When it comes to traveling, many of us struggle with finding toiletries that will 1) fit in our luggage and 2) be able to pass through security. Add sustainability into that list and your job just got ten times harder...or so you thought!
On a recent trip to Little Cayman Island, I was tasked with finding travel toiletries that would last me a month, were plastic free, and wouldn't harm the environment as they ran off from our outdoor showers into the ocean. I was thoroughly surprised with the outcome of my search and hope these products will help you live a more eco-friendly and plastic free lifestyle!
Shampoo: D.R.Harris & Co Arlington Shampoo Bar For Normal Hair 50g
I bought the D.R. Harris & Co Shampoo Bar off of Amazon for $9.51. This bar comes in many different scents and inside of a small tin container the size of your fist, perfect for protecting your shampoo bar during travel. The tin can also be reused and recycled, a great alternative to the plastic packaging of regular shampoo bottles. The only plastic used was a thin film around the bar itself. I was surprised at how well this bar shampoo worked. Even after I was in the ocean all day, this shampoo had no problem cleaning my hair and making it feel silky soft. After using it for a month, I still have ¾ of the bar left!
Conditioner: Aspen Kay Naturals Solid Conditioner Bar
I went with a bar concept for my conditioner too and purchased the Aspen Kay Naturals Solid Conditioner Bar for $16.99 off of Amazon. This bar also came in a recyclable tin container however, the container was sealed with plastic. Other than the plastic packaging, I loved this bar! I bought the Rosemary Mint version and it smelled so refreshing. It held together even better than the shampoo bar and by the end of my trip it didn’t look like I had used any of it. I was a bit skeptical on how well the conditioner would work given that I would be in dry, salty conditions but it worked better than the bottled conditioner I have at home with much less of an amount needed. The Aspen Kay bar also is sulfate-free, cruelty-free, and vegan!
Toothbrush: Eco Fella Bamboo Toothbrush
After trying many brands of bamboo toothbrushes, the Eco Fella has been the best. Made from sustainable bamboo and BPA free, 5 trees are planted for each pack you buy from Eco Fella. Another reason I love this toothbrush is that the bristles are infused with charcoal to help clean your teeth and they haven’t frayed after more than a month of use; much more durable than a plastic toothbrush! The bristles also are classified as soft for sensitive gums. Most people are afraid to use wood or bamboo products because of slivers or an odd taste, however, this brush was sanded down and treated so you won’t have any of these issues! You can get a 4 pack of these bamboo toothbrushes on Tidal Tees for $8.97! Also, the first 20 orders of our Limited Edition Hammerhead Shirt will recieve a FREE toothbrush!
Sunscreen: Australian Gold Botanical
Many sunscreens have harmful chemicals in them that can kill corals when they enter the water. In addition to the damage they can cause marine life, some sunscreens use ingredients known to be endocrine blockers, which mess with hormone levels in humans. You should avoid synthetic sunscreens that contain ingredients such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, and avobenzone. If it's in an aerosol can, that also means that the sunscreen is not actually reef safe like some companies claim.
The best sunscreens to buy are mineral sunscreens made from titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which is why I bought Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Lotion. This sunscreen can be found at Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, and Amazon and depending on the SPF protection you get will vary in price from $7.79 to $16.99. While the tubes are made from plastic, they last you a long time. I’ve used one tube for a beach trip and a month long trip and still have sunscreen left. Because this sunscreen is a mineral sunscreen it also stays on much longer and blocks sun better than regular sunscreens, though can be a little tough to get off. But hey, that’s the point, no?
Bug Spray: Skedattle - Natural Bug Spray
Mosquitos are a big problem in the Caribbean so I knew I needed a quality bug spray that was also eco-friendly. I bought Skedattle on Amazon for $12.95 because it was DEET-free, non-toxic, safe for pets, and chemical-free. At the time, the only negative was that it came in a plastic bottle. The spray was created from lemongrass and essential oils, making it smell amazing. However, after my first night on the beach, 100 bug bites later, I realized this bug spray did absolutely nothing! I ended up having to use a friend’s different repellent because my legs were coated in bites. Now this spray is just being used as an air freshener due to it’s nice smell.