There’s something about packing a suitcase that solidifies the excitement of going on a trip. It’s that pivotal moment where the realization sets in that you are about to take an adventure of a lifetime! Of course, you want to look and feel good on this adventure and what you bring with you plays a big part of that. For conscious consumers and travelers, another way to extend those feel-good vibes is by making choices that have a positive impact on our earth’s resources. One way to do that is by following these easy eco-conscious packing tips!
#1 Lighten your load
You know the scenario: you are trying to pack a few souvenirs you’ve picked up on your travels, and you end up shaking your fist at that unworn pair of shoes taking up space in your suitcase. Instead of spending the last precious moments of your trip on the beach, you are now trying to puzzle together your packing. Let’s be honest, most of us end up bringing something we don’t wear on our vacation, so why not start off on the right foot by packing less? Beyond saving space, there’s an added benefit to carrying a lighter load–you reduce your environmental impact.
Baggage constitutes a large portion of an aircraft’s weight. The more weight an airline has to carry, the more fuel it burns; which in turn, leads to a higher carbon emissions output. According to the Center for Climate Change and Energy Solutions, “if passengers packed one less pair of shoes, or roughly 2 lbs/1kg, the aircraft’s fuel savings would be the same as taking 10,500 cars off the road for an entire year.”
Space saving tips:
- Consider using space-saving packing cubes, like these packing cubes made from recycled materials.
- Roll your clothes to create more room (get a tutorial from Marie Kondo)
- Try packing one carry-on sized bag + a tote for a 2-week vacation
#2 Pack the perfect (sustainable) capsule wardrobe
Another great way to save room in your suitcase (and the planet) is by packing a capsule wardrobe. Think of a capsule wardrobe as the foundation of your closet and personal style, consisting of pieces that are timeless, well-made, and are easy to build off of. A good capsule can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion using only a few accessories, making them perfect for a vacation. There are so many ways to repurpose a classic dress, organic top, and a good pair of pants when on the road!
At INDIGENOUS, we believe the best way to assemble a capsule is by selecting items that are carefully-crafted and sustainably made. After all, you want pieces that will not only last, but that minimize pollution caused by fast fashion. Need some inspiration for building your vacation capsule? Our Escapist Collection features elegant and sustainably-made styles that inspire carefree relaxation, while our Casual Essentials Collection is perfect for finding versatile, foundational pieces made in 100% organic cotton.
Our recommended start for a sustainable capsule wardrobe in 100% organic cotton...
Did you know?
- 12.8 million tons of clothing are sent to landfills each year
- Conventional cotton production contains high level of toxins harmful to humans and wildlife
- The fast fashion industry is responsible for producing 20% of global wastewater
- Fast fashion supports a system of poverty and inequality in developing nations
#3 Bring reusables
Do you really want to snorkel alongside a plastic bag? Single-use plastic consumption is responsible for A LOT of waste and environmental hazard. About 78 million tons of plastic packaging produced annually is left to flow into our oceans; the equivalent of pouring one garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
A solid line of defense for closing the loop on plastic consumption by investing in reusable items like tote bags, water bottles, straws, and more. This might seem like an obvious choice to some, but we still have a long way to go when humans are purchasing 1,000,000 plastic bottles per minute in total.
Reusable items to pack:
- Tote bag for shopping and groceries
- Reusable straws, utensils, and food containers
- Water bottle
- Toiletries: ditch the plastic one-and-done toiletries in favor of more eco-friendly options like shampoo bars or refillable containers for your beauty products
#4 Cover your bases with ocean-safe sunscreen
If getting that golden glow is simply a must on your vacation, do it in a way that supports a healthy environment for you and our oceans. You’ve probably heard that sunscreen has a heavy toll on our ocean’s coral reefs and marine life. Chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate contained in standard sunscreen can cause coral bleaching. And when up to 6,000 tons of sunscreen are estimated to wash into coral reefs around the globe each year, packing an ocean-friendly option is crucial. In general, we recommend choosing natural and chemical-free options for your beauty products.
Go for these goodies:
Now that you have these tips under your belt, you can traverse the world feeling sound about your planet-friendly packing choices. Happy trails!
BY MISTY FOSTER, WRITER
Misty is a travel consultant, experience designer, and founder of Green Suitcase Travel. Misty has always had a knack for travel planning and a passion for the environment As a young child, she was cutting Barbie's hair, repurposing her clothes and driving her around in her hot pink R.V., looking to save the (stuffed) animals from extinction. Activist Barbie and Misty had many meaningful adventures saving the planet. Today her focus is helping travelers like you visit your favorite Destinations while leaving a lasting impact. Her passion is helping people find themselves in a place, an experience, or a set of ideas; inviting people to become more fully engaged with the world. Follow her adventures and travel advice on Instagram: @greensuitcasetravel.