Explore With Conscious: Travel Gadgets That Give Back

As wonderful as it feels to visit exotic locations, traveling often helps you realize much of the world lives without the resources that you take for granted. If you want to give back to people in countries that have made an impression on you consider stocking up with your next trip with these travel accessories that benefit charities around the world.

Epicure & Culture has collected a list of globally-conscious travel gadgets that will simplify your life on the road while enhancing the world around you. Many of your purchases will also support small businesses, as well as the charities they benefit.

warby parker

Photo courtesy of Warby Parker

1) Sunglasses To Train People In Developing Countries To Give Eye Exams

Warby Parker doesn’t just donate to nonprofit partners — although they do do that; this company works with organizations that train men and women in developing countries to give basic eye exams and sell stylish glasses at an affordable cost. This allows the communities they work with to become self-sustaining, instead of simply relying on outright glasses donations (which, in turn, could also leave a local optometrist without a job). When you buy a pair of Warby Parker glasses ($95+), they’ll then make a donation to cover the cost of sourcing that pair.

Solar Powered Charger & Light. Photo courtesy of WakaWaka Power+.

Solar Powered Charger & Light. Photo courtesy of WakaWaka Power+.

2) Solar Powered Light & Charger To Support Those Without Electricity

Harness the power of the sun for illumination and charging your devices with The WakaWaka Power+. ($79). This ultra efficient solar lamp and charger provides up to 150 hours of bright LED light per charge — not to mention it can fully charge smartphones, cameras and other gear via USB ports. Through the company’s “Buy One, Give One” program they donate one to the International Rescue Committee, who then distribute them to those living without access to light and power per sale, helping to make them self-sufficient.

Wrap in blush.  Photo courtesy of Red Twist.

Wrap in blush. Photo courtesy of Red Twist.

3) Travel Wraps To Benefit Literacy Amongst Underprivileged Females

Looking to stay warm on long flights with a non-bulky, stylish sweater? The Red Twist cashmere sweater wrap ($185) is a one-size-fits-all way to keep warm wherever you go. It’s made from 100% pure cashmere, can be worn in many different ways and comes in 15 colors. Most importantly, a portion of the proceeds goes to send underprivileged girls worldwide to school through a donation to Room to Read, so when you snuggle up with a book in your wrap, you’ll know your purchase helped another female discover a similar joy.

Inca daypack. Photo courtesy of Cotopaxi.

Inca day pack. Photo courtesy of Cotopaxi.

4) Daypack To Benefit Orphans In Bolivia

Looking for a pack with enough capacity for a long day hike, either on a winter trail adventure or a desert exploration? Check out Cotopaxi’s Inca 26-L pack ($109) which is perfect for long day trips off the beaten path. Even better, each purchase contributes to the María Imaculada Orphanage near Tupiza, Bolivia.
The Inca backpack is available in two colors (classic blue and dark shadow) and sizes (16L and 26L).

Capacity of Techniq Camera Bag.  Photo courtesy of Techniq.

Capacity of Tekniq Camera Bag. Photo courtesy of Tekniq.

5) Camera Bag To Eradicate Blindness In Nepal

Do you ever wish your bag could grow or shrink to accommodate your gear? The Tekniq Camera Bag ($179, earlybird) is a modular bag that does just that. The Tekniq camera bag also offers additional features perfect for the adventurous traveler, including a lens cap clip, tripod holder, rain jacket and tablet pocket.

Tekniq Photo is also committed to giving back by bringing light to the eyes of people who have been living in blindness. Partnering up with the Himalayan Cataract Project, a portion of proceeds from every bag sold will help send ophthalmologists to Nepal. They will provide cataract surgery to locals who have been living in blindness due to a 100% curable disease. Reward levels on their Kickstarter range from $1-$640.

Backpack-Tote in Backpack Mode.  Photo courtesy of Love41.

Backpack-Tote in Backpack Mode. Photo courtesy of Love41.

6) Convertible Backpack To Benefit Orphans In Rwanda

Love41 helps the traveler stay fashionable and organized with the two-in-one backpack tote ($448). This handy backpack has several pockets, some of which are designed to keep your belongings safe when traveling. When the bag is in backpack mode there’s a hidden flap to hide the pockets and their contents from thieves and the weather. All profits go back to helping orphans, widows and street kids in Rwanda.

Photo courtesy of Trashy Bags

Photo courtesy of Trashy Bags

7)  Laptop Cover to Reduce Litter in Ghana

As an effort to remedy the excessive amount of litter in Ghana, Trashy Bags ($7.50+) creates new products out of trash with out changing the style, as other companies do.  They hire local Ghanaians to gather water sachets from the streets and turn them into over 50 products including laptop cases, purses, gym bags and wallets. We particularly love the Trashy Toiletry Bag ($23).

bolivian artisan women with beyondBeanie

Bolivian artisan women working on their beyondBeanie crafts.

8)  Beanies To Empower Women In Bolivia

Bundle up for your next trip in a cold country by buying beanies that support children’s orphanages and various other causes in Bolivia. beyondBeanies ($31+) began as an effort to empower Bolivian women to create an opportunity for them to be artists and agents for change against the system of begging and domestic violence.  The women learned how to make clothing, work from home to create products based on their own designs and these are sold through the beyondBeanie company. With every purchase you provide five meals to children in need.

By Katie Foote

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Katie Foote may be a physicist by trade but she travels the world any chance she can get. After four years of semi-nomadic life as she finished her PhD, she's recently moved to Auckland, New Zealand. Despite beginning a more traditional life, she has insight on how to travel the world on a graduate student budget (cheap!), explore off-the-beaten-path destinations and authentically experiencing new places by connecting to locals. When she's not doing physics or globe-trotting, she likes to swim, do yoga and hike (or "tramp" as they say in New Zealand). Check out Katie's blog to follow her adventures around the world.

1 Comment

  1. Today everybody is carrying technology (i.e. mobile phones and other portable digital gadgets) in their hands. They are the tools which can give you real-time information about anything, just in single click whether it’s about travelling or something else.

    Great share! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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