‘Tis the season! This year, I did some research and dug up some of my favorite picks for the traveler in your life (or you!) with this handy gift guide. What makes this one different? This is a travel guide featuring sustainable gifts and ones that give back to local communities and foundations, perfect for the traveler or travel lover in your life. Every gift in this guide has sustainability and giving back in mind, so you can shop and know your money is going to a good cause. From jewelry to accessories, to home goods to travel necessities, this is your feel-good gift guide. Even better, you have a chance to either save money on items in this guide or win a gift for yourself!
Looking to give that perfect gift to a travel-lover and do good at the same time? Here. You. Go.
Made from recycled car parts, designer Cat Ivins creates adorable steel aroma therapy lockets. Every locket comes with three interchangeable lids and interchangeable interior scents. Feeling stressed from travel? Drop some lavender in the bracelet and breathe easier. Want one for yourself? You’re in luck. Enter below for a chance to win one for your travels!
Send some love to a friend with Bits of Love. These eco-chic rings are 100 percent recycled silver and handcrafted by Cheryl Laughlin. Packed in ½ a sheet of recycled paper, these eco-friendly gifts also help others. A portion of each ring sale is given back to Street Poets, Inc., an organization for at-risk youth that believes in the power of words to transform. Rings remind travelers to love, be bold, hope and to rock.
Who knew PVC pipes could make a good bracelet? Well, local artisans from tribes in Namibia have created gorgeous ones to adorn wrists. A partner with The Base Project, these elephant bracelets not only reflect the animal and art, but are fair trade and give the artisans additional income for school fees, health care and food.
Made from Tagua seeds, this gorgeous necklace can dress up any outfit. Made by Muju artisans in Peru, the craftmakers are all provided health care benefits, fair wages and flexible, family-friendly schedules.
Do you know someone who loves unique finds from cities? Thanks to Hazel Lane, people can experience some of the best in sustainable and artisanal gifts from US cities. Get local goods from a new US city or region in the form of one hip care package. Each gift is selected from companies who not only have sustainable practices, but also strive to make the world a better place. Even their packaging is green – they pop everything into 100 percent recycled and compostable boxes. Hazel Lane is a Benefit Corporation and donates back to local charities.
For the perfume lover, Peachy Keen Perfume makes a sweet gift. A cruelty-free, sustainable perfume, fragrances are blended with alcohol that is locally-sourced and repurposed. A local distillery in southern California supplies consumer-safe alcohol that is not bottled, eliminating the need to dispose of it and harm the environment. Perfumes are TSA-friendly and are great for on-the-go travelers. Want to experience Peachy Keen Perfume at a discount? When shopping on the site, be sure to use code: DTravels to receive 10 percent off your total purchase.
Every traveler needs lotion. Keep Buzzin’ serves up little pots of 100 percent natural, sustainable and vegan hand and foot creams. Jars are 100 percent recycled and meet TSA standards. Order between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31, and $3.78 from every jar sold ($10 a jar), goes to Food for the Poor. Each donation feeds one child 60 meals. Enter for a chance to win a four-pack below.
IN THE HOME
Hammocks are comfortable and easy, not just because they can be used as a place to sleep while traveling, but also at home. And, Yellow Leaf Hammocks have delivered the ultimate in sustainable hammocks. Located in San Francisco, this start-up company has partnered with members of endangered hill tribes in Northern Thailand to make hand-woven eco-luxe hammocks. From sitting hammocks to larger, owning one of these not only provides comfort, but also helps impoverished hill tribes earn a sustainable living and no longer have to work in slash and burn in the jungles. Each hammock comes with a tag signed by the person who wove it in Thailand, and their bios can be found on their Web site.
Quick drying towels are a definite want for life on the road. What makes the Turkish Towel Company a notch above the competition is that is sustainable. Made of Peshtemal, towels are 99 percent dry in only four hours and totally dry within six. The towels are made in Turkey and workers receive fair wagers, provided transportation and free hot lunches and snacks. Win your own towel! Enter below for a chance to get one.
Drinking water isn’t always available, but with GRAYL’s Water Filtration Cup, travelers can have filtered water … anywhere in the world. Each replaceable filter is good for 300 uses (which saves the purchase of 300 plastic water bottles, if you’re keeping count), and eliminates the stress of finding clean water. Enter GRAYL-LOVES-TAP at checkout and five percent of the proceeds go to Travelers Against Plastic, an organization dedicated to responsible travel. Enter below for a chance to win the newest product from Grayl, the Quest Travel Cup.
EcoNuts Soap, a certified organic laundry soap includes berries from the Himalayas. The berries, which are grown in the wild, are harvested once a year by villagers for extra income, and EcoNuts pays fair trade prices. Toss the soap into water and these berries release a natural soap that works on clothing. Bonus points: the berries are re-usable. Just pack along a small bag of EcoNuts soap berries (five works) and take ‘em along for the duration of a trip. Don’t worry about customs – these are dried and de-seeded so there aren’t issues at the border. Use in traditional machines or hand washing. Forget being dirty on your travels! Enter below for a chance to win your own box to take on the road.
For the girl-on-the-go, this sustainable clutch from Blu Salt is the perfect gift. Made from recycled plastic bottles, organic cotton and upcycled silk, the Sharon Clutch holds a boarding pass, passport and two currencies. The factories in both Vietnam and India are critical to helping locals without an education earn an income. Get stylish! Enter below for a chance to win your very own Blu Salt wallet pictured above.
One piece of travel apparel can do so much. At least Encircled’s sustainable fabric pieces do. Made in Canada, the Chrysalis Cardi turns into a cape, infinity scarf, tunic, top or one-shoulder dress. Made from an eco-conscious blend of Modal and azo-free dyes, the biodegradable Cardi gives a stylish traveler many options to look smart and still have room in their luggage. Eight percent of all proceeds go to the Surfrider Foundation to help clean the beaches, oceans and reefs. The company also donates $5 for any review by customers online. Now through Dec. 4, shoppers can use the code DTRAVELS to save 10 percent site wide.
Every traveler needs a little organization in their pack. ReFleece has partnered with clothing companies to save leftover or damaged garments which cannot be donated and otherwise dumped into a landfill, and has created cool accessories. ReFleece’s ZipIt is the perfect protection for cables, chargers and more. Made from Ibex™ wool and lined in an old Patagonia™ raincoat, this unique pouch is ideal for stashing those little things. Get your own ZipIt! Enter below for a chance to win one just in time for the holidays.
Old billboards are repurposed, thanks to One World Projects. The computer tablet shoulder bags are made from discarded or rejected billboards and handmade by women trained at SPEED (Slum People Education & Economic Development) Trust, an NGO in Chennai, India. The organization is partnered with Baldarshan, a fair trade network. Feel even better about ordering the tablet bag – One World Projects is one of the few which only retain 20 percent for business operations and gives the rest back, is a part of a fair trade network and donates 10 percent of every purchase to Food for Orphans.