Travel Products


Safe and Sustainable Sunscreens

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Sunscreen Beachy vacations are a summertime must, and so is slathering up with sunscreen. We wanted to know which sunscreens work best, which are dangerous to our health, and what other options exist for protection agains harsh UVB and UVA rays.

In a recent Consumer Reports Health study, two products stood out among the rest—Target’s “Up & Up” Sport SPF-30 and Equate Baby SPF-50. Each of these provided excellent protection against UVB rays, and “very good” protection against UVA radiation, which can cause slightly more harm to our skin due to deeper-penetrating rays. In addition, they’re also both devoid of retinyl palmitate, a antioxidant that animal studies have linked to increased risk of skin cancer. (Yes, a sunscreen that could potentially lead to skin cancer!) The shocking truth is, most sunscreens contain this ingredient, along with others known to cause adverse health effects in animal studies, like oxybenzone, nanoscale zinc oxide and titanium oxide.

What a mouthful, huh?

Consumers, however, shouldn’t rule out natural sunscreens made by brands like Aveeno, California Baby, Soleo Organics and UV Natural, most of which can be picked up at your local drugstore.

In addition, there are extra steps that can minimize your exposure to the sun. Consider a broad-brimmed hat, tightly-woven clothing or an umbrella to stick in the sand. Better yet, pop a tent for adults or kids to crawl into when they need a break. Most importantly, if possible, avoid being outside during the mid-day hours, when the sun is directly overhead and its rays are the strongest. For more information, Consumer Reports Health.

Visit EWP Blogazine's partner, Earth Tones, for more eco-friendly tips.  


The Carbon-Friendly Commute: Bicycling

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Bicycling to work 

Biking to work may not be the most practical option for all of us - especially those of us who wear skirts on occasion, or need to drop the kids off at daycare - but it remains an option. If you're one of the brave few who strap on a helmet daily, we've provided a reminder round-up of safety tips to keep in mind. 

And for those of you who have never even considered biking to work, give it a second thought. With gas prices skyrocketing, it's a sure way to save some cash and get a good workout in at the same time! 

1. Be bike safe (and smart)
Just like you would tune-up your car before a trip, take stock of your bicycle and take time for proper maintenance.  For more tips, visit the League of American Bicyclists.

  • Wear a helmet
  • Check the air pressure in both tires; know what pressure is best for your tires and your terrain
  • Pack a portable pump and extra inner tubes or a patch kit so you are ready to fix a flat
  • Know the bicycle safety and traffic laws for your area 

2. Turn your bicycle into the ultimate commuter
Forgo the racks or panniers and opt for a lightweight trailer like this one from BOB.

  • Easily attaches to your bicycle’s back wheel
  • Has a low center of gravity to keep weight off of your bicycle frame, which means better bike handling
  • Tracks with your back wheel, which means it’s easy to navigate your commuter route
  • Provides plenty of storage capacity for all of your gear, plus anything you need to pick up along the way

3. Dress for commuter success
When commuting by bicycle, be prepared by anticipating changes in weather and wearing comfortable clothing. These factors can make or break an enjoyable commute. 

  • Dress in layers made of breathable fabrics.  It may start out cooler at the beginning of your morning ride, but you’ll warm up quickly and may want to shed layers
  • If your ride is longer, consider wearing bicycling shorts
  • Don’t forget to tie down your right pant leg – your drive train can easily chew up loose fabric
  • Shoes should be sturdy with rubber soles to provide traction on pedals

4. Map your ride
Find the best bike route and get mentally prepared using Google's Bicycling Directions. Even take a virtual ride before you go.

5. Pack up essentials
Take a few minutes and consider what you’ll need to make it easy, convenient and fun:

  • A change of clothes or shoes
  • A travel set of toiletries such as deodorant, hair brush and cleansing body-freshening wipes to transition from the bike lane to the office setting
  • Pack your lunch and snacks to maintain energy throughout the day

For more earth-friendly transportation ideas, visit our Road & Travel Magazine partner, Planet Driven.

(Source: BOB Gear)


Earth Tones - A Guide to Green Travel

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As many of you know, we are partnered with Road & Travel Magazine, a website dedicated to all things automotive, travel and personal safety on the road. What you may not know is that of all 18 categories in RTM's Travel Channel there is one that ventured out into the world of green long before it became a mainstream event, and that is Earth Tones. We encourage you to visit RTM and its earth-friendly section, where you'll find additional articles and resources for your ever changing environmental lifestyle. Please share RTM and Earth Tones with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Thank you. We appreciate your support.


Eco-Friendly Travel Accessories

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So you’ve finally finished planning your sustainable vacation, now you just have to pack. Well if you are thinking about shelling out some of that hard earned green, it might as well be in support of an eco-friendly company. Here are a few of our favorites to get you started:

Tire and Hemp Satchel Bag
Travelproducts-hempsatch A sturdy shoulder bag is a must for trendy travelers. This one, made of recycled tire products and pesticide-free natural hemp, tops the list in terms of eco-friendliness. Stylish, durable and weather-resistant, the bag features a turn lock closure, full lining and two outside zipper pockets for quick and easy storage. Find it here.

Silk Passport Bag
Travelproducts-passbag Made from natural silk and free from harsh chemicals, this Little Lucky Silk Bag is the perfect size for storing a passport. With four pockets, magnetic closure, and shoulder strap, it’s ideal for use at the airport, where crucial documents need to be kept close and often presented. Find it here.

Recycled Travel Bags
Swoopdeluxesurfsup1 Made of reused bike inner tubes and “rediscovered special finds” like vinyl and fabrics, these sweet bags serve many purposes, from a handy passport case to a tote for toiletries. Uniquely expandable and weather-worthy, Flat Bags are full of attitude and make a refreshing eco statement too. Find it here.


Best Green Goods for Your Next Eco-Adventure

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Greentravelproducts-pic1 Green Travel has blossomed into it's own booming industry. Fueled by conscientious consumers and the need for recycled, reusable products, "green" travel  products, and "green" travel itself, have popped up everywhere, from Costa Rica's moist jungles to your favorite travel depot down the road.

Too kind to scream, "I told you so!" from the rooftops, Sustainable Travel International, who goes by the motto "leave the world a better place," is silently nodding in approval. To help spread the word, the eco-friendly travel organization has recently launched its first Annual Green Gear Guide. Filled with resource efficient, recycled and organic goods, the Green Gear Guide promotes products offered by distributors that gain fair prices for the local producers of their goods.

Says STI President Brian Mullis, outdoor equipment
and clothing are enormously popular. Unfortunately, many products are produced under oppressive labor conditions, through energy or resource intensive processes, or with harmful toxic materials."

To keep yourself and the environment healthy, check out some of ROAD & TRAVEL's favorites from the Green Gear Guide.


Long-Lasting Green Rechargeable Batteries

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By Sara Hoffman


Frustrated with using up normal batteries all the time, or using rechargeables whose ability to recharge dwindles almost as quickly as those normal batteries? I had given up on using any electronic that requires batteries for this exact reason (not that batteries are especially good for the environment, anyways). But when I got to try UltraLast Green Everyday Rechargeables, I had to go back to using my three-year old camera that used (or should i say devoured) AA's as the true test of these batteries' worth. I had gone through packs and packs of rechargeable batteries, and all of them ended up idling in the junk drawer (One rechargeable battery can keep up to 1,000 disposable alkaline batteries out of landfills? Right).

My old, brand-name batteries would literally get tired after 5 or 6 charges. So I put these new green batteries in my old battery-guzzling camera, turned it on, put it in my purse, and went to work. Came home, put the batteries in the charger, and completed this cycle for weeks. I've got a lifetime supply of AA batteries, bundled into a dozen little green capsules.

The batteries are ready to use right out of the pack. When installed in low power consumption devices, including remote controls, clocks, flashlights, and other common household applications, UltraLast Green Everyday Rechargeables will keep their charge up to 6+ months. They can be charged as many as 500 times, for up to 3 years.

The batteries can even be purchased with a solar charger ($30) - which can be connected via USB to charge other devices like computers and cell phones. Some USB connectors are included, but most electronics come eqipped with a special USB cable anyways, so most electronics can be charged via solar.

Besides the solar charger, why are they green? Because these batteries last so long in both high-usage and low-usage devices, and can be recharged, they have their own cycle and will cycle through it in your home for at least three years, rather than just getting used up and tossed into the garbage, or losing their ability to recharge fully and ending up in the junk drawer. They can be recycled through the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) program, and are packaged in eco-friendly materials, including recycled cardboard and recyclable PET plastic.

Based on my sampling of the batteries so far, I'm pretty sure twelve of these guys, a wall/car charger and a solar charger is all I'll ever need for a lifetime supply of batteries.

For more product reviews from RTM, visit our Travel Products section.

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