It’s been a year full of sobering news surrounding the climate crisis and the future of our planet, prompting many to reevaluate their lifestyles and make changes to reduce their carbon footprint. The things we buy are a big part of that footprint.
Climate Neutral, a new independent non-profit, is on a mission to make it easy for shoppers to select brands that are striving to be sustainable—and convincing more brands to get on board with carbon neutrality.
Climate Neutral Takes a Stand
In June of this year, at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, Climate Neutral debuted a vision and a plan for reducing the enormous environmental impact of the outdoor industry, including many products used in travel.
In a conference hall full of the latest and greatest gear and apparel, a panel of representatives from Climate Neutral held a frank conversation about the outdoor industry's role in rising CO2 levels.
"You can't reduce your way out of this problem," said Peter Dering, Founding Director of Climate Neutral and CEO of Peak Design. “Every brand should be offsetting their carbon."
Related article: Flying home for the holidays? Consider buying carbon offsets
The idea is simple. The production, distribution, and sales of all the "latest and greatest" emits A LOT of carbon into the atmosphere, contributing to the catastrophic warming of our planet. Brands can reduce the amount of carbon they emit by optimizing supply chains, utilizing recycled materials, and minimizing their waste. But at the end of the day, it's impossible to reduce their footprints to zero.
With the help of Climate Neutral's streamlined approach to measuring, reducing, and offsetting, brands can neutralize their footprints by contributing to projects that help trap carbon, provide clean energy, or otherwise reduce carbon in the atmosphere.
50 Brands Have Committed to Carbon Neutrality in 2020
Fifty brands will begin working with Climate Neutral to neutralize their carbon footprints, starting in January 2020.
If you’re looking to reduce the impact of your holiday shopping, consider starting with some of these companies. (Bonus: They make great gifts for the travelers in your life.)
Related article: The best gifts that give back in 2019
Tentsile tree tents offer a unique way to connect with nature. Campers can get off the ground in these suspended tents; think of them as a cross between the tree house you had as a kid and a cozy hammock. Make it a family gift and your next outdoor adventure could offer an intimate connection to the trees and the surrounding wilderness as you drift off to sleep above the forest floor.
Tentsile plants 20 trees for every tent sold, They already keep their footprint to a minimum by offering digital marketing materials instead of printing, recycling and upcycling old products, and shipping via sea freight instead of air. And with the help of Climate Neutral, they will reduce and offset to zero.
Back in 2014, Klean Kanteen became the first BPA-free, stainless steel, reusable water bottle on the market. They’ve made sustainability a brand priority ever since, helping customers reduce their own waste by replacing plastic bottles with their extensive line of beverage containers.
If you have a loved one who seems to have a disposable coffee cup perpetually glued to their hand, the Klean Kanteen Coffee and Tea Kit might be the gift that breaks their wasteful habit. The 16 oz and 20 oz bottles both keep hot beverages hot and cold ones cold. And their fun assortment of colors make it easy to ditch the disposables and travel with a reusable bottle for all your beverage needs.
Your phone goes through a lot when you travel and Nomad makes phone cases that can hold up to rugged and lengthy adventures. Their leather cases make great gifts for anyone who’s looking to keep their phone stylish but also water-resistant. And for those long flights, backpacking trips, or city excursions, their USB-C to Lightning Cable will charge a phone from 0 to 50% in just 30 minutes.
Nomad is committed to thoughtful, minimalist, and practical design, reducing the number of things you need to travel with and focusing on top-quality materials so their products last. By partnering with Climate Neutral, they’ve committed to being carbon neutral in 2020.
You can support Climate Neutral’s vision of a more sustainable outdoor adventure industry by contributing to their Kickstarter campaign. The money raised will help reach more brands and promote the Climate Neutral label, elevating consumer awareness and making it easier to know which brands are truly doing their part to minimize their impact on the environment.
This silicone-based line of reusable cutlery, dishes, and containers are the perfect addition to anyone’s camping or travel kit. Humangear’s commitment to carbon neutrality with Climate Neutral will include shipping more products by sea instead of air, reducing their packaging, and prioritizing energy efficiency at their offices. Their Sustainability Platform details their commitment to evolving as an environmentally-friendly brand.
humangear’s GoToob+ is an optimized container for all travel toiletries. Their wide caps and silicone bodies are easy to fill, squeeze, and dispense. You won’t feel the need to swipe those wasteful, mini-toiletries from your hotel when you have convenient access to your favorite products in these convenient travel containers.
If you’ve ever slid your way from the front door to the car on an icy winter morning, then you know the importance of high-quality boots with grip. Icebug makes the world’s best stelling studded boot, along with grippy options for hiking, running, and embracing the most wintry terrain.
Icebug’s Sustainability page offers the rare acknowledgment that no product is entirely environmentally-friendly because “consumption consumes resources.” But they aim to be leaders in making the industry more sustainable. At this time, Icebug is the only climate positive footwear brand in the world, meaning they offset even more than their total carbon footprint.