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  • Writer's pictureAcacia Gabriel

Pack These Things to Be More Sustainable on Your Next Trip

Here are ten tips for being more sustainable when you travel, packing edition. Many of these are not only more sustainable but they will also save you time, money, and energy on your trip!

Also, I know that most packing videos are secretly ads trying to influence you to buy one "must have" or another, but it's really up to your own taste. It's your bag/backpack/suitcase, and you really only want to carry the things that you'll use.

Here are some items that I pack in order to be a bit less wasteful as I travel:

  1. Reusable cutlery -- This will save you from using plastic utensils while you’re out and about, but I also like to have them because sometimes the utensils in hostels or certain destinations might be kinda dirty. I just grabbed a set from my kitchen, but bamboo ones will be a bit lighter to carry around.

  2. Sewing kit + tide to go stick -- Do what you can to preserve the clothes you bring. Obviously stuff might get ruined, but being able to sew up a hole in your shirt or remove a stain is less wasteful than throwing it out and buying something new. 

  3. Reusable water bottle -- I usually travel with a hydroflask, but I just like any bottle that will keep my water cold. LifeStraw water bottles are great for SouthEast Asia where you typically can't drink from the tap, but almost every hostel or restaurant will offer filtered water as well.

  4. Makeup remover cloths -- I find these so much easier to carry around than single use ones and I just rinse them as I go and throw them in with my laundry. I don't wear makeup very often so I just bring one or two around.

  5. Buy everything further in advance to avoid online shopping -- I have a bad habit of panic ordering things like adaptors or cables at the last-minute. The rush shipping is just easily avoidable if I go in person further in advance. You’re also less likely to buy stuff you don’t actually need. 

  6. Bring plastic bags you’ll reuse -- This might be a hot take. I always find a million uses for ziploc or shoppings bags, whether it is separating out wet/dirty clothes or organizing my food in a shared kitchen. Don’t throw them out while you’re on the go. 

  7. Diva cup -- A diva cup is obviously reusable, but also in places like SE Asia it can be tricky to find tampons. The only thing is that you have to boil them for sanitation purposes and that might be hard while you’re traveling. So it’s your call. However, if you are interested in using a diva cup, buy one before you go because they are harder to find in most countries.

  8. Solid toiletries rather than liquid -- This is just easier to carry around, lasts way longer than the little 3 oz bottles, and it’s better for airport security. I bought mine from Ethique.

  9. Tote goddess -- I love tote bags and you just end up using them all the time. Mainly they’re great for eliminating the need for single-use bags, but they can also be good for laundry, day trips, beaches, etc.

  10. Reef safe sunscreen -- This one is super important if you are traveling somewhere like Australia or Indonesia. You should be using reef safe sunscreen like these (image). This protects marine environments from toxic chemicals while keeping us nice and safe from the sun. 

If you have any other packing tips, please let me know because I’m always trying to be better about my impact on the places I visit!


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