For many people, packing can be a daunting task that often results in over-packing. Besides having to lug around a heavy suitcase and paying that extra baggage fee, bringing too many things on your trip away from home really isn’t sustainable.
You’ve heard about eco-conscious travelling, but what about sustainable packing? Evaluate what you can reduce, what to take with you, and how it will impact the environment. Believe it or not, every little thing counts when it concerns packing and travelling.
1. Pack your own water bottle
It’s imperative to stay hydrated during your transit because, eww, who cares for dehydration? And often, we find ourselves grazing the most during transit, so carrying a BPA-free drinking bottle is a good idea.
Most airports now offer water stations where you can fill up your bottle — so we highly recommend the Hydro Flask Hydration Wide Mouth 12oz because it’s small enough to carry around.
2. Be picky with your suitcase
Question what your luggage is made from and how long the material will last. It also helps to know that the people responsible for making your luggage are paid and treated properly. Here’s a cold hard truth though — it will not be cheap. That saying, “You get what you pay for,” is true, so invest in a piece of luggage and brand that is ethical and well-made.
We really love how versatile the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag is, and it comes in four different volumes — all made of 100% recycled body fabric, lining, and webbing. The brand’s super transparent about their impact and where their products are made as well.
3. Bring your own cloth laundry bag
This is for the ones making long-haul trips — it’s highly unlikely you’ll bring your entire wardrobe with you, so if you need to send a bag of dirty clothes out to a laundry service, stay away from using plastic ones provided by your accommodation. Instead, use these inexpensive travel laundry bags!
4. Go plastic-free with your toiletries
We honestly love Lush’s packaging-free products, and they have plenty. Instead of carrying bottles of shampoo, conditioner, or even a toothpaste tube, which often takes up a lot of space, why not try any of these items from Lush? Their shampoo bar is super hydrating and extremely travel friendly, and their toothpaste tabs are cute and effective at removing stains.
5. Bring a reef-safe sunscreen
An estimated four to six thousand metric tons of sunscreen enter the ocean yearly, and if we want to continue to enjoy the calming sea, then we have to do all it takes to care for it. This includes wearing reef-safe sunscreens, and we swear by REN’s Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 Mattifying Face Sunscreen. Cruelty-free and vegan, this sunscreen is mattifying and can be used under makeup.
6. Pack a Kindle
Planning to catch up on some reading on your next vacation? Well, be sure to pack a Kindle. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but paperbacks are just not eco-friendly, and you’re limited to only carrying a few books as they can be both bulky and heavy.
A Kindle (or any other electronic reading device) is light, and you have endless options at your fingertips. We especially love the waterproof Kindle Paperwhite, which is easy on the eyes and has a longer battery life.
7. Carry a reusable bag
You never know if you’re going to shop for food and whatever else, but it helps to stow a foldable and reusable bag in your handbag or backpack. There are so many inexpensive choices around, and you can find them at most grocery stores, but if you’re feeling like splurging, cop this one from Frank Green. It even comes with a carabiner!