20 Eco-Friendly Van Life Gift Ideas

20 Eco-Friendly Van Life Gift Ideas

Thoughtful gifts from the heart are the best! Even better, if they are good for the environment as well! This is our top 20 gift list for the environmentally conscious and nature loving Vanlifer, who travels and/or lives in their Van! These are all items that we use on our travel in our Van, or that we wish we had when starting Van Life.  We are not sponsored by any brands but chose these items entirely because of their quality and positive ratings and reviews.

Harvest Hosts Membership

Harvest Hosts
Photo provided by Harvest Hosts

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This is a one of a kind camping experience! For only $49/year this Harvest Hosts membership allows for unforgettable and unique camping experiences at over 600 participating farms, breweries, wineries, museums etc. With this membership, the hosts allow for an overnight stay on their land  at no additional cost while members are encouraged to drink, eat or shop at the host’s establishment before going to sleep on their property. It’s a win-win situation that provides for unique experiences, learning opportunities and social exchange that make for wonderful memories.
Please know that tents are not allowed and the members must stay in a self-contained Van, RV or Bus with an integrated toilet solution and dirt-water collection. The leave-no-trace principle is mandatory and Vans, Buses and RVs need to be pre-approved (via online-communication) for membership. We had some amazing camping experiences thanks to this wonderful program and highly recommend it!

Eco Wool Blanket

Pendleton Eco Wool Blanket
Photo provided by Pendleton

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Keeping cozy and warm can be challenging when living in a Van, especially since spending time in the great outdoors is a big part of Van Life. These naturally warming wool blankets by Pendleton are made of virgin wool, sustainably manufactured and pass strict standards of sustainability, leaving the smallest possible impact on our earth. They are soft while providing warmth and come in different colors and patterns.

 

 

Portable Generator Power Battery Charged by Solar Panel, Wall Outlet or Car Charger

Suaoki 222wh Power Battery
Photo provided by Suaoki

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This little powerhouse is a great battery generator for those days when the sun don’t shine.  In addition to the solar power that might be installed in a Van, this is a great backup solution. We use its bigger brother, the Suaoki 400Wh generator battery as our backup power source in our Van to charge laptops, phones, cameras and even the fridge when our solar batteries are running low. We also use this when we work on our laptops from a cafe with no outlets or at a picnic table in the middle of nowhere  so we can stay charged for the whole day while being off-grid.  This  Suaoki 222Wh wonder-box is a smaller, lighter and more affordable but still powerful version of the popular Suaoki 400Wh and  Goal Zero power stations. The Lithium battery pack provides power supply through a silent 110V/60Hz, a 200W AC power inverter, DC 12V & USB ports, and can be charged via solar panel, a regular AC wall outlet or DC car charger.  We charge it while we drive or when working from a location with  available outlets. Combine it with a solar panel for the perfect small off-grid solution! A great gift for Van Life, camping, tiny home or as an emergency backup for sure!

 

Stainless Steel Plates

Stainless Steel Plates
Photo provided by Immokaz

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Living in a vehicle where the whole interior is subject to earthquake-like conditions on a daily basis, it is wise to eliminate breakable items as possible. These quality grade stainless steel plates by Immokaz are the perfect dishes for any adventurer. They are functional, easy to clean, super durable while being light weight, and visually pleasing. We have used them for many years and have slapped them around quite a bit and they do not have any dents whatsoever. We love their quality and that they can be recycled at the end of their life. We also recommend to add some stainless steel cups  and mugs.

 

Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Bowls
Photo provided by Cuisinart

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These nesting bowls by Cuisinart are made of stainless steel, which makes them durable and easily recyclable at the end of their lifetime. We love these bowls as they are unbreakable and we use them for pretty much anything, we even eat directly out of them when we make one pot dinners, soups, salads, stews and saucy meals. They are also great to hold our snacks during drives or at the campfire and for storage of leftover food. Since space is limited in a Van these bowls are great as they store neatly while being stacked and nested.

 

Stainless Steel Travel Mug

Tervis Stainless Steel Travel Mug
Photo provided by Tervis

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Reusable travel mugs are always great gift ideas! There are plenty on the market. This one is our favorite for several reasons, but mainly because of the functionality of the lid. This lid is spill-proof, splash-proof, shatter-proof  and easy to close and open. It is a great design and unlike many other travel mugs it is very easy to clean as the lid does not have any nooks and crannies like the lids of other brands. It’s made by Tervis and
holds 20 oz while it fits in a standard sized cupholder, is sturdy and ideal for travel. It holds drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 8 hours. It comes in many different colors and patterns from plain silver to crazy hippie looks, so there’s one for every taste for sure. We love this mug and bring it wherever we go, even when we grab a cup of coffee or tea at Starbucks or other chains where we even get a discount for bringing our own cup! Reducing single-use paper cups and plastic trash is a good thing and helps the environment for sure!

 

Organic Cotton Flannel Sheets

Whisper Organics Organic Cotton Flannel Sheets
Photo provided by Whisper Organics

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These sheets by Whisper Organics are the coziest sheets and pillow cases I have ever slept in! Even better, they are manufactured with 100% organic cotton that is fully GOTS Certified (Global Organic Textile Standard), non-toxic and chemical-free. They are made of great quality, don’t shrink in the wash. and are durable and soft all at the same time. They come in different earth-tone colors, we love the grey version as it is visually a bit less sensitive to dust and dirt in comparison to white since van life and dirt go together like apples and piecrust!

 

Natural Straw Hand Brush

Sorghum Rice Straw Hand Brush
Photo provided by Redecker

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Living in a Van includes bringing a lot of dust and dirt into the Van and living space just from getting in- and out so often, especially when spending time out in nature. This little handy broom will help to keep the Van clean. Since floorspace and storage space in a Van is usually very limited, this little broom is the perfect size, it’s small enough to be easily stored while big enough to get the job done. It can be used indoors and outdoors and easily reaches small corners and tight spaces. This brush is made by Redecker from Sorghum Rice Straw which does not absorb water and can be used for sweeping dust, dirt, wet leaves, snow or moist surface areas as well. A great handy tool for sure!

 

Solar Shower

Sportneer Solar Camping Shower Bag
Photo provided by Sportneer

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Having the convenience of a hot shower in the middle of nowhere is just a wonderful experience! This simple shower bag by Sprtneer can be filled with water from the river, creek, lake or any other water source (use a water filter if needed), lay it to rest in the sun and a few hours later a hot shower awaits! This bag holds 5 gallons, which is more than enough for 2 people. Using the power of the sun is a great way to save on propane or electricity and allows to use it off-grid which is great for the adventurer, Vanlifer and camping addict alike.

 

 

Luci Solar Light

Luci-Lux-Solar-Lantern-Mpowerd
Photo provided by Mpowerd

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We love these little lights, they are perfect for Vanlife and great for outdoor and indoor use. These solar powered lights are a simple solution with great design. The light made by Mpowerd is inflatable and easy to store, shatterproof, waterproof and comes in different light variations from warm eggshell to bright white as well as in different colors. It is powered by the sun and charge takes about 8h of direct sunlight, it also can be charged under cloudy skies or incandescent light if needed. Once charged fully, it will stay lit for about 6-12h. We put it on our dashboard during the day and use it at night. A must have for any adventure traveler, camper or Vanlifer.

 

Biodegradable Soap

Dr Bronner's Biodegradable Soap
Photo provided by Dr. Bronner’s

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This pure-castille soap by Dr. Bronner’s is a great gift for anyone. It is made with organic ingredients and essential oils  and is 100% biodegradable. It is versatile and can be used for showering, washing hair, dishes, clothes, surfaces and pretty much anything else. This one is made with organic orange, lemon and lime oils and the aroma is soothing, refreshing and invigorating all at the same time. This soap is certified organic by the USDA National Organic Program and certified Vegan by Vegan Action. The packaging is  made from 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic bottles.

 

Scrubba Clothing Wash Bag

Scrubba Clothing Wash Bag
Photo provided by Scrubba

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A great alternative to the public laundromat for those days when you need to wash a small load of clothes while traveling. This bag is lightweight and has a special inner surface that works like a washboard while using only little water.  Simply fill with clothes, water and a dash of biodegradable soap, close, and deflate the bag, then rub clothes against the washboard for 30 seconds to 3 minutes. A great way to wash your clothes on the go without the use of electricity while saving water!

 

 

Lunchskins Reusable Snack and Sandwich Bags

Lunchkins Reusable Food Storage Bags
Photo provided by Lunchkins

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Super light, easy to store and versatile in use. These little reusable food-storage bags are a great alternative to single-use plastic ziplocs or other plastic bags. They are durable, easily washable and perfectly cut for a standard-sized sandwich. We use them almost every day to bring food on our adventures and fill them with fruit, nuts, trailmix, veggie sticks, bread, cookies and other snacks.

 

 

Tree Tribe Reusable Water Bottle

Tree Tribe Reusable Water Bottle
Photo provided by Tree Tribe

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Reusable water bottles are a must have in any household, but especially in the Eco-Friendly Van-Home. There are plenty of different brands out there of course, however, we have come to love this 20 oz bottle in particular due to its great quality. It holds beverages cold for 12h and hot liquids stay hot for up to 10 hours. We especially love this eco-friendly brand for their philosophy and sustainability and because for every item sold, Tree Tribe is planting 10 new trees. Yes that’s right, not just 1 tree, but 10 trees! What a wonderful concept! Of course the bottles are made of high quality food-grade stainless steel with a silicone/bamboo lid which is a leak-proof construction. The bottle  comes with a lifetime warranty, if it ever would break it will be replaced by Tree Tribe at no cost! Check out their site for more colors and designs and other eco-friendly gear.

 

Biodegradable Wipes

Dude Wipes
Photo provided by Dude Products

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These Dude Wipes are definitely not just for dudes! These wipes are awesome, 100% biodegradable, unscented, gentle with naturally soothing aloe vera and vitamin E to protect sensitive skin. Great to stay clean during travel, when using public toilets or even when using a portable camping toilet. These wipes are septic and sewer safe, flushable or even better to be disposed in a biodegradable garbage bag.

 

 

Female Urination Device

GoGirl Female Urination Device
Photo provided by GoGirl

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This is a fantastic way for any female adventurer to pee out in the wild with more comfort. It is also a handy tool that allows the female person to easily pee into a bottle during those desperate nights when parking somewhere in a city without having a bathroom available. This practical little funnel made by GoGirl is super elastic and soft to the touch which makes it comfortable to use for any body shape and form and is designed with a splash-guard that makes it easy to prevent splashes or spills. It is reusable, made of silicone and is 100% latex free, moisture resistant, antimicrobial and made in the USA. It folds into a small tube or bag and is a great companion for any trip or adventure!

 

Environmentally and Skin Friendly Sunscreen

Alba Botanica Eco-Friendly Sunscreen
Photo provided by Alba Botanica

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Van Life includes spending a lot of time outdoors and sun protection is a must to keep our skin healthy!
This mineral sunscreen by Alba Botanica is made with botanical ingredients like ginkgo biloba leaf extract and aloe leaf juice, is coral reef friendly and biodegradable, 100% vegetarian ingredients without any oxybenzone, octinoxate or synthetic fragrances, made without animal testing. It provides broad spectrum sun protection, is water resistant for up to 80 minutes and is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. We love that it does not leave any trace on the face, is non-greasy, moisturizing and fragrance free. 

 

 

Recycled Floor Yoga Meditation Mat

Recycled Floor Yoga Meditation Mat
Photo provided by SUGA

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Such a great concept: out of old wetsuits make new yoga mats! This one is the smaller form and can be used as a floor mat, meditation mat, door mat, changing floor mat or just to sit on the beach or in the grass and enjoy the views! The company SUGA makes these beautiful yoga and floor mats in the USA entirely from recycled material. They come in standard yoga mat size and thickness, and also in travel size and floor mat size. Several recycling centers are spread across California and British Columbia where you can bring your old wetsuits.  A great idea that we like to support!

 

 

National Geographic Adventure Road Atlas

National Geographic Adventure Road Atlas
Photo provided by National Geographic

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This Atlas includes updated road maps of all 50 US States, Canada, and Mexico. But wait, there is more!
This road atlas includes details for America’s 24 most favorite National Parks and 100 top adventure destinations. A great road atlas for the adventure seeker, off-roader and Vanlifer alike.
Although printed paper is not the most eco-friendly option, we did include this item on our list because of its great value, plus it supports the National Geographic organization which in itself is helping the environment through education and financial support of different environmental projects.

 

America The Beautiful Pass

America The Beautiful Pass
Photo provided by nps.gov

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This pass is the annual ticket for access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites including our beautiful National Parks, National Monuments, National Recreation Areas, Bureau of Land Management, National Forests etc. The pass also gives discounted access to participating campgrounds including US Army Corps of Engineers etc. A must have for any National Park and National Monument Lover! The annual pass costs $80 and will provide access for everyone driving/riding in the same vehicle.

 

Other Great Van Life Gift Ideas

  • A Membership for Pilot Travel Center aka Flying J. This is a great gift as this membership gives access to savings on gas and travel center purchases, as well as clean hot showers, laundry, refillable and discounted coffee and even urgent care on the road
  • A Membership to a nationwide Gym which gives access to unlimited hot showers as well as a place to workout. Most Vandwellers use Planet Fitness, Anytime Fitness, Snap Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness or YMCA depending on the area of travel
  • A Membership to Boondockers Welcome, a worldwide program that allows Vanlifers and RVers to sleep overnight on private property of participating hosts which is especially great for those Cities and States where living in a vehicle is not quite legal or where overnight parking options are limited
  • Audible, Pandora Premium or Spotify Premium membership
  • An Amazon Kindle is a great gift for the avid reader, eliminates paperbacks and paper waste and is easy to store in the van and to bring during along other travel as well

 

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