Lauren Barnes Launches First Player-Led Eco-Friendly Travel Kit, Initiates Zero Plastic Pledge with Support from Award-Winning Nonprofit Lonely Whale
Barnes is behind creation of eco-friendly travel kits for NWSL players featuring brands like Dr. Bronner’s, The Little Market by Lauren Conrad, CrazyCaps, Albatross, Plaine Products, Nuzest, and more

April 7, 2021 – Soccer star Lauren Barnes releases the MAD Travel Kits, an eco-friendly kit aimed at providing professional athletes with an array of products that fit their daily needs and prioritize saving the environment. The MAD kits (which stands for ‘Make a Difference’) include everything from single-use plastic-free shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste to protein powder, a reusable water bottle, and reusable eating utensils– all items professional athletes need on a daily basis.

“I wanted to create a simple way for my teammates to engage in advocating for sustainability,” describes Barnes. “With our demanding schedules, it can be difficult to take the time to find brands that are both authentic in their focus on being environmentally-friendly and fit an athlete’s lifestyle. These kits solve that.”

The kits will include products such as body care products and hand sanitizer spray from Dr. Bronners, reusable shopping bags from Lauren Conrad’s Little Market, reusable water bottles from CrazyCaps, and more. The MAD travel kits will be distributed to all players on Barnes’ team, OL Reign, building on an effort Barnes led last year to eliminate the use of plastic products in the team’s COVID bubble training facility.

“As a team, we do our best to prioritize the environment. Lauren holds us accountable for that and we are honored that she is bringing these kits to OL Reign,” says OL Reign CEO Bill Predmore. “Athletes hold great influence, and through this initiative, we will see that influence being used for good.”

OL Reign is a leader in the NWSL for its sustainability efforts which include using reusable food and beverage products, switching 40% of player meals to vegan, placing educational signage throughout the team’s facility about the usage of plastic and its effects on the environment, and partnering with local businesses who are driving sustainability initiatives on a community level. At a later date, the kits will be available for all teams in the NWSL.

For the launch of the kits, Barnes is teaming up with Lonely Whale, an award-winning nonprofit known for igniting viral campaigns centered on reducing single-use plastics through behavior change and supporting systemic shifts to support a future with clean seas. Founded by actor Adrian Grenier and producer Lucy Sumner, the organization is behind campaigns such as #StopSucking, #HydrateLike, #TheFutureDoesntSuck, and more. As part of this campaign, Lonely Whale and Barnes are collaborating to initiate a digital pledge for Earth Month titled #PlayItForward. The pledge encourages brands and individuals to commit to doing one act daily that helps the environment during Earth Month.


Sara Owens (For Lonely Whale)

Sam Pittman (For Lauren Barnes and OL Reign)


The ‘Make A Difference’ travel kits are a set of eco-friendly products from toothbrushes and soap to protein powder and kitchen utensils that meet the everyday needs of the typical professional athlete. Compiled by Lauren Barnes as a continuation of her sustainability efforts in the NWSL, the kits are stocked exclusively by companies that have a proven track record of sustainable production. During the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup, Lauren extensively tracked her own carbon footprint in the league’s “bubble” and developed the idea for a way to spread sustainable practices throughout the league as a whole. These travel kits were put together to achieve the goal of making sustainable practice more accessible to the average athlete.


Born and raised in Southern California, Lauren Barnes is the star defender of the NWSL’s OL Reign. In addition to being named an All-American while playing at UCLA, Lauren was invited to train with the USWNT, competing with both the U20 and U23 teams. Lauren has been in Seattle with the OL Reign since 2013 and played abroad in both Australia and Sweden on loan intermittently. While Lauren has always been keen on environmentalism, her travel around the world for her career have been the catalyst for her activism and advocacy. After seeing the poverty and unsanitary conditions in many places abroad, Lauren has been able to work with Water1st in Ethiopia to build clean water systems in addition to her sustainability efforts in the


Lonely Whale is an award-winning incubator for courageous ideas that drive impactful and persistent change on behalf of our ocean. Founded in December 2015 by Adrian Grenier and Lucy Sumner, Lonely Whale is inspired by the power of community to create the change needed to ensure a healthy planet. Lonely Whale is working towards a new era of radical collaboration, together facilitating the creation of innovative ideas that push the boundary on current trends in technology, media and advocacy that positively impact the health of our ocean. The organization spearheaded the global For A Strawless Ocean and #HydrateLike movements, resulting in behavior and policy change, and NextWave Plastics, the first consortium of global corporations working to permanently remove 25,000 tonnes of plastic from the ocean. In 2017 Lonely Whale co-founded the Ocean Heroes Network, which has given agency to thousands of youth in more than 50 countries to create climate change and plastic pollution campaigns.

Lonely Whale’s work has been recognized by Fast Company’s as a World Changing Idea and Most Innovative Company, by the Shorty Awards, the ADDY Awards, the SEAL Awards, Cannes Lion Award, the HALO Awards an is the recipient of the first P4G 2018 Circular Economy Award sponsored by the Danish Government, and more. To learn more and support, visit or follow @LonelyWhale.

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