Have you ever thought about the amount of waste that makes up all the products in your home? The majority of consumer products are made from non-biodegradable materials like plastic, metal, Styrofoam, rubber, paint and artificial chemicals. If you took all the items in your house and piled them in a landfill, you’d have a massive heap that would take centuries to break down.
Of course, no one’s expecting you to throw out everything in your house and start over. But there are steps we can take to make sure that we’re buying sustainable, environmentally-friendly products that will break down and return to the earth after we throw them away. If you’re an avid camper or hiker, or need a bag to carry your schoolbooks around, buying an eco friendly travel backpack is a great place to start.
Some sustainable backpacks are made from biodegradable materials that break down instead of taking up space in landfills. Other backpacks are made from recycled materials, so they reuse old materials instead of adding new, additional products to the trash heap. They’re just as durable as traditional backpacks and much better for the environment. Here’s everything you need to know about buying a sustainable travel backpack.
Why Should You Switch to an Eco Friendly Backpack?
Of all the consumer products in your home that you’d like to replace, your backpack was probably at the bottom of your list. Unlike other forms of waste, like plastic wrapping and packaging, a backpack isn’t something that you use once and throw away. You could use the same backpack for years or even decades. Why invest in a totally new backpack when backpacks aren’t a wasteful commodity to begin with?
You might use the same backpack for years, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t wasteful. In the end, everything you throw away ends up in the landfill. And if the product isn’t made from biodegradable materials, it could take centuries to break down. Some materials never break down at all. A backpack might seem like a small item, but think about the millions of backpacks on store shelves around the world. Every one of those products is going to end up in a landfill eventually. Over time, that’s millions of tons of waste that could have been prevented by people buying sustainable backpacks to begin with.
Additionally, most backpacks aren’t made from sustainable materials. For example, many backpacks are made from plastic, which is one of the most infamous non-biodegradable materials. Plastics are made from polymers that are sourced from non-renewable gases like petroleum. We’re rapidly using up our supply of natural gases–and when they’re gone, that’s the end of plastic as we know it, as well as a multitude of other products.
In other words, backpacks made from non-sustainable materials are bad for the environment. Fortunately, it’s never been easier to find eco friendly travel backpacks made from sustainable, environmentally-friendly materials.
What Are Environmentally-Friendly Backpacks Made From?
Eco friendly backpacks are made from two different types of materials: sustainable materials and recycled materials. You can buy backpacks that are made from recycled materials like plastic, polyester, cotton and much more. Some backpacks are even made from recycled trash that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill. For example, the Thread backpack is made from plastic bottles that were collected from the ocean in Haiti.
Materials like plastic and polyester still aren’t great for the environment, but recycled bags still make a difference by reusing materials instead of producing even more plastic. We can’t undo what’s already been produced, but we can reuse it in creative and exciting ways.
Other eco friendly backpacks are made from sustainable, environmentally-friendly materials like cotton, hemp and cork. Unlike made-made products like plastic, these materials are sourced directly from nature. They’re safe and renewable and ethically sourced from forests and cotton farms. No people or animals were harmed in the making of these products. And the materials are fully biodegradable, so when you’re ready to trade in your backpack for a newer model, you can rest assured that you won’t be adding unnecessary trash to the landfill.
What About Vegan Leather?
Some backpacks are made from vegan leather. At first glance, this might sound environmentally friendly. But don’t be fooled: vegan leather is actually made from non-biodegradable plastic. You might be able to find a brand that’s made from recycled plastic, but stay away from anything that was made with non-sustainable methods.
Are Eco Friendly Backpacks Just as Durable as Traditional Backpacks?
Absolutely! Eco friendly backpacks are just as strong, secure and durable as the polyester-based backpack you have sitting around in your closet. They’re great for carrying around schoolbooks, hauling your camping supplies and carrying safety gear up the side of a mountain. These backpacks are built to last, so they can accompany you on all your hiking and camping adventures. Just use common sense and avoid situations that would cause undue wear and tear.
How Can You Choose an Environmentally Friendly Backpack?
For the most part, no bag is 100% environmentally friendly. But if you do a little research, you’ll find that while some brands are genuinely committed to helping the environment, others just use terms like “environmentally friendly” as a selling point. Citizen Sustainable recommends researching every brand before making a decision. Check out the brand’s website and see if they’re committed to helping the environment. Do they support any recycling initiatives? Do they use renewable materials? How do they treat the workers that gather their materials for them?
Is There a Variety of Eco Friendly Backpacks on the Market?
Yes! You can find hundreds of eco friendly backpacks online and in stores. Countless indie brands have appeared on the market, and major manufacturers like Patagonia have released environmentally-friendly alternatives to their non-biodegradable backpacks. There’s a wide variety of options on the market with every size, shape, style and color you can imagine. You’ll always be ready for adventure when you grab one of these eco friendly backpacks.
Where Can I Find Eco Friendly Travel Backpacks?
If you have an outdoor equipment store nearby, browse their selection of backpacks and look at the tags to see what they’re made from. Most brands will advertise the fact that they’re environmentally-friendly. Look for sustainable materials like recycled plastic, hemp and organic cotton. Some brands carry both eco friendly and non-eco friendly products, so don’t assume a backpack is sustainable just because of the brand name.
No luck shopping in person? Go online and browse the wide selection of eco friendly backpacks. With online shopping, it’s also easier to do research on your favorite brands before making a purchase. To help you get started, we’ve gathered a selection of our favorite eco friendly alternatives right here on our website. Grab one of these backpacks and let us know what you think! If you’ve got a favorite backpack you’d like to recommend, feel free to let us know so we can add it to the list. You can also hit the “Follow” button at the top of the page to get notified every time we add a new product to our list.