Sustainable, On-the-Go Gadgets for Better Travel
The dog days of summer have us thinking ahead to Labor Day. Leaving town is exciting, but everyone’s trips take a collective toll on the planet. Pack better with these functional and sustainable inventions designed for those on-the-go (and oh-so eco).
These days, luggage can do everything—from weighing itself to wheeling you to the gate. When it comes to eco-friendly options, suitcase competition is slim. Eco Orbis by Heys is the undisputed winner.
Based in Toronto, Heys luggage have made rounds on baggage carousels for 30 years. One line is dedicated to being Earth-friendly. Eco Orbis is made from 100 percent recycled ABS plastic, but is not clunky or ugly. This hardback set is lightweight, strong, and versatile. It comes in different colors and sizes from carry-on to check-in. Spinner wheels roll with you in any direction to catch that next flight (or Zipcar reservation).
Some of us travel to get off the grid, but others need to stay on it, which gets tricky when crossing borders. Stay connected no matter where you roam with Skyroam Solis service in 120 countries, from Argentina to Vietnam.
With a touch of a button, you’ll get Wi-Fi for your laptop and mobile devices. No need to swap SIM cards or gamble on unsecured networks. The 4G LTE connection is powered by local cellular signals, so this product isn’t for use in-flight, on the high seas, or the middle of the woods. When you’re in range, enjoy unlimited data and connect up to five devices. Pay as you go with 24-hour passes without any contract commitment.
Travel-sized toiletries are always a good idea, even if you’re not flying the strict skies. The problem is that single-use, store-bought brands aren’t a good value economically or environmentally. Those little clear bottle kits may pass muster with the TSA, but are often made of cheap plastic. Lids can leak or crack, turning your bag into a gooey mess.
GoToob+ to the rescue. Made of squishy silicone, these colorful containers won’t fail. Lids satisfyingly snap into place, locking the bottle and giving you a loop to hang it. Extra wide openings make pouring a big bottle into this container a breeze. Whether you’re transporting shampoo or mustard, they’re FDA food-safe and 100 percent BPA, PC, and Phthalate-free. A lifetime warranty ensures these will be the last travel-sized bottles you’ll ever buy.
For better taste and minimizing waste, say good-bye to single-use water bottles, and sip from something sustainable instead. A reusable line of LifeStraw products are designed for adventurers drinking from streams to gym devotees wanting to filter the water fountain.
LifeStraw Go is a lightweight, BPA-free bottle that’s sleek and smart. A carbon capsule reduces chlorine and bad taste for 26 gallons before needing replacement. A hollow fiber membrane removes nearly all microplastics, waterborne bacteria, and protozoan parasites (yikes!). More advanced models eliminate viruses. The filter’s lifespan is up to 1,000 gallons, meaning you can safely sip 22-ounce LifeStraw Go more than 5,800 times. Drink up! Your taste buds and Mother Earth will thank you.
Part of a traveler’s responsibility is bearing souvenirs for friends and family back home. Those gifts may be liquids mandated to your checked baggage. But there’s a better way to cushion a Napa Valley merlot or hot sauce from Oklahoma Joe’s than wrapping it in your dirty laundry.
Vinni Bag is an inflatable life raft for your traveling bottles, from wine and olive oil to sauce and perfume. It’s multi-use and multi-functional. Let it insulate wet clothing or work as a travel pillow. It can even keep your phone dry and afloat in a pool, lake, or river. At the end of its utility, Vinni Bag is returnable to the manufacturer for recycling into a garden hose.
Clip-on Camera Lenses for Phones
You’ve spent hundreds of dollars on your smartphone and take hundreds of pictures more. Before your next vacay, why not supercharge your camera with a set of universal clip-on lens attachments? Zoom-in with a telephoto. Get the full scene with a wide-angle lens. Inch up close witha macro. Or play with the distortion of a fisheye—always a crowd-pleaser.
There’s plenty of competition under $30 on Amazon. We like Godefa’s 6-in-1 kit, which includes a powerful 18x telephoto zoom with stabilizing tripod and remote shutter, along with essential lenses for wide angle, macro, and fisheye. Not only will you snap better Instagram pics, but you’ll also save space by leaving the DSLR at home.