It’s impossible to deny that travel has a massive ecological impact on the planet. From emissions to single-use products to entire accessory industries built around cheap plastic (looking at you, the luggage industry), the effect is massive and needs to change. It’s time to start taking the idea of making changes seriously and for all of us to start doing our part to forge greener solutions.
A small place to start would be by making smarter purchases for your own travel needs. It’s not going to fix everything, but it is a step in the right direction towards a greener life. And that’s where the eco-leaders below come in.
We’ve compiled a list of forward-thinkers working in the travel space who want to offer you a chance to green your gear when you travel. This covers everything from who your money supports when you book a hotel to the shoes on your feet. Hopefully, the four entries below will help you on your own journey to making more environmentally solid choices when you travel.
Jessica Blotter and Sean Krejci — Kind Traveler
Kind Traveler is the first socially conscious Give + Get hotel booking platform that allows travelers to impact the communities they visit positively. Co-Founded by Jessica Blotter and Sean Krejci, the pair designed Kind Traveler to help people unlock exclusive hotel rates and perks in exchange for a $10 nightly donation to a highlighted local charity. 100 percent of the proceeds from the donations are given to charities.
Kind Traveler is growing a global movement that helps travelers give back to locals while also supporting hotels, allowing these businesses to make a comeback after long setbacks. To help better support the return of travel and local charities even more broadly, Blotter and Krejci launch Kind Traveler 2.0. They’re expanding destinations, hotels, and charities with even more opportunities for positive impact.
Mark Tsigounis — The Hibear All Day Adventure Flask
Bringing consciousness and sustainability to the adventure community was an essential goal for Mark Tsigounis. After traveling around the world, Mark learned the value of doing more than just talking about the environment. He wanted to contribute something, so he developed The Hibear All Day Adventure Flask.
The flask was explicitly designed to provide travelers with a better and more sustainable bottle for everyday adventures. This award-winning all-day adventure flask has a stylish design and is often referred to as the Swiss Army Knife of bottles. The 32-oz. vacuum insulated bottle has a built-in pour-over feature that works for everything from coffee and tea to margaritas to hearty clam chowder.
Indré Rockefeller and Andy Krantz — Paravel
From luggage to bags to organizers, co-founders Indré Rockefeller and Andy Krantz started Paravel in 2016 to create travel goods that feature a timeless aesthetic, exceptional functionality, and forward-thinking sustainability. These two spent years comparing travel hacks and notes on luggage but could never find a brand that checked all the boxes. So, they decided to make the products they couldn’t find themselves.
Recently awarded the 2021 Travel + Leisure Global Vision Award, they constructed luggage goods sustainably with EcoCraft Canvas made from upcycled water bottles, recycled vegan leather, recycled zippers, and recycled polycarbonate. Paravel has upcycled over two million plastic water bottles to date, offset 8,150 tons of Co2 through their carbon-neutral shipping program, and planted over 35,000 trees with their Eden Reforestation Projects. So next time you are packing up to go anywhere, invest in luggage that supports better choices for your journeys ahead.
Monxi Garza — SUAVS
SUAVS Founder Monxi Garza couldn’t find the travel shoe she wanted, so she made one. Garza designed a sustainable travel shoe built to withstand the all-day wear that comes with walking the streets of a new city. They are also designed to help keep your feet dry and prevent blisters, which is crucial for any globetrotting traveler out there.
All of Garza’s shoes are made with one hundred percent recycled knit derived from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. An average of eight bottles go into each pair of shoes instead of into a landfill. Garza also sources 100 percent vegan materials, packages her shoes in dual-purpose boxes, and donates all extra footwear to organizations like Soles4Souls.