For myself and indeed many friends I have spoken with, it is becoming increasingly important to travel responsibly and support sustainable initiatives along the way. I have put together my top tips for eco-friendly travel products, a snapshot of 3 of my favourite ecolodges, as well as some inspiring sustainable travel projects that you can get involved with as you explore this beautiful world.
Take a look at our tried-and-tested eco-friendly travel essentials...
BAMBU: Bamboo Cutlery-Set
A brilliant little travel utensil set wrapped up in an eco-conscious pouch and so easy to carry. In airports or stopping off for lunch on car journeys whilst travelling, you're so often faced with plastic cutlery. It is such a waste and terrible for the environment! Keep this set in your bag as it's so small and you never know when it'll come in handy. Every small change towards taking better care of our planet is important. Take Me There >
LIFESTRAW: Water Filters & Purifiers
Ultra-light personal water filters are perfect for when you travel to a country where it's not safe to drink water from the tap, and avoids buying plastic water bottles everywhere. It comes with a collapsible squeeze bottle for travelling light. Protects against bacteria, parasites and microplastics, chlorine and chemicals. There are lots of options, but I recommend The Conservation Alliance & LifeStraw Go, as profits support conservation projects across North America. This product gives back - every purchase gives one child a year of clean water. Take Me There >
LUSH COSMETICS: Shampoo & Conditioner
Lush make a soap and conditioner in a bar which have their own little tins you buy separately. So NO plastic bottles and you can keep refilling the tins. Brilliant for travel and for the environment. Anyone who knows me knows I am fussy about my hair! I tried and tested the shampoo and conditioner in the bar form and it was truly amazing! Not only did my hair feel fab and soft but everyone wanted to hug me to smell my deliciously scented locks. So happy and thank you Green Bee UK for getting me onto these. A winner. Lush also do a little dental floss in a tiny metal refillable cannister - perfect for travelling. Take Me There >
DOPPER: A bottle on a sustainable mission...
Dopper bottles act as a flask for hot water or cold water. Water stays cold for 24 hours or hot for 9 hours. Made in Holland but available on Amazon – brilliant! Dopper aim to spread the message that single-use plastic bottles are not necessary, and we applaud them on their sustainable bottle design! Take Me There >
SUN BUM SUNSCREEN: Reef Friendly Sunscreen
Sun Bum sunsreen is reef friendly! Caring for the planet is Sun Bum’s highest priority, so they don’t use any ingredients that will hurt it. Well done Hawai for placing new bans on sunscreens to protect our oceans and reefs! Take Me There >
ALL BIRDS: Natural Material Footwear
Inspired by natural materials, All Birds shoes are light on your feet and easy on the planet: comfortable and sustainable. Slip-on Wool Loungers are particularly comfy and practical for travelling. Caring about sustainability at every stage of production, All Birds shoe laces are made from recycled plastic bottles, and the packaging uses 90% recycled cardboard. I hope more companies follow their lead! Take Me There >
It is so important to us to support hotels that positively impact their local communities, particularly in remote regions. Our amazing friend, Petit, set up Hotel Sol y Luna in Peru’s Sacred Valley in order to fund the ‘Sol y Luna Association’. This non-profit organisation provides education to local children, giving them the opportunity to forge their own futures, and supports local families with sustainable work opportunities. We encourage everyone to visit the Association during a trip to Peru. Any contribution, large or small, makes a huge difference. Take Me There >
We encourage you to save just a tiny amount of space in your suitcase for important supplies that will have a really positive impact on the local community you are visiting. Pack For A Purpose works on projects all over the world, with a focus on health, education, child and animal welfare and socio-economic development. Travellers can choose supplies from the requested needs list, which will go to one of the following: schools, after-school programs, libraries, clinics, hospitals, HIV/AIDS projects, maternal health centres, orphanages, animal conservation and anti-poaching projects and artisanal cooperatives. Take Me There >
AMAZON WILDLIFE SHELTER
I am delighted to recommend travelers to Peru visit this amazing new project in the Amazon. Magali Salinas started an initiative outside Puerto Maldonado, a rescue centre born out of her love of wildlife, which looks after abandoned animals or those that have been subjected to illegal trafficking. The centre is a huge space housing various species of monkeys, toucans, macaws and sloths. Magali nurtures these creatures and aims to rehabilitate them and return them to their natural habitat. She has been working on this positive initiative alone. I would recommend visiting to learn about the Amazon and its wildlife, and to understand the importance of this project. Visitors can volunteer and donate. Get in touch to find out more >
Arkaba is a 60,000 acre sheep farm that has been transformed into a wildlife conservancy. Located in one of Australia's most ecologically significant landscapes, Arkaba is the perfect blend of conservation and tourism. Guests experience the outback in a style that is ecologically focused, immersive and quintessentially Australian. It’s not only witnessing an environment in recovery, but actively participating in its revival. Field guides with ecological backgrounds reconnect guests to the bush, helping them understanding the fragility of Australia’s environment and the challenges faced in conserving it. Hands on conservation activities are on offer, such as setting and monitoring camera traps at strategic locations and operating the radio telemetry equipment to download and thereafter assess data from the 3 radio-collared feral cats on the property. Get in touch to find out more >
Shakti provide luxury holidays in the beautiful and remote Indian Himalayas. To tackle the increasingly difficult problem of littering in the mountains, last year Shakti Himalaya organised meetings with surrounding villages to define garbage collection points in each village, ensuring litter would be disposed of in particular locations, rather than left all over the mountains. This year, large metal wire mesh dustbins were constructed and installed at main points along the walking trails, with additional smaller dustbins distributed at schools, shops and temples around the villages. To constantly reinforce the values of keeping surroundings clean, Shakti Himalaya has started awareness programs in schools (with the help of teachers and the NGO ‘Green Hills Trust’ in Almora) to keep mountain villages plastic free. In the future they plan to achieve this by giving various accolades or awards to students who are “environmentally conscious” on school projects and to young active supporters in the campaign to clean-up the mountain trails and villages. For Shakti, this is an opportunity to spread the environmental message of sustainable tourism that they practice, to others. Along with their litter and plastic-free projects, Shakti are also working on water source projects, constructing bore wells, and sustainable farming projects, constructing a greenhouse, to support the local community during the harsh winter months. Get in touch to find out more >
COROCORA CAMP, COLOMBIA
Corocora Camp is a luxury tented camp (plastic-free & solar-powered) in Colombia's remote, wildlife-rich wetlands region, Los Llanos. Guests explore on horseback with cowboys 'llaneros' and naturalist guides, assisting with setting up, visiting and assessing camera traps, as well as working with the community on various projects to protect threatened species like pumas and jaguars. Guests are able to donate and assist with the installation of new camera traps. Corocora Camp works together with Fundación Cunaguaro on various local projects which guests can be involved with depending on their interests. Get in touch to find out more >
Every time I explore a new destination, whether it’s on an adventure holiday in Peru or a luxury beach escape in the Indian Ocean, I return home full of excitement to share the amazing sights I have seen. Through my own experiences I have developed a love of helping others experience the great wonders of the world; truly getting under the skin of the extraordinary destinations that are at your fingertips. Getting the details right, from which hotel is perfectly located for exploring away from the crowds, to which local guide is most knowledgeable on history or culture or art, is of paramount importance to me. I am constantly seeking out new and exciting experiences and exploring off the beaten track to ensure my clients are receiving the best and most honest first-hand advice.
Take a look at my travel diaries for food for thought on your next trip...