5 Sustainable Packing Tips for Eco-Friendly Traveling (6/2/2022)

Feb 10, 2023 Annie Cao

As we head into the warmer months, many of us are probably gearing up to travel to new cities and countries. Here are 5 sustainable packing tips to make your next trip more eco-friendly!


Image by Net-a-Porter via netaporter.com

1. Handle your luggage with care.

Although your luggage goes through a lot of wear and tear while traveling, the most sustainable choice would be taking care of your suitcases and bags so you can use them for as long as possible.

However, if your luggage is beyond repair and you’re looking for a sustainable option, Paravel is a carbon-neutral company that focuses on making sustainable suitcases. Our co-founder and marketing coordinator both own their products! The Aviator suitcase is made from recycled polycarbonate, zippers, and aircraft-grade aluminum as well as vegan leather and upcycled plastic water bottles.

“There aren’t a lot of sustainable suitcase companies. I love the look of the suitcase and how it’s carbon neutral and ethical. They also use upcycled and certified recycled materials.” – Krista, Marketing Coordinator



Image by Nimble via gonimble.com

2. Carry a (sustainable!) portable charger.

Traveling or sightseeing all day can drain your phone’s battery, so portable chargers are a good solution to keep your phone charged up. However, electronic waste is a major issue when it comes to sustainability. Nimble has created a compact portable charger made with 72.5% recycled plastic and is housed in plastic-free packaging.

“I use my phone a lot when I’m out and about so I was on the hunt for a portable charger. This charger is slightly on the heavier side, but it’s compact and the fact that they’re sustainable is a big plus.” – Annie, Marketing Intern

“I like this charger because they’re B-Corp certified (like us!) and 1% for the planet. I also love the e-waste recycling they offer.” – Krista, Marketing Coordinator


Image by Aisle 9 via aisle9.com

3. Bring your essentials in travel-size containers.

It can be a hassle to pack your full-size products (especially liquids!), and buying travel-size items are convenient, but aren’t very helpful for the environment. Bringing reusable containers can free up some room in your luggage without creating extra waste.

Try: Keep Your Cadence capsules. From beauty products to vitamins, these magnetic capsules allow you to bring a smaller amount of your necessities, saving you space while helping the planet.

Low-waste tip: if you don't want to purchase anything new, you can repurpose your empty beauty products and fill them up with creams and oils!

“I have a lot of mini jars and containers from using up my skincare products and decided to repurpose them for traveling. It’s especially helpful for liquids and short trips.” – Annie, Marketing Intern



Image by Blue Lizard Sunscreen via bluelizardsunscreen.com

4. Protect your skin with reef-safe sunscreen.

Even when you’re not traveling, sunscreen is a must. But if you plan on snorkeling into tropical waters on your next vacation, a reef-safe sunscreen will help protect the ocean as well as protect you from harmful UV rays.

Many sunscreens contain harmful chemicals that can end up in our waterways when we shower or wash our faces. This can disrupt marine ecosystems and cause coral bleaching.

Make sure to check the active ingredients in your sunscreen and try to avoid: 

  • Oxybenzone
  • Octinoxate
  • Octocrylene
  • Homosalate
  • 4-methylbenzylidene camphor
  • PABA
  • Parabens
  • Triclosan

Try: Blue Lizard sunscreen. This Australian-based brand is a mineral sunscreen that uses reef-safe ingredients.

Low-waste tip: Look for sunscreen that comes in metal tins or reusable packaging.  

5. Reduce your plastic usage.

Traveling is a huge culprit for single-use plastic – from grabbing takeout to travel-size products, plastic and disposable materials are everywhere. You can reduce how much plastic you use by packing toothpaste tablets, shampoo and conditioner bars, and your own utensil kit.

Try: Stojo cups. Made from silicone, these cups are collapsible and come with a straw for your hot and cold beverages.

Low-waste tip: bring reusable water bottles (make sure they're empty before going through TSA!) and silicone bags to pack your items. You can also take the hotel's free shampoo bottles — they get thrown away afterwards even if they're unused.


Let us know your tips for eco-friendly traveling in the comments!


Cover Image by https://ilkabroeskamp.de/

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