Pack Smart to Travel Greener

Green Travel — By Stephanie on August 16, 2010 at 5:09 am
Suitcases wideweb  470x342,0 Pack Smart to Travel Greener

Pack smart, pack light and enjoy your travel (image by Patrick Cummings)

I’ve been living out of a suitcase for most of this summer between family vacations, baseball tournaments and a cousin’s wedding.  As I unloaded our suitcases for the last time, it struck me how easy it has been to pack smart to travel greener.

That’s right – you can cut down on weight and waste simply by making smart choices before you load up the car or get on an airplane.

Here are our packing tips to help you simplify your travel and minimize impact on the environment as a result:

1.  Pick color coordinated clothes.  With a common hue, chances are you’ll need to carry only one pair of shoes.  Wear the heavier pair as you travel to cut down on bulk and weight.  Obviously, the less you pack, the lighter the load.  This helps increase gas mileage if you are driving, and prevents the possibility of airline surcharges for additional bags or overweight items.

2.  Use refillable bottles for toiletries.  Don’t purchase shampoos and lotions from the dollar bin.  Re-use bottles each time you travel and ensure that you’ll always have that body wash scent that reminds you of home.  Make sure that your bottles are 2 oz. size or less if you’ll be getting on a plane.

3.  Find more room in the suitcase.  Try rolling cotton or blend shirts, skirts or slacks instead of folding them.  Not only will this usually allow more room in the suitcase, but it helps prevent wrinkles.  Stuff socks and underwear into shoes so that you’re not wasting any space.

4.  Edit the suitcase before you leave.  Remove 2-3 items, if possible.  Chances are that you won’t miss them once you get to your destination.  Items like denim jeans and swimsuits often can be worn more than once.

5.  Carry fewer items.  Instead of both a handbag and a briefcase or computer bag, combine the contents into a single bag that can be slung over your shoulder.  Bring only those electronic items that you’ll need to use (choose one camera, for example) and leave the rest at home.  Your arms will thank me after a few days on the road!

What packing tips have worked for your green travel?  Share in the comments below!

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