your belongings weigh in advance will definitely lessen your stress as you make your way to the airport.

Photographers or others carrying a lot of equipment might benefit from a luggage scale.

If you attend cruises, weddings, polar expeditions, or other events that require a lot of clothing options, it might be helpful to buy a portable luggage scale.

When you travel abroad, they weigh your carry-on luggage.

My backpack always weighs more than the 14 lbs they allow on international flights.

My laptop with cord weighs about 6 pounds alone.

Add a book and a camera and you’re at your weight limit.

So I can definitely see that if you are doing a lot of airline travel abroad a luggage scale would be incredibly useful.

When you’re backpacking for an around the world trip and your packing list includes only 3 shirts, you probably don’t need a luggage scale.

But if you are attending events several times a year, or are going on a big trip that require lots of changes of clothing, I can see how a luggage scale would be a good choice.

And again, you can use these digital luggage scales reviews to help you pick one to minimize your packing not just maximize your packing.

Digital luggage scales reviews of the best luggage scales

After trying many different luggage scales, here are our top choices, in no particular order.
Luggage Scales

Balanzza Digital Luggage Scale

The Balanzza ergonomic digital compact luggage scale is one of the best luggage scales.

It’s supposed to be an “ergonomic digital luggage scale” due to the design of the scale.

It weighs luggage up to 100 pounds.

It’s small and compact.

What I liked about it is that the scale itself is the grip.

You lift the bag and can easily see the weight as you are lifting it.

Their process is unlike others:

You lift the bag with the scale, you wait for it to beep, and then you put it down.

It’s also great for weighing other things such as packages you want to mail.

Taylor Digital Luggage Scales

We like the Taylor luggage scale as well.

It was the least expensive of all the ones we tried — even the ones not listed in our digital luggage scale review — and ships from Amazon for free.

What we love most about this scale is that it’s accurate, light-weight and very easy to use.

Even better?

It’s the only one made in the USA.

EatSmart Precision Luggage Scale

It’s name threw me for a minute.

At first, I was thinking maybe I had ordered a food scale by accident.

But it is a digital luggage scale that weighs luggage and other things up to 110 pounds.

Here are some things I liked about the EatSmart Precision Luggage Scale:

You could fit two hands on the handle making it easier to pick up really heavy items.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t pick up a 75 pound bag one handed.

The screen was easy to read.

It was simple and clear and in large enough font size to read.

It really was small.

While they say it features a “compact design” it is actually small enough and light enough to toss into your bag.

If you’re in the market for a luggage scale, the EatSmart Precision Luggage Scale is a good bet.

Luggage scales can help you be green

I think luggage scales are a good choice for people who will intentionally pack less because they see how many pounds they are packing.

For people who won’t use them frequently or will pack more because of it, don’t waste your money and add electronics trash to the landfills.

The environment benefits because you’ll be packing light and thus less fuel will be used when transporting your luggage.

So for green travelers who are looking to constantly reduce their luggage weight, it would be a good purchase.

Comparable to buying a Kill-A-Watt energy monitor.

You will also be straining your body less.

Remember, you have to lift and carry and pull and tote and manage everything you bring with you.

Finally, if you’re looking for light weight luggage, make sure you check out our lightest luggage reviews.

Closing ideas on digital luggage scales reviews

My thought on luggage scales had always been that they probably aren’t a complete necessity.

In the United States if you are a good packer you can probably fit most of your items into a carry on size bag and make sure it all weighs less than 50 pounds.

But when I consider the environment and how a digital luggage scale can encourage people to pack less, then I’m all for them.

I would add a luggage scale to my round the world trip packing list.

Using these digital luggage scales reviews can get you a quality product at a good price.

Ceramic Travel Coffee Mugs – Porcelain Coffee Cup, I am NOT a Paper Cup

Travel Coffee Mugs

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Lately, I’ve seen plain white travel coffee mugs everywhere.

They catch my eye because they look like paper coffee mugs, but they’re not.

Just look at this and tell me it doesn’t look like a run-of-the-mill Starbucks disposable mug:

Ceramic Travel Coffee Mugs - Porcelain Coffee Cup

More and more people are starting to use reusable travel coffee mugs.

When they are this cute it’s no wonder they are switching from paper.

These travel coffee mugs are typically made out of either porcelain, ceramic or bpa-free plastic.

So how do you pick the best?

Well, besides style and color there are a few futures worth noting:

Porcelain or Ceramic Travel Coffee Mugs

Depending on whether you are looking for a durable travel mug or a mug that doesn’t make your coffee taste funny you should consider different features.

First, if you’re looking for a pure coffee taste you should buy a porcelain or ceramic mug.

The reason so many people choose porcelain or ceramic is because unlike stainless steel travel mugs, these cups are just like regular old coffee mugs in that they don’t affect the coffee flavor.

Porcelain Travel Coffee Mugs

The original “I am Not a Paper Cup” travel coffee mug is porcelain and holds about 10 ounces of liquid.

Reviewers say that the double insulation keeps the coffee hot and your hands from burning.

The I Am Not a Paper Cup is also Dishwasher Safe.

This is a cool product that I have given as gifts.

There are a number of other porcelain travel mugs on the market today.

Check out the fun designs of these C.R. Gibson porcelains mugs and Sagaform porcelain take away mugs.

For a less expensive option, buy the porcelain Eco Cup.

Ceramic Travel Coffee Mugs

A Smart Planet 16 oz. Eco Cup is The lid and sleeve are silicone, and the cup is dishwasher and microwave safe.

Smart Planet also has several colorful travel mugs like ;a fun blue one.

The Kikkerland mug holds 12 ounces, comes with a silicone lid and is made of ceramic.

Just like the Kikkerland, the Trudeau Xpress Ceramic Tumbler is a ceramic coffee mug, though it only holds 10 ounces.

Unlike the other mugs I’ve seen it comes with a 5 year warranty.

BPA Free Plastic Travel Coffee Mugs

There are mugs looks just like the other Not a Paper Cup travel mugs, but it is made of BPA-Free Plastic.

So, it won’t break as easily as porcelain, though it may affect your coffee flavor unlike porcelain or ceramic which won’t affect the taste of coffee or tea.

The Copco mug also holds 16 ounces if you need a bit more caffeine than other travel coffee mugs can hold.

Size of the Travel Mug

Some of the ceramic mugs are bigger than others.

The trade off is that with the larger mugs they tend to be less insulated because the double insulation wall takes up space.

So be sure to consider what size of coffee you typically drink in the morning before you buy.

Also worth noting is that none of these mugs are made in the United States.

They are mostly made in China.

But let me know if you hear about a Not a Paper Cup type mug that is made in the USA.

Perhaps someday soon Starbucks and Caribou will start charging extra to people who don’t bring reusable mugs.

We love that Ikea charges for bags, and that Target gives you a ten cent discount for every bag you bring in yourself.

For now, get your discount and relieve your guilt by using one of the many reusable travel coffee mugs.

Ultimate Guide to Packing Light – 45 Tips to Packing Light

Ultimate Guide to Packing Light - 45 Tips to Packing Light

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Packing Light – We’re of the mindset that there’s only one way to pack, and that’s to pack light.

Packing light saves time, money, and stress on bodies and on our planet.

Think about the time spent waiting for baggage at the airport.

Think about the money spent on having to pay for checked luggage.

Then there’s the stress of worrying about lost or stolen luggage.

Remember too, the stress on our bodies as we lift, lower, carry and cart around heavy suitcases.

And there is the impact on the environment; less luggage means less fuel used to transport it.

In our quest to bring you the best and highest quality information on packing light, we’ve compiled our Ultimate Guide to Packing Light.

Essential Backpacking Tips and items to pack

Easy Tips for Packing Light

Make a Packing List

Make one master list.

When you think of something you really need to bring, write it on this one list.

Check Your Packing Twice

Edit Your List.

Edit it down.

Way down.

Cross off everything you don’t absolutely need the first three days.

Remember, you can buy just about everything abroad if you end up needing it.

Choose the Right Bag

You know how work expands to fill the time?

The same is true for bags.

If you bring too big of a bag, you will fill the space.

It’s just human nature.

We done lots of reviews for the best backpack and our favorite lightest luggage.

Though from pictures and reviews I’m partial to: Mother Lode Mini Duffel for business, the Osprey Farpoint 70 travel backpacknfor backpacking, and the Osprey Farpoint 40 for something a bit smaller.
Sporting USA Lightweight Hiking and Travel Backpack
We love this small backpack from Sporting-USA.

It’s not one you would pack exclusively for a trip, but it folds up nicely and at just 8 ounces, can be tucked into your luggage or travel backpack and used when needed for hikes, sightseeing, and around town.

It’s waterproof, made of lightweight nylon and while it has separate sections, it has light straps and compartments.

We have two of these backpacks, and they have become a family favorite.

How to choose a bag to pack light

The most important things to consider are:

  • Quality — Luggage needs to be durable.
  • Transportability — You will carry your luggage more than the carriers will.
  • Airline carry-on limits — In the real world, there are two kinds of luggage: carry-on and lost.

Ultimate Guide to Packing Light - 45 Tips to Packing Light

Fold Your Clothes

Fold your clothes in an efficient, wrinkle free manner.

Use a special compression bag to roll and remove the air.

Roll your clothes to save space

Best tips for packing light

Following are the best tips for packing light and what to pack from a variety of great sources:

4-Hour Workweek: How to Travel the World in 10 pounds or Less Tim Ferriss’ blog post on “how to travel with 10 pounds or less” is a good post to see just how extremely light you can pack; however, his theory of “buy it there” isn’t always the best for the environment.

Some items he suggests that we also like:

Large, quick-dry microfiber towel – these can double as a blanket when needed.

“Also, never buy if you can borrow.”

Tip: If you like the above ideas, the 4-Hour Workweek book is definitely worth the investment.

Carrying off the art of one carry-on reminds us of the hassles of traveling in a post-9/11 world – “Swiss Army knives are a real bugaboo.”

Pack good socks.

Best Travel Hair Dryer

Come As You Are: Wear your power suit on the plane and take it off once you get to the hotel.

Group “Hot” Items: If you know that your money clip, tweezers, watch, or necklace is going to set off that metal detector, group those items into one carry-on that you can send through the x-ray machine.

Leave the guidebook, novel and iPod at home.

Every seven pieces packed should yield at least 14 ensembles.

Each piece of clothing that goes into your luggage should be interchangeable with at least one other piece you intend to pack.

Every shirt should match at least two pairs of pants, every blazer should work with at least two different shirts or sweaters, and so on.

More packing tips

Other considerations are to include two off-the-beaten-path travel items:

Small maglite torch / flashlight

Bottle opener keyring – handy for opening bottles

Wear your heavy clothes and travel shoes on the plane.

Check in advance that your passport is valid for 6 months past your return date (required in many countries)

Be sure to print out the information from your country on what to do if your passport is lost or stolen

Washington Post: Packing Light Issue — This is a series of good articles on how to pack light, including a fun “what’s wrong with this picture.”

There are many items you can find abroad that are cheaper than at home.

Do not underestimate the value and benefits of flip flops.

Sound Money Tips: Pack Efficiently says: “Find out what amenities the hotel already has, i.e., robes, hairdryers, shampoo, and don’t pack those items.”

Save makeup and skincare samples that come with cosmetic purchases.

Check online too! Brands like Neutrogena, Estee Lauder, and Nivea often offer a sample of some sort.

My Money Blog: Save Time and Money by Traveling Light suggests packing the right travel clothes, including the right travel pants, like Sahara Convertible Pants.

More packing light tips

Only bring clothes from thrift store shopping.

When you wear the same clothes repeatedly and wash them each night, they get worn out faster.

So be sure to not bring your favorite clothes with you.

While we disdain plastic bags, they can shield books from the rain, carry dirty laundry, keep small items in one place, and more.

Stash a few in your luggage/backpack just in case.

You can easily volunteer to be bumped on a full flight.

You won’t need money to tip porters for helping you with your bags.

When necessary, pack long underwear so you don’t have to bring extra pants and shirts.

Transitions Abroad: Pack Light and Travel Happy

The world’s getting really small. You can buy Dial soap, Colgate toothpaste, Tampax, Nivea cream, and Bic razors in Sicily.

Tourist shops in major international hotels are a sure bet whenever you have difficulty finding personal items.

If you can’t find one of your essentials, ask yourself how 300 million Europeans can live without it.

Rick Steves: Pack Light: You’ll never meet a traveler who, after five trips, brags: Every year I pack heavier.

He also has packing lists.

Many packing light guides suggest leaving space in your pack for accumulating souvenirs. ”

Bring a bar of soap and also use it for shampoo.

Packing light for ski trips: fleece is the dominant fabric for layering.

Packing Light with Double Duty Travel Gear suggests a filter water bottle which has a built in filter.

One of the biggest things you can do to pack light is to pack clothing and gear that does double duty.

If you need help booking your flights, check out our posts on Priceline Bidding.

More packing light resources

Want even more information?

Check out these books for more tips on how to pack light:

The Packing Book: Secrets of the Carry-On Traveler

How to Pack Like a Rockstar

Traveling Light: Packing with Style Like a Pro

Fodor’s How to Pack

Smart Packing for Today’s Traveler

Wiki How: How to Travel With One Bag Also suggests packing using a bundle method.

You can leave some items, like books and clothing, behind.

By giving away and donating items not necessary for traveling, you help the area you visited.

How do you pack light?

What’s your best packing light tip?

We look forward to hearing your tips!

Packing Light Hacks to Lighten Your Load

To be a green traveler, there is one true “must.”

You must pack light.

Here we have listed our top 11 tips for packing light for wherever you might be going.

Try a few of these best practices for packing and lighten your load.

Trying to pack light

Most of us start out wanting to be and striving to be light packers.

We make lists, set goals, and prepare to want and need less stuff on our travels.

But the reality is, it is really hard to do.

In the past, I know if I had extra room in my luggage, I was thrilled.

It became an opportunity to pack more stuff — after all, I had the room, so why not?

Reasons to pack light

You will endure less stress on your body the less you carry and tote around with you.

And the less baggage you have and the lighter it is, the less fuel will be needed to get it from place to place.

Also remember when you are on your journey that the more you bring with you means the more you have to manage and account for and repack and sort through.

Lighter and less is best.

Pack Early

The earlier you begin to pack, the more time you will have to take out what you don’t need.

And let’s face it – it’s too easy to over pack the first time around.

Choose the Best Bag or Luggage for You

There are a lot of great travel bags, luggage and weekender totes available.

Pick the best for your needs.

Carry only the largest size you need.

If you have one that is too big, either bring a smaller one or leave some of it empty.

Resist the urge to fill it up just because you have the space.

Here are the types of bags we own.

Sturdy Bags

I prefer American Tourister Luggage AT Pop 3 Piece Spinner Set, Black, 29/25/21

Best Backpack or Weekender Bag

We love the Under Armour Hustle II Backpack the best.

It’s small but sturdy and even has a laundry pocket.

We love the range of colors as well.

One Take-it-With-You Bag

I carry a fold up bag in my purse which works great for quick trips to the market.

It is made from an easy-to-wash and dry fabric and hardly takes any space.

It’s great for saving on using plastic bags too.

Learn to Roll Clothes and Bundle Pack

Rolling clothes and bundle wrapping them (essentially wrapping everything around a central object) makes for fewer wrinkles and takes up less space – which allows you to pack a smaller and lighter piece of luggage.

Ditch the Guidebooks

Guidebooks can be extremely heavy.

By leaving them at home your bag will not only weigh less, but you’ll be more likely to get off the beaten path.

If you insist on guidance for your journey, take a look at these 12 Paper-Free Guidebooks.

There are great travel apps too.

Going on a cruise?

There are cruise apps.

Going hiking?

There are helpful hiking apps and even apps about eco-friendly travelling.

You won’t even need to bring a big travel dictionary with these translation apps though a small one might still be practical.

Stick with One Color

Coordinating your clothes around one central color scheme means you have to pack fewer shirts, pants, and shoes.

Black or brown are smart choices.

Learn the Rule of 3’s

Bring 3 shirts.

Depending on the climate, bring 3 long and/or 3 short sleeve shirts.

Why?

When you bring 3 shirts you won’t be wearing what you wore yesterday.

Honestly, three shirts is all you need.

When I traveled around Europe for six weeks I wore the same 3 shirts, over and over and over.

Yes, I was ready to never see those shirts again!

Bring Light and Quick-Drying Underwear and Socks

I recently purchased 2 pairs of Ex-Officio Underwear.

I’m going to use only these two pairs for an entire 3-w

eek trip. Socks and underwear take up a lot of space and can weigh down your bag, so bring as few of these as possible.

Learn to Layer

Layering is the key to packing light.

Why bring a heavy coat when a fleece over a long-sleeve shirt over a t-shirt will do?

2+1 Shoes Rule

  • 1 pair hiking/tennis shoes
  • A pair of nice shoes (your flip flops can do in a pinch!)
  • 1 pair flip-flops or sandals (they don’t really count as shoes right?)
  • Bonus tip: Make sure your shoes match your color choice.

Toiletries: If you don’t already own it, buy it there

You can buy brand-name toiletries and cosmetics almost anywhere in the world.

And with stricter environmental laws in the EU your toiletries available may be more environmentally-friendly.

So if you don’t already own something, buy it when you arrive.

Wear the Same Items

The number one rule for packing light is to leave your variety-needing, self-conscious self (the one with a desire to look not only your best, but also different on a day-to-day basis) at home.

When you travel you can literally wear the same thing everyday and most people won’t bat an eye.

Easy tips for packing light

When you really think about the essential items you need, these tips for packing light will be easy to follow and to stick to when it comes time to pack.

It may take some time packing and repacking to get it down to the essentials but it is possible.

To Pack or Not To Pack: What To Bring When Traveling With Children

Packing is an art form, and the more kids you travel with, the more complicated it becomes.

If you’re like most seasoned travelers, then you probably believe in a less-is-more philosophy.

The trouble is that going anywhere with kids tends to mean packing more to keep everyone happy, or at least sane, while on the road.

Soon, you find yourself in an unending and stressful quest to keep all of your luggage together.

Does traveling with kids have to be this complicated?

What to pack or not to pack… that is a big question.

The secret is that what you don’t pack is just as important as what you do pack.

When you figure out what you can leave behind, packing what remains is easier.

You won’t have as many bags to keep track of, and chances are good that you’ll save money on extra and overweight bag fees.

Vacation Guide to Travel Size Products

Know Your Limits

Don’t pack a thing until you’ve checked baggage limits and weight restrictions.

A luggage scale helps to keep you on track.

Be informed about what’s allowed as carry-on items if you’re flying.

Liquids are still restricted by the TSA.

However, baby essentials like formula and breast milk may be allowed in greater quantities.

Get familiar with these amounts before your departure day, and plan accordingly.

Few things are as disheartening as being forced to surrender a sizable portion of breast milk to the TSA.

Prepare a Day Pack

Whether you’re traveling by plane, train or automobile, it makes sense for every member of your party to have a day pack.

This is a smaller, easily portable bag that’s filled with essential items that will be used while traveling.

Most kids love this idea, and if they have a special backpack to fill, it’s even better.

If your kids are young enough, you’ll want to supervise what goes into this bag. Items that are lightweight and not bulky are ideal.

A small child’s day pack might include a favorite stuffed animal, a small picture book and a small toy.

Crayons, coloring books and card games are also winners.

A small water bottle with a tightly sealed lid and a snack like trail mix or dried fruit can provide comfort on the go.

Your own day pack will look different, though it should still be light.

Keep all essential documents like tickets and reservation confirmations in the day pack.

You can also include your wallet, cell phone with charger, prescription glasses and sunglasses and prescription medicines.

Create a First Aid Kit

Kids love to explore the world, and that’s especially true in new places.

Unfortunately, exploration sometimes comes with cuts and scrapes.

Most of these aren’t serious, and they won’t put much of a damper on the fun if you’re prepared.

Many stores sell travel first aid kits, but there’s no reason why you can’t put one together yourself.

Essential items you might include in your first aid kit are assorted Band-Aids, antiseptic wipes, a bug bite and sting treatment and antibiotic ointment.

Toss in some individual pain-reliever packets, some for children and adults, and you’ll be ready to deal with any minor emergencies.

Pack it all in a flat plastic container or even a plastic bag with a good seal.

It’s a small, light addition to your baggage that ensures your adventures go as smoothly as possible.

Make Certain You Can Find Small Items

How often have you spent frustrating moments searching for tiny baby socks or toddler underwear in a larger suitcase?

These frantic searches for necessary items have a way of sucking the fun out of a vacation.

Make it easier by using clear plastic bags or nylon mesh bags to corral small items.

You might pack all of your baby’s socks in one bag and underwear in another.

Alternatively, go with the “whole outfit” approach, packing all wearing apparel for a single day into a smaller bag.

Top, shorts, socks, underwear and anything else that’s necessary gets popped into a bag before departure.

Each day, you pull out a bag without having to search through every item in the suitcase to make an outfit.

Some Toys Are Better Left At Home

Playthings keep kids happy and occupied on the road, but not all toys are suitable for use in confined spaces like cars and airplanes, including toys that make noise.

Also, if your little ones have a tendency to turn various toys into makeshift weapons, keep those at home too.

This may make for fewer fights between siblings and having to make fewer apologies to startled adults.

Look for Ways to Burn Energy

Whether they are cooped up in a car for hours or are forced to occupy an airline seat without moving, kids end up having an excess of energy to burn when they are on the go.

The simple solution is to pack a jump rope for each child.

You can pull off the highway at parks and rest areas or find a relatively underpopulated corner of the airport to let the kids jump for awhile.

In a pinch, those jump ropes can also be used as clotheslines or fasteners.

Bulky Baby Items

Traveling with infants is tricky and almost always involves a huge number of accessories.

Instead of lugging a big stroller everywhere you go, look for the smallest, lightest umbrella stroller you can find.

These can easily be checked at the gate at the airport or folded conveniently away in the car.

If you need something bigger when you arrive at your destination, look for an opportunity to rent a more deluxe stroller.

If you’re going to be gone for several days and are packing jars of baby food, resist the impulse to pack enough food for every day.

It’s easy enough to scope out a grocery store on the road so you don’t have to pack quite so much.

The same is true for diapers.

Bring enough to get you through two or three days, and buy the rest on the road.

What Comes and What Stays When Traveling With Children

Traveling with children can be a joy when you pack carefully.

If you keep size and weight guidelines in mind, you’ll be less tempted to pack everything in sight.

Moreover, if you resolve to leave bulky, noisy or easily purchased items behind, you’ll find that traveling light remains possible.

Having young children doesn’t have to mean the end of your adventures when you follow these packing suggestions.

Traveler’s Dilemma Choosing Convenience Over Sustainable Products

green traveler's dilemma

Updated:

Traveler’s Dilemma Choosing Convenience Over Sustainable Products – This weekend I stopped by REI to look for some hiking boots or trail running shoes.

Ideally, I want a shoe that is durable, supportive, breathable, extremely comfortable, and waterproof. Definitely waterproof.

I have put off hiking on damp and rainy days because I have not yet purchased what I feel is an essential item.

But choosing Gore-Tex means I will not be.
green traveler's dilemma

Choose convenience or Sustainable Products?

In my search for waterproof travel shoes I discovered that the seemingly only available option is Gore-Tex.

I admit that I didn’t know much about Gore-Tex until recently and even what I did know was limited to “it’s bad for the environment.”

After doing a little more research I’ve learned that Gore-Tex is essentially the same material as Teflon®, a perfluorochemical, PFC.

If you don’t know much about Teflon you should know this:

Cooking with Teflon pans can kill birds and it’s chemical compounds have been found even in polar bears in the Arctic.

The never-ending green traveler’s dilemma

If you want to know more about Gore-Tex I’ve listed some additional resources below.

But the key thing is this: the chemicals in Gore-Tex are bad for my personal health and they are bad for the environment.

But, wouldn’t it be nice to have breathable, waterproof shoes?

Concerns with your green values

I want to buy “made in America” products. I really do.

The problem is, I often can’t find them.

Sometimes when I do find them, I can’t really justify affording them.

It is an ongoing situation… especially when my children were younger and were growing out of their clothes quickly.

If I buy second-hand, not-made-in-America, is that better than buying local products new?

We are all doing the best we can, and even by being mindful of our choices we are already ahead of most.

So, I’m stuck with this green traveler’s dilemma:

Will choosing Gore-Tex hiking boots/shoes that will be convenient and practical for me (short term) or do I find something else that will, in the end, be better for my health and the environment (long term)?

Green Travel Gear Products on the Market

With so many new Green Travel Gear products on the market, it’s hard to know what to trust.

Here’s a collection of our favorite, tried and true, environmentally-friendly travel gear.

To buy it for yourself, or read more on Amazon, click the image or the title.

Green Travel Gear

Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle

How it’s green: Klean Kanteens are BPA (bisphenol A)-free and made of stainless steel, so they last longer than plastic bottles.

Plus, they eliminate the need for wasteful bottled water.

See our Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle Review here.

Mountainsmith Recycled Eco-Friendly Backpacks (for Men and Women)

How it’s green: Mountainsmith’s recycled backpacks are made from recycled plastic bottles.

There are many styles to choose from for women, men, and youth, so every traveler should be able to find one suited to her needs.

Still on the fence?

Read our review of the Mountainsmith Lily recycled backpack and our review of the Ivy by Mountainsmith recycled backpack
Travel Gear Wrap-N-Mat
How it’s green: The Wrap-N-Mat is a great alternative to disposable plastic baggies, plus it’s small and light, so you can take it anywhere.

Wrap-N-Mat
Microfiber Towel
How it’s green: Microfiber towels take up far less space than normal towels, so you can pack light.

And the lighter you pack, the less of an environmental impact your luggage will have.

Microfiber Quick-Dry Towel
Women's Ex Officio
How it’s green: With quick-dry underwear, you only need to pack a few pairs, even for long trips.

You can wash them in the sink or at your campsite, let them dry overnight, and wear them the next day.

Ex Officio Quick-Dry Underwear
Diva Cup
How it’s green: Say goodbye to tampons and pads.

The Diva Cup is the perfect solution for every (female) green traveler.

It’s made of silicone and it’s easy to clean and store.

Diva Cup

Note: We only recommend products we’ve tried out and liked.

We do link through affiliate links when they are available.

We are not compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites, or other topics.

We will only recommend products or services that we believe, based on our experience, are worthy of endorsement.

Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

Resources about Gore-Tex:

Minnesota Department of Health on PFCs

Amazon Green – Green Travel Products

Don’t you just feel better when you buy green products?

We know it is good to shop local.

It boosts the economy where you live and wherever you are.

You are able to keep the tax dollars where you live or where you are visiting.

Sadly, many “mom and pop” shops haven’t been able to compete with the big box retailers, and even after generations, have had to close.

This has oftentimes resulted in less choices for the consumer.

In the meantime, Amazon has launched Amazon Green.

As a consumer who likes to shop and buy green products, this could be a good thing.

On their site, Amazon displays products users tag as eco-friendly.

But is it a good way to find green travel products?

To be a really green consumer, aren’t we supposed to be walking to our nearby, non-chain, locally owned, independent store and doing more to support the local businesses in our communities?

When it was first launched, in 2008, Amazon Green was a little tricky to navigate.

And because the system is based on tags, if you search for green travel products you come up with items like:

I do love products such as the Mr. Bento Lunch Jar because it is durable, reusable and earth-friendly.

And best of all for me besides being reusable is that it isn’t made from plastic but from safe, food-grade stainless steel.

The second item that appeared were the Planet Earth DVDs.

They are pretty cool but to be even more earth-friendly, I’d rather check them out from the library or see if they are available to watch on Netflix or even through Amazon for that matter.

I don’t actually need to own them.

And we’ve already had the debate about whether the Kindle is a good green travel device as an alternative to books.

I wouldn’t bring any of these with me on a round-the-world trip, though possibly for the Mr. Bento jar as I do like the idea of the lunch jar for on-the-go trips, day-to-day for packing lunches, etc.

So while it I wouldn’t use it for traditional travel in the implied sense of the word, I could imagine using it outside the home when someone would be more apt to make a less greener choice.

Therefore, it would still count as being a product great for travel.

Amazon Green also has a Green 3 list where users choose 3 green products they think everyone should have.

And you can find a debate about whether shipping products is green in the Amazon Green 3 Forum.

Overall, I think Amazon Green is a good idea.

And the products it shows for green travel are generally cool, but they’re not necessarily the things I would pack for a trip.

If users start to tag more products as “travel,” Amazon Green could be a great tool for eco-conscious travelers.

Right now, at its inception, it’s not as great for green traveling as I was hoping.

But it’s still fun to browse.

Sometimes “green” items are far from green, be it how they are made, where they are made, or what they are made from.

Do your research, and you will benefit greatly.

Green Stocking Stuffers for Environmentalists

We’re building on our list of stocking stuffers for travelers today with these green stocking stuffers for environmentalists on your gift list.

You can feel great about giving theses sustainable gifts from eco-friendly companies, all sized to fit in a stocking.

Clever Travel Companion tank top

One of the easiest ways to be green is to use one item for more than one purpose.

Travelers can get double duty out of their tank tops and even underwear by using Clever Travel Companion clothing.

These high-quality cotton tees, tanks, and boy-short or boxer-style underwear include hidden zippered pockets to store documents, cash, and valuables while traveling.

So much more convenient and comfortable than a traditional money belt, these Clever Travel Companion tanks are easy to stuff into anyone’s stocking.

Mountain Khakis Organic Tees

I love the soft feel of Mountain Khakis’ organic cotton, and their tees are both eco-friendly and fun, celebrating the best of nature.

These tees appeal to men and women, and are easy to roll up and stuff into a holiday stocking.

For a more spendy option for men, pick up Mountain Khakis’ polo shirt made from recycled coffee grounds his is one of my favorite stocking stuffers for environmentalists.

Bamboo Sleep Sack

Made of viscose from bamboo, a sustainable and renewable resource and weighing only 16 oz, this sleep sack is easy to pack in its own stuff sack and will save countless hotel bed linen washings.

Just slide into this soft sleep sack and check ‘no thanks’ on hotel linen washings.

It’s a bit spendy for a stocking stuffer, but it has a lot of uses.

It’s also great for hostel and cabin stays, when the linens provided may be less than ideal.

USB Cell rechargeable battery

Get a two-pack of these USB-powered rechargeable, and they’ll last for 500 charge cycles.

No more disposable alkaline batteries!

The rechargeable function just like regular AA batteries, but when empty, travelers can pop their top to expose a USB connector that charges the batteries with their laptop.

i-Ecko Eco-Friendly Speakers

Made from recycled cardboard, these 3.25-inch cubes let you blast music sans batteries by siphoning power from MP3 players themselves.

They fold flat for travel, and can be used again and again. We think they’re perfect for playing a movie in the back seat.

These speakers will make great stocking stuffers for environmentalists who are also music lovers.

Light my Fire Sporks

We love Light my Fire sporks!

Everyone in our family has his or her own (in different colors so we can tell them apart) and we bring them on camping trips and backpacking treks, as well as road trips.

We use them in place of plastic, disposable silverware in fast food restaurants, and in hotel rooms for in-room dining.

Bed Buddy Neck Pillow

This neck pillow is great for relieving tension year-round.

Just stick it in the microwave to heat it up and wrap it around your shoulders and neck.

It’s made of natural materials and has lavender and chamomile for aromatherapy.

Any environmentalist is sure to love this relaxing gift.

Nothing Nasty lip balm

This lip balm by Nothing Nasty is made of all natural, organic ingredients is good for the environment and good for your lips.

And it’s easy to add to a holiday stocking!

I love the honey and vanilla flavor.

Nothing Nasty also has a full line of baby and toddler products for your little one’s stocking.

What will you be gifting as green stocking stuffers for environmentalists this holiday season?

Share your stocking stuffer ideas in the comments!

Best Christmas Gifts for Travelers Concerned About Environment Full of Excellent Picks

Best Christmas Gifts for Travelers – Whether you’re a traveler looking for ideas for your Christmas wish list or a shopper in search of holiday gift ideas for your favorite traveler, you’ve come to the right place.

From luggage and clothing to gadgets and water bottles, this list of the best Christmas gifts for travelers is full of excellent picks.

We even have ideas for kids who like to travel.

Read on and get your holiday shopping finished early!

Gift Luggage

Small Travel Backpack

I’m an advocate of packing light and a good backpack can make that easy.

I traveled in Argentina for 6 months with only a small travel backpack and an even smaller school backpack.

Opt for a front-loading backpack because top-loading ones make organization difficult.

Look for a backpack that’s comfortable, compact, attractive, and has lots of pockets.

Our pick: Osprey Farpoint 40 .

(Read our Osprey Farpoint 40 review.)

small-travel-backpack-osprey-farpoint-40 Best Christmas Gifts for Travelers

Lightweight, Rolling Carry-On Suitcase

A well-made carry-on suitcase is a gift that can last decades.

Opt for a lightweight suitcase that will make travel a breeze, so the recipient won’t have to worry as much about going over the airlines’ allowed weight.

With airlines charging steeper fees for luggage, every ounce counts.

Our pick: Atlantic Ultra Lite 22” Carry-On.

Read our lightweight luggage review for more ideas.

Pack-It Bag

A pack-it bag is a great way to stay organized while you travel.

Plus, it minimizes wrinkles, making it perfect for the business traveler.

The Eagle Creek Pack-It holds between 8-12 shirts or pants and fits into most carry-ons.

Our pick: Eagle Creek Pack-It Folder.

I’ve never owned a bag this size or of this type before and love it.

Gadgets

Tablet

I always thought tablets were unnecessary if you already had a laptop and a smart phone.

But after I won a Google Nexus, I have to admit it’s life changing.

It’s far easier to quickly look something up online on the tablet than it is on a phone or computer.

Plus, it’s portable.

Bringing it on the plane or train is much less cumbersome than a laptop.

I’ve really enjoyed watching movies, drafting documents, or reading on it.

Our picks: Google Nexus or Apple iPad.

eReader

While tablets are great, for the truly avid reader, eReaders are just a bit better.

The batteries last longer and they don’t put quite so much strain on your eyes.

Plus, when you’re traveling a lot they are much lighter and easier to carry.

Our pick: Kindle Fire.

Noise Canceling Headphones

As the folks now with the fussy baby on the plane, I’m a bit more sympathetic when it comes to other crying children.

But, air travel is stressful enough and there’s really no comparison between a flight with noise canceling headphones and one with out.

You can read our full post on noise canceling headphones here.

Or just buy Our pick: Bose Quiet-Comfort.
How do I get Internet While Traveling?

DSLR Camera

While the iPhone may take great pictures, there’s no substitute for a DSLR camera.

If you have an aspiring photographer, avid traveler, or wildlife enthusiast in your life buy him or her a DSLR.

Our resident photography expert, Katie, detailed a full explanation about the best digital DSLR cameras for budget travelers here.

Our pick: DSLR Camera

Dry Case for Cell Phone

This makes an excellent stocking stuffer and chances are, the recipient doesn’t already own this.

Travelers who love their gadgets and the beach are the perfect recipients of a cell phone wet bag.

These bags keep phones dry while still allowing you to use them.

They are recommended by active kayakers to poolside loungers as a great way to keep phones from getting wet.

Our pick: Dry Pack Cell Phone Case.

Gift card for ebooks

If your traveler already has enough stuff to carry around, buy him or her an Amazon gift card to buy ebooks or music and just about anything he or she could possibly want.

Clothing and Shoes

Travel Jacket or Fleece

A travel jacket isn’t just for keeping you warm.

A good travel jacket makes getting through security a breeze.

It can dress up an outfit or serve as a pillow on a long plane ride.

This year, we’ve discovered Scottevest jackets and I love them.

They’re stylish, versatile, and have tons of pockets.

Our picks: Scottevest Chloe Fleece Hoodie or Scottevest Molly Jacket.

Read our Chloe hoodie review and our Molly jacket review.

best-travel-fleece-scottievest-chloe-hoodie

Travel Jackets Rain Jackets, Fleece Jackets, Lightweight Jackets

Pair of Hiking / Travel Sandals

A high-quality pair of sandals is great for walking, hiking, and travel.

I love my Chaco Unaweep sandals and wear them all summer.

The model I have is a bit bulkier than the alternatives, but I like that because it makes the sandals so comfortable and supportive.

When you’re picking out a pair of travel sandals, make sure they’re comfortable to wear for long periods of time, high quality, adjustable, and versatile.

Our pick: Chaco Unaweep sandals.

(Read our Chaco Women’s Unaweep review.)

Vegan Shoes for Travel

Pair of Vegan Walking Shoes

What’s the most practical item you can buy a traveler?

A pair of excellent walking shoes.

Vegan shoes (not made out of leather) are a must for sustainable travelers and there’s a short list of vegan walking shoes here.

Our pick: Jambu Barefoot ($99).

Simple Satire ecoSNEAKS

recyclable flip flops review of made in America sandals

Best Christmas Gifts for Kids

Carry-on Luggage

Besides the practicality of have your child have his own luggage, kids carry on luggage makes a great gift because it helps kids anticipate and get excited for an upcoming vacation.

Encourage your child to pack her own bag in the weeks leading up to a trip and see what they decide to include or exclude.

And for kids who aren’t quite old enough to know what to pack, they’ll have fun either climbing in the suitcase (as our child does) or just carrying it around the house with them.

See Amy’s choices for the best suitcases for kids.

Our pick: Eagle Creek

Eagle Creek Flip Switch

Water Bottle

Kids need to stay hydrated just like adults.

Travel water bottles for children come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and for babies my son likes this Pura Kiki Stainless bottle.

Either use a water bottle as a stocking stuffer or for extra fun use the bottle to hide another holiday present in.

Our pick: Camelbak Kids.

iPad or iPod Touch

What makes an iPad an indispensable travel tool?

Its ability to be all things to all kids (and parents!): on one device, you can download movies to watch in the backseat, play music, listen to audio books as a family, play games, and read books.

You can also map your route, check for nearby restaurants and parks, do some light work from the road.

If multiple iPads are not in your budget, consider purchasing an iPod Touch.

Essentially, it can do everything an iPad can do, albeit on a smaller screen.

Our pick: Apple iPad

Portable DVD player

If you don’t have an iPad, or have very young children who like to watch the same movies from your DVD collection over and over, a portable DVD player for travel is essential.

They’re cheap to buy, sturdy, and easy for kids to operate.

Our pick: Philips 7″ Portable LCD Dual DVD Playerportable-dvd-player-for-travel

Handheld Video Game Device

Young kids have an easier time navigating and manipulating a handheld gaming device than an iPod, and games tend to have more value.

We travel with a used Nintendo DS for our seven-year-old; the battery lasts a long time, it can take a beating, and leaving it in a hotel room won’t set us back too far.

Our pick: Nintendo 3DS
Platypus plusBottle

Best Christmas Gifts for Hydration

Collapsible Water Bottle

Collapsible water bottles are the newest trend and Amy put together this top guide to collapsible water bottles.

These are great for travelers because of their size and portability and the fact that they easily attach to backpacks, day-packs and camera bags.

Our pick: The Platypus.

Glass Water Bottle

We wrote about glass water bottles for the first time over two years ago.

They’ve only become more popular since.

While not the best item for the frequent traveler as they are slightly heavy, they are perfect for use at home, in the car, or at work.

I’ve been using one nearly every day for the past few months and can’t say enough about how much I love it.

It’s sturdy and the water tastes amazing.

We love Eco Vessel and Zulu.

Our pick: Eco Vessel Surf made from recycled glass.

Best Gifts for Travelers ~ Gift Ideas for Green Travelers

Whether you’re buying a present for a green traveler or want to buy something for yourself, there’s no shortage of options available today.

As more and more people become conscious of the environment, companies and manufacturers are taking steps to make sure that these customer needs are met.

If you can’t make up your mind on what to buy or where to start, this guide to the best gifts for travelers will get you on the right track.

Best Travel Gadgets for Kids on the Go

A mug will come in handy for those quick camping outs and hiking trips, as it gives the traveler a reusable container for water or coffee.

Because it’s stainless steel a traveler can reuse it again and again, eliminating the need for paper or plastic cups.

While these mugs are often used for short trips, they’ll also come in handy for school or office.

With a stainless steel mug, they can pack up more quickly and get going.

Best Gifts for Travelers Water Bottles

There are few things an eco-friendly traveler needs more than a water bottle.

Different types of water bottles are available, but regardless what you buy make sure that it’s BPA free and it’s stainless steel as it will make the bottle last longer.

There’s a lot to be said about stainless steel water bottles, but their biggest benefit is they’re versatile enough to be used at home or on the road.

Since water bottles are so cheap, you can buy several of these.

Nothing beats a nice pair of eco-friendly shoes, and there are plenty of these available today.

Just go online and you’re going to find an array of green footwear made from recycled materials and using environment friendly processes.

Note that some of these shoes are for casual wear, so if you expect your recipient to wear it while traveling, get a pair of heavy duty travel shoes that can withstand rugged terrain.

This isn’t as hard as you might think as green footwear has become more commonplace.

No traveler will be complete without a travel book, it’s a fact.

Yes there are travel apps available, but what if he / she goes somewhere where there is no reliable Internet connection?

With a good travel book, a traveler will never be lost.

A good travel book will provide information about the country as well as photos, so it’s going to be an invaluable aid.

If your friend likes to travel to foreign countries, consider getting him / her a dictionary or a book with commonly used phrases and expressions, and it will also help if you get them an etiquette book, very handy to prevent misunderstandings and culture shock.

Ask any frequent traveler and he / she will tell you that a compost bin is a must-have, so why not give one as a gift?

They’re very practical, portable and eliminate the odor that would otherwise emanate from the thrash.

Many are sold in 1 gallon sizes although other options are available, and if you’re going to buy one, look for those with a charcoal liner as that helps eliminate odors.

A green traveler will appreciate this because it means they don’t have to rely on whatever the hotel is providing them.

And if they’re staying in simple lodgings chances are they’re not going to get any towels at all.

Towels for home use are large, warm and soft but usually not fit for travel, so it is better if you buy one that’s made of microfiber because it dries quickly, can absorb a lot of water and folds tightly and easily.

A molcajete (mortar and pestle) may not seem like a necessity, but if the traveler enjoys cooking then this will be something they’ll appreciate.

If you’re not familiar with it, a molcajete is the Mexican version of the pestle and mortar, and it’s especially useful for grinding and crushing herbs, spices and foods.

For hikers and campers who like to prepare their own food, this will be indispensable.

Anyone who travels frequently will need a backpack, but for eco-friendly travelers the recycled ones are going to be most appreciated.

Don’t let the term recycle mislead you, because these are as comfortable and dependable as any other backpack.

from the green factor, there are a lot of other factors to consider when buying a backpack, such as the size, capacity, and type and so on.

This all depends on what type of traveler your gift recipient is, so take that into consideration.

However, buying won’t be as difficult as it used to be since there are a lot of options available sold today.

Does your friend have a sweet tooth?

Then a gelato maker will be most welcome.

This might not seem to have anything to do with being green, but it does actually: having their own gelato maker means they won’t to deal with the urge to buy candies and consequently, not worry about where to throw away the wrappers.

Is there a better way to capture the beauty of nature than with a digital camera?

There are a lot of gadgets you can buy, but no question, a camera is what the green traveler will appreciate the most as it allows them to capture the most amazing moments of their trips.

Digital cameras are no longer as expensive as they used to be so finding one won’t be too difficult.

It’s true that smartphones and tablets have a built-in camera, but the quality a real camera provides is superior.

If your friend is picky about pictures, then only a “real” camera will do.

So there you have it, the best gifts for travelers, and whether your recipient has been traveling for a long time or just new to it, there’s no question that they will be grateful and will benefit from any of these gifts.

How the NutriBullet Helped Me
Money Belt Reviews for Every Traveler

10 Christmas Gift Ideas for the Traveler

Whether you’re a traveler making your own Christmas gift ideas list or a you’re shopping for a present for someone else who loves to travel, we’ve got you covered.

Here are our top 10 Christmas gift ideas for the traveler who’s not currently traveling.

Christmas gift ideas

Contigo Stainless Steel Travel Mug

It’s not something you’d bring with you on a long trip, but the Contigo stainless steel travel mug is great to throw in your bag to transport your coffee to work or school.

Read our review

Stainless Steel Water Bottle

If you read our blog regularly, you know how much we love our stainless steel, BPA-free water bottles.

They’re great to use while traveling or at home.

Our favorite is the Klean Kanteen, but check out our Stainless Steel Water Bottle Smackdown to see how others stack up.

Simple ecoSNEAKS

As I mentioned in my ecoSNEAKS Satire review, I love these recycled shoes, but they’re not ideal travel shoes.

They are fun for every day wear, though, and Simple’s ecoSNEAKS would make a great gift.

Lonely Planet’s The Travel Book

I love this book. With its amazing pictures of every country in the world, The Travel Book will make any lifelong travel want to hit the road again.

Kitchen Compost Bin

Any green traveler who’s on a temporary break will appreciate an under-the-sink Kitchen compost bin.

They reduce waste and it means you have to take out the trash less often.

And no, they don’t smell.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat, Pray, Love is a fantastic book for anyone who loves to travel and misses the life-changing experiences that come with living in new countries.

Molcajete (Mortar and Pestle)

For the traveler who likes to cook, a molcajete is an excellent gift.

The guacamole you can make with a molcajete is amazing.

Mountainsmith Recycled Backpack

Do you know a traveler who’s about to take off on a long trip?

Get him or her one of Mountainsmith’s recycled backpacks and he/she will be forever grateful.

Not only are these backpacks recycled, they’re comfortable and attractive.

Check out our reviews of the Lily recycled backpack and Ivy recycled backpack.

Gelato Maker

Does anyone really need a gelato maker?

Technically, no, but having one is life changing.

Especially if you’ve experienced authentic Italian or Argentinian gelato.

This machine will make you want to go back.

Nikon Digital SLR Camera

Whether you’re on the road or at home, the Nikon is an amazing camera.

When you are not traveling, practice taking photos to hone your skills so you can better capture your travels.

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Oftentimes a great gift is something you love yourself.

Would it be appropriate for the traveler in your life too?

Hopefully you can add some of these gift ideas to your list of great Christmas gift ideas, especially in an age and time when so many people have everything already.

Best Holiday Gifts for Travelers – Top Picks

It’s the holiday season, which means it’s time to buy some gifts for the favorite traveler on your list.

Here are our top picks for Best Holiday Gifts for Travelers.

Our latest holiday gift guide has many gifts that are made in America, our favorite type of gift.

We all know someone who has too much, and it’s often hard to think of the perfect gift. Here are our top picks.

Touch Digital Camera

The Olympus Tough Digital Camera is waterproof, shockproof, and freezeproof – what more could a traveler ask for?

Universal Power Adapter

There’s nothing like arriving in a new country, trying to plug in your laptop, and realizing you brought the wrong travel adapter with you.

The Universal Power Adapter gives you an all-in one option for less than $10.

xShot Camera Extender

Perhaps one of the coolest gadgets I got to try out this year was a pocket xShot.

It’s pretty much an extendable arm or handheld tripod so you can take better shots when there’s no one around to ask for assistance.

A highly recommended stocking stuffer that someone will actually appreciate and use, unlike other bric-a-brac that often goes inside stockings.

Reusable Water Bottle

There are excellent stainless steel water bottles, glass water bottles, and fruit infused water bottles.

There are even water bottles with water filters in them now.

For an outdoor enthusiast, a reusable water bottle would be a welcome gift.

Any Food Related Gift

We love kitchen gadgets that bring home the taste of travel.

Be it a guacamole making molcajete or a tagine, here are our favorite gadgets, from gelato makers to pasta makers that bring home the tastes from far away lands.

While we are on the subject of food, we really, really love food as gifts.

Fill a basket with some gourmet pasta and sauce. Bring a box of endangered species chocolate.

Bring some desserts from a sustainable restaurant, bread from a nearby bakery, or beer from a local craft brewery.

It’s wonderful when you know a gift will actually be used/eaten and won’t take up any space in the receiver’s home.

Any Technology Gadget

We really like the idea of portable travel chargers and solar chargers too.

Check our guide to the best technology gifts and gadgets for travelers for gifts for the travel techie in your life.

Travel Journal

We always love the Moleskine line of products.

There’s nothing like the feeling of pen to paper.

One can never have too many blank pages to fill with all their memories.

Here are some more travel journals.

TuGo Cup Holder

What an awesome invention, as when you’re rushing through the airport, you never have enough hands.

The TuGo Cup holder attaches to your bag and allows you to keep moving with your favorite beverage until you reach the waiting area.

Travel Gift Cards

There are websites in which you can buy gift cards for your favorite airline or hotel.

They have gift cards saving you from 4% to 17% for places including Disney, Southwest, American Airlines,  US Airways, Jet Blue, Mariott, Hyatt, Four Seasons, and more.

For a traveler who is spending from $100 to $2000 at one of these places, the savings for such a card can be up to $350!

We’ve previously written about how you can essentially get a 10% off coupon for American Airlines by buying gift cards at a discount.

Other Awesome Best Holiday Gifts for Travelers Ideas

If you’re curious about previous year favorites, check out these posts:

Happy holidays, and enjoy shopping for these best holiday gifts for travelers.

There’s sure to be the perfect gift idea for everyone on your list.

Stocking Stuffers for Travelers Awesome Ideas Meet Needs of All Types of Travelers

Stocking Stuffers for Travelers – The holiday shopping season is upon us!

If you have travelers on your gift list this year, surprise them with one of these 10 awesome stocking stuffers for travelers.

Not only do all of these Christmas stocking stuffer ideas meet the needs of all types of travelers, they’re also budget-friendly.

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Darn Tough Vermont Winter Socks

I love Darn Tough Vermont Merino Wool or Coolmax socks for winter travel.

Whether I’m doing some serious trekking in the snow, skiing, or city touring in the rain, Darn Tough has styles and patterns that keep my feet warm and dry.

Plus, they’re fun and colorful.

Knock Knock Travel Log

If you’re not familiar with the Knock Knock Stuff company, you need to be!

These creative people sell everything from car Bingo cards to packing lists, and every type of list, post-it, or stationery in-between.

Most of their items and shoppers can find a wide selection on Amazon.

Grand Trunk Blackout Hooded Neck Pillow I bring my hooded blackout pillow on planes, in cars, and while camping.

Not only does the memory foam neck pillow make it easy to get comfortable on the road, but the attached hood grants me darkness when I need it.

Grand Trunk is an eco-company I trust.

Most would appreciate this pillow in their stocking.

Safety-Tat Child Safety Stickers

These easy-to-apply temporary tattoos adhere to kids’ skin and list safety information like a cell phone number or allergy information.

Perfect for use in crowded travel situations like theme parks, Safety-Tat appeals to kids and adults.

Pick them up on Amazon for a great price.

You’ve seen these oddly shaped Frisbee sailing around!

They’re actually not just for kids, but fun for anyone needing to exercise and stretch their legs during trips.

We bring ours in the car for road trips (it only weighs 2 ounces) and it can easily be packed in a backpack, too.

At less than $10, the Aerobie should be in every kid and kid-at-heart’s stocking!

Pocket Soap to Go

Soap in stick form, that you can bring with you in the outdoors or on the road.

It’s only $2.25 for the small tube, and lasts for multiple trips.

Perfect as a stocking stuffer for travelers who spend a lot of time away from showers!

GOgroove Panda Portable Mini Speakers

GOgroove Panda Portable Mini Speakers cute as a button, these speakers pack a powerful punch, working great when more than one kid (or adult) wants to listen to a backseat movie or TV show in the car.

We keep one in our car at all times!

Family Travel Kits

With kits for all ages and interests, these innovative travel kits are a no-hassle way to shop for traveling kids.

Plus, you can customize your kits and buy items a la cart.

RumbaTime Watches

These fun and funky watches are cheap enough that you won’t worry about losing one on the road, and bright enough that you won’t lose one to start with.

Timbuk2 Hidden Duffel

It’s a full-sized duffel bag that folds down into a small envelope, allowing travelers to pack it in other luggage and use when needed!

I love using my hidden duffel after a work conference or family vacation when my souvenirs and baggage seems to grow en route.

Shopping Tips for Environmentally Friendly Green Furniture

Growing number of consumers are becoming concerned with environmentally friendly practices in all aspects of their life.

This concern now encompasses environmentally friendly green furniture that they bring into their homes.

The furnishings are a large part of what turns a house into a home.

While some people who favor an ultra-modern look may opt for materials like glass, metal and plastic, none of these really compares with the beauty and authenticity of wood.

Fortunately for these consumers, they have more choices than ever before when it comes to finding green furniture for their Eco Friendly Home.

It may require a bit more effort, but understanding why environmentally conscious furniture is important provides excellent motivation.

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Eco Friendly Harvested Wood

Conventionally harvested lumber is usually obtained with clear cutting techniques.

When this method is utilized, the entire forest is leveled.

Every tree is removed and so is all other vegetation.

Frequently, massive machinery is used to remove every trace of vegetation.

In some instances, the land is then burned and treated with herbicides that prevent anything other than the trees that will be planted from growing.

When the land is seeded, forestry workers focus on just one type of tree, each one spaced a precise distance from the others.

Where once there was biodiversity and a naturally thriving eco sphere there is now a ruthlessly controlled crop that the lumber company will someday return to claim.

Environmentally Friendly Green Furniture

Clear cut methods are ecologically devastating.

They take away valuable habitat that the wildlife depends upon.

Clear cutting may also lead to soil erosion, landslides and a host of other environmental problems.

The detrimental effects on nature are well known, yet most companies that harvest trees continue to use these practices.

Unless consumers do their homework, they are likely to buy wood furniture where the raw materials were obtained through clear cutting.

Fortunately, there is a growing number companies in the forestry industry who understand the delicate balance of the ecosystem.

They work steadily toward sustainable business practices that will serve them and the environment well over the long run.

Consumers who seek out wood products where the raw materials were sustainable sourced are supporting these efforts in a meaningful and fundamental way.

Initially, it seems like it would be impossible for people to know where the wood that made their furniture came from.

That’s where the Forest Stewardship Council comes in.

They are a global organization that has set strict standards for sustainable forest management.

Part of their function is to certify companies that adhere to these standards.

The Forest Stewardship Council, or FSC, certifies not only companies that harvest lumber responsibly, but also manufacturers that use environmentally-friendly practices.

When a consumer sees a piece of furniture featuring the FSC certification, they can feel confident that the piece they are purchasing is as green as it can be.

The FSC is not alone in its quest.

There are other reputable organizations that also provide certification for sustainably sourced wood products.

The Rainforest Alliance utilizes the SmartWood label while Scientific Certification Systems places the Green Seal on qualified wood products.

However, the FSC is the only global organization and their certifications are the most widely seen and most highly coveted by businesses that deal in wood products.

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Reclaimed Wood Furniture using Repurposed Lumber

Another fantastic way to acquire green wood furniture is by choosing pieces made with reclaimed or repurposed lumber.

These unique and beautiful furnishings all have a unique story to tell.

Wood that is now used for a kitchen table may have once been part of the walls of a barn.

Because the lumber has gone through decades or even centuries of weathering, it acquires a distinctive look that’s nearly impossible to replicate.

Reclaimed wood furniture is a remarkably green choice.

When someone decides to take down a barn, shed or other wooden structure, those materials can often end up in the landfill.

However, an environmentally conscious person might realize the value in all of that old lumber.

By selling it to a furniture manufacturer, they not only turn a profit but also keep huge amounts of waste out of landfills.

Reclaimed wood furniture can be elegant or rustic.

It makes amazing kitchen dinning table, chair sets and many other kitchen furniture that’s both stylish and functional.

The warm wood makes any kitchen instantly feel cozy.

Of course, reclaimed wood is suitable for use in any room of the house.

Bed frames, chests, sofas and coffee tables are just a few of the common examples.

Eco Friendly Manufacturers – Environmentally Friendly Green Furniture Manufacturers

Wood that comes from sustainable sources becomes even more environmentally friendly when it is combined with organic fabrics.

Furniture manufacturers who are aware enough to utilize green lumber are usually also on top of choosing upholstery that is organic and dyed without the use of harsh chemicals.

These eco friendly manufacturers even pay attention to how each piece of lumber is painted, glued or finished.

They’ll use safe, organic processes every time.

This means choosing non-VOC substances for joinery and finishing.

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are known to give off harmful gases.

This off gassing doesn’t just happen when the furniture is brand new.

In some cases the furniture can continue to give off potentially harmful gasses for years.

Still, many conventional paints and stains contain VOCs.

Consumers interested in a more environmentally conscious lifestyle are now insisting on limiting these compounds in their homes.

Some furniture manufacturers are heeding that demand.

Furniture that has received the FSC certification is likely to be finished or painted with non-VOC materials.

Environmentally friendly green furniture is the perfect way to decorate any room.

In the kitchen, green wood furniture provides a comfortable place to gather as a family.

Eco conscious wood can also be used to construct durable and beautiful bedroom furniture, and it can be a fantastic way to finish a living room.

As concerned consumers become better educated and begin to insist upon furnishings that are more earth friendly, it stands to reason that more and more harvesters and manufacturers will heed the call.

By choosing green wood furniture, people can take an important stand for environmental health and ensure that retailers who use sustainable practices are successful.

Look here for tips when shopping for green wooden furniture

Eco-Friendly Memory Foam Pillow Review of the Best

If you’ve ever slept on an egg crate foam mattress or a polyurethane-based foam pillow, you know that squishy, polyurethane memory foam can be hot and is not breathable.

Plus, polyurethane foams are not good for the environment and older ones may contain PBDEs, which can be toxic to your health.

Fortunately, there are more eco-friendly alternatives to traditional memory foam pillow.

Why buy a memory foam pillow?

Relax the Back EcoMemoryFoam Pillow

EcoMemoryFoam is made of plant-based materials and produces zero emissions.

I was sent a PureMemDown Dual Pillow by Relax the Back to try out.

It’s comfortable and high-quality, and I imagine it would be great for people with chronic back pain.

I like that this pillow is made in the USA, which means it didn’t have to travel thousands of miles and waste fuel to get to me.

Plus, it comes with a removable bamboo cover.

Magniflex GeoEthic Pillow

Like the Relax the Back pillow, the Magniflex GeoEthic pillow is comfortable and made to last.

The Magniflex pillow contains no materials that are toxic or non-biodegradable, but it’s made in Italy so there is an environmental impact from that aspect.

According to Magniflex’s website, the company “strongly believe[s] that environmental safety, both for our employees and customers, and safeguarding the earth’s natural resources must play an integral part in our manufacturing process.”

If you love traditional memory foam but don’t like the negative impact it has on the environment, I would highly recommend checking out these two pillows.

As with all pillows, I think perfection lies in the preference of the sleeper.

I think these pillows are both great and I would recommend testing them out before choosing the one that’s best for you.

Learn what’s in some of your everyday use products, like pillows, your carpeting and your couches and other hidden toxins in homes.

Also, so many products contain PBDE’s, which can be a big health concern.

When to replace pillows?

It is generally a good idea to replace your pillows every few years.

If you have not spent a lot of money on them, this is a fairly easy thing to do.

There are other many factors to consider regarding how frequently you should replace your pillows.

Consider if you have children; how often you change out the pillow case; do you have a zippered pillow cover on it as well as the pillow case; and are there people in your home with allergies.

Also consider if someone has been very sick and using the pillow.

When you buy a more expensive memory foam pillow, keeping it encased with a zippered cover will help you in the long run from wear and tear as well as keeping it cleaner and more hygienic.

Investing in dust mite encasement is also a wise idea and will increase the life of your pillow.

It will also help those people in your home who may have dust mite allergies, as dust mites live and thrive in pillows, mattresses, blankets and bedding.

One word of caution: Do your homework and beware of green washing.

Some memory foam pillow brands claim to be eco-friendly, when in reality their products are made with 10% eco-friendly materials and 90% polyurethane.

You will most likely enjoy having a memory foam pillow, just be sure you know what you are buying, and be sure to take care of it so it stays clean for better health for its user.

Useful Eco Gadgets for the Green Traveler

Eco gadgets for the Green Traveler are most definitely a growth market now.

Sure there are lots of gadgets that are a waste of time and money, but there are also some gadgets that are genuinely useful.

In this article, Dan talks about 10 of his favorite eco-friendly gadgets that are designed with the green traveler in mind.

Wind up Torch

If we’re going camping or anywhere else where there’s likely to be a lack of lighting when night falls, then we need a torch. Conventional torches eat through lots of batteries, so something rechargeable would be great.

Rather than use standard rechargable batteries, why not have a wind up torch?

I have two of these torches myself, and they’re fantastic!

Just a minute or so of winding up and you get around 30 minutes of torch light.

In practice, the light dims after a few minutes, so you just top it up again.

You never need to worry about finding some batteries ever again!

Wind Up Walkie Talkies

On the theme of wind up gadgets, there’s a great way to keep in touch with your party, or kids, or anyone really, and that’s with a walkie talkie.

However, we hit the same issues with batteries, so how about some wind up walkie talkies?

For a minute of winding, you get 2 minutes of talking time and 10 minutes of standby time.

Perfect for emergencies, and you don’t need to worry about mobile phone reception either.

Wind up 2-Way FM/AM Radio

If you want to go a little more advanced, then the 2-Way AM/FM/NOAA Emergency Crank Radio gives you a more bulky version of a walkie talkie, but you also get FM and AM radio.

This means you can listen to local radio stations whilst you’re out traveling.

Again, no need to worry about batteries, as you just crank it up for more hours of musical enjoyment.

 

Freeloader Solar Charger

If you are taking a mobile phone, games console or an MP3 player, you’ll only get a few hours use out of them on a single charge.

If you’re out traveling somewhere sunny, then you can enjoy your gadgets for much longer with a Freeloader Solar Charger.

In sunny conditions, the Freeloader charges up its internal battery in about 7 to 9 hours.

When you want to charge up your gadget, just hook it up to the Freeloader charger.

2C Solar Cap

When you’re walking about at night, you’ll need a torch to see what you’re doing, and you could use the wind up torch mentioned above.

However, if you need both hands free to read maps, then the 2C Solar Cap is really useful.

I’ve tried it myself and the bright white LEDs are at the perfect angle to light the path in front of you as you’re walking.

You only need to charge the cap up in sunlight for a couple of hours to get a few hours of light for night hiking.

SteriPEN Water Sterilization Pen

Right, time for a drink, but you’ve run out of drinking water.

How do you know the locally available water is safe to drink?

There’s no need to worry with a SteriPEN.

The SteriPEN uses ultraviolet light to sterilise clear drinking water (i.e. filtered water) to kill any nasty bacteria that remain in the water.

The SteriPEN comes in a range of sizes, including a very portable traveler size.

A single set of AA batteries is capable of sterilizing up to 100 liters of water, and even then you can use rechargeable batteries.

Solar Pocket Shower

It’s been a long days walk and you need a shower, thankfully you set up a Solar Pocket Shower in the morning and filled it up with 10 litres of cold water.

Thanks to the sun’s energy, the water in the black PVC-free bag heated up, meaning you can have a nice warm shower in.

Popup Shelter with Solar Shower

Stripping in the middle of a field may not be great for your modesty, so if you’d like to be a little more discrete, consider the popup shelter with a solar shelter.

Basically its the same solar shower, but in a tall tent-like cubicle to allow you to shower and change in comfort.

Sh*t Box

Nature calls, so where’s the nearest bush?

Well save the bush the trauma and try the cardboard toilet instead!

The rather oddly name device contains disposable liners, which can be buried when you’re done.

The bags are biodegradable, so they do no harm to the environment.

Solar-powered Backpack

Finally we need something to keep all of our gadgets in!

The Blackhills Solar Backpacks are designed to top up all your mobile phone, PDA, games console, MP3 gadgets, etc.

Thanks to a whole collection of charging adapters, you’ll easily be able to charge up pretty much any gadget you can throw at it.

There’s even a headphone socket so that you can keep your music gadgets dry inside the backpack.

So there you go, 10 eco gadgets for your next adventure.

Got any eco gadgets you recommend for travelling?