7 Eco Friendly Travel Gadgets

Our “Sustainable Travel“ series is sponsored by Global Basecamps.  Global Basecamps is specialty travel company that helps independent travelers research and book locally owned boutique hotels, off-the-beaten path lodges and multi-day excursions all over the world. Whether hiking the Inca Trail, experiencing a traditional Japanese Ryokan, or relaxing on the beaches of Thailand, Global Basecamps specializes in designing completely customized itineraries to meet each travelers specific priorities and match their travel style.

Modern technology can present some catch-22 situations when it comes to managing an eco-friendly lifestyle, but while it’s nice to go back to the basics once in a while, the world’s modern technologies can’t be ignored for long. Instead of fretting over electricity usage and consumerism, why not embrace modern technology and revel in the range of sustainable and renewable energy sources now on the market? Whether it’s luggage made from recycled materials, solar powered chargers, or energy-saving travel devices, think of these 7 gadgets as an investment in the future of green travel – proof that technology and eco-friendly can go hand-in-hand.

1. Eco Friendly Luggage

Ok, so this first item isn’t exactly a “gadget,” but it’s one of the most essential purchases you’ll make – after all, you’ll need somewhere to stash the rest of your packing list when you hit the road. Thankfully, your baggage can be as green as the gadgets you fill it with – a number of companies are now manufacturing luggage using recycled and responsibly sourced materials. Planet Earth is one company ensuring that their luggage is easy on the environment – made from sustainable cotton, bamboo, and recycled plastics, the bags are both durable and stylish. Or browse the options at Eagle Creek, whose range of sturdy bags are made sustainably, with minimal wastage and recycled materials.

2. Shake up torch

While a wind-up torch can be a valuable addition to your packing list, anyone who’s attempted late night reading by torchlight will testify to the arm muscles necessary to get you through a few chapters. Enter the shake torch, utilising simple science to provide a battery-free light source – a simple rattle of the torch passes a high strength magnet between a pair of wire coils, generating enough power to give you a bright beam of light – a 30 second shake offers up to 5 minutes of light. Durable, weatherproof, and maintenance-free, the shake torch range at Eternal Torch is amongst the best.

3. Solar panelled charger

It would be impossible to make a list of eco-friendly gadgets without a nod to perhaps the most useful one of all – the solar powered charger. Harnessing the sun’s rays to top up a range of electronics from ipods and e-readers, to cameras and even laptops, this is one powerful piece of kit. Solio produce a range of solar-powered chargers using rechargeable lithium ion batteries that will also store solar charge for those non-daylight hours. Alongside its eco credentials, this gadget works just about anywhere in the world, making it great for those sticky spots when you’ve run out of phone battery, and what better excuse is there for spending a few extra hours lounging on the sun bed?

4. Water-powered digital alarm clock

Whether you need to drag yourself out of your tent at 4am for a sunrise over the Sahara, make sure you snap up the early bargains at the local market, or catch that budget flight at the crack of dawn, an alarm clock is a must for the traveller packing list. Thankfully, there’s now an innovative alternative to lugging around spare batteries, and it uses 100% renewable energy. Bedol’s water-powered alarm clock is small enough to slip in your hand luggage and gives temperature display, date and time, and of course, an alarm, using power harvested from water ions. You can use tap water, freshwater or even seawater, and the water power lasts around 26 weeks, and if that’s not enough, the quirky bit of kit makes a great conversation starter with curious travelers.

5. USB-powered rechargeable batteries

If you’re sick of carrying around packs of batteries, or always seem to run out at inappropriate moments, Moxia Energy have your problems solved with their rechargeable USB powered batteries. A great substitute for the some 15 billion non-degradable alkaline batteries produced each year, these USB alternatives last for around 500 charges with none of the toxic run-off of their regular counterparts. Stick them on charge in your laptop or, even better, directly into the USB slot of your solar charger.

6. Travel wall charger

If you must plug in to a main electricity source, this pocket-sized gadget will at least help you keep your energy usage to a minimum, automatically shutting off when your gadgets are fully charged or unplugged. The Mushroom GreenZero Wall Travel Charger not only looks pretty slick, but it’s easily portable and works for a range of electronics from cameras to cell phones. Best of all, you don’t have to be traveling to put it to use – it’ll help keep your electric bills down once you get home, too.

7. Bamboo blankets

Whether you need a sleeping rug to supplement the flimsy hostel bed sheets, a makeshift beach mat, or are hoping to dodge the hidden charges for in-flight “luxuries” by bringing your own blanket, the Sustainable Bamboo Travel Sets from PB Travel, make a useful addition to any travel kit, including a blanket and cloth. Not only are they stylish, compact, and cashmere-soft, but every item is made with 100% sustainable bamboo, meaning they’ll up your eco credentials, too. The set even includes a travel eye mask– a must for conquering the torments of paper-thin guesthouse curtains or seemingly nocturnal dorm buddies.

Read more about ecotourism around the world:

Global Basecamps supports any opportunity to make travel more eco-friendly. We have done the research for you, and have determined the most effective ways to help the environment in all of our featured destinations. For example, when you book a cultural Japan tour through us, you receive a complimentary pair of personal chopsticks, in an effort to reduce the number of disposable chopsticks that are used in Japan every year. You can rest assured that the boat we book for your custom Galapagos tour will be certified by the highest standard of eco-friendliness.

Photo credits:  jetalonesolio.comDeclanTM, 3BL Media