We all love to get outside, but have you thought about the environmental impact of outdoor recreation? It turns out that we use a tremendous amount of plastic and energy in the name of chasing that big view, climbing a mountain or even just enjoying a leisurely hike. Don’t believe me? I kept all of the plastic my household produced in a month and a whopping 30 percent of that waste came from outdoor exploits. The next time you buy gear, give back to the environment with these eco-friendly outdoor gear essentials.
Hike for the Ocean with Adidas Terrex Parley Climacool Voyager Sneakers
These are marketed as water shoes, but I’ve taken them all over. From the canyons of Utah to the beaches of Belize and beyond. These sneaks have some stellar rubber that will keep you stable both in town and on the trail. The best part? Adidas teamed up with Parley for the Ocean and uses recycled ocean trash to create their shoe.
Best Uses: Easy trails, approaches to climbs and on slippery rock
Drawbacks: Price tag. Also, there isn’t much support around the ankle.
Affordable, Recycled Moisture-Wicking Tee by Recover Brands
I got really excited when I discovered Recover Brands. Why? They are serious about recycled material. Recover offers a 100% recycled shirt by spinning post-consumer plastics and recycled polyester fibers to create their own textiles. These are then transformed into moisture-wicking shirts that work. At first, I thought the plastic might be itchy, but the shirt is quite cozy. I’ve worn mine to the gym, on the trail, and at the crag. Each shirt recycles approximately eight plastic bottles. The best part? At under $30, this tee is also affordable.
Price: $24 – $29 for a tee
Best Uses: Anything that will get you breaking a sweat
Drawbacks: I wish they offered a looser fit for women.
Stay Hydrated with Sawyer Squeeze Mini
Sawyer offers a hassle-free and affordable water filtration products that are absolutely perfect for any water filtration needs. You can use the Squeeze Mini to attach to any water bottle with a small top or use the bags to filter water into a bigger bottle such as a Nalgene.
So what makes this product so sustainable? Well, you can easily travel sans-disposable plastic. In fact, disposable plastic and tourism have a profound effect on the environment. I’ve tried LifeStraw products, and although they have a much stronger sustainable message. Their grab-and-go water bottle with filtration is too small to be very useful.
Price: $19.99 and up depending on the exact model.
Best Uses: Backpacking, thru-hiking, long hikes. travel.
Drawbacks: The bags tend to wear out quickly, so always have an extra on hand if you don’t simply screw the filter on to a regular water bottle.
Light it Up with the Luci Light Pro with MPowered
Luci Lights are simply genius. This blow-up LED, solar powered light uses the sun to charge and quickly gives you ample light. Simply hit the power button to alternate through different intensities, along with a strobe mode for emergencies. The Pro series also lets you charge a USB from the solar panel. The whole system charges in sunlight in just a few hours. MPOWERED believes in providing sustainable solutions to light the world. They provide low-cost purchasing options for communities in need of light, bringing business, education, and light to all corners of the globe.
Cost: $34.95 (Pro) or $19.99 for the basic outdoor model
Best Uses: Backpacking, car camping.
Drawbacks: It isn’t the greatest at charging phones on the go, but it will do the trick in a pinch.
These eco-friendly essentials for the outdoors go beyond simply supplying us with useful tools. Buy gear that gives back to the places you love to play.
Looking to give the perfect gift for the outdoor lover on your list? Maybe you’re looking to treat yourself to some fantastic hiking gear. Check out these guides for more inspo!
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