August 29

Eco-Packing: How To Pack For An Eco-Friendly Vacation


If you’re planning on taking a vacation, chances are you might not even be thinking of the environment and ignore the unnecessary and unsustainable items you take along with you. After all, you’re taking a vacation, that should be the last thing on your mind, right?

That’s how everyone thinks and that’s exactly why it’s important to prepare for a more eco-friendly vacation. Here are some tips to make sure you pack responsibly for your sustainable holiday.

Choose Eco-Friendly Toiletries

When it comes to toiletries, look for products that are made from natural ingredients instead of chemicals. Buying large bottles of shampoo, conditioner, or body wash is going to waste money and be more cumbersome to dispose of.

Instead, opt for travel sizes and refillable containers that you can use to store some of the toiletries you already have lying around the house. Sustainable toilet paper brands have taken the market by storm and could be a really good green alternative that you can easily buy online.

Pack Reusable Containers

Instead of bringing single-use items like disposable plastic boxes to store your food, opt for reusable containers and cutlery. Not only will they save you money since you can keep using them after your trip, but they’re also better for the environment since they have little to no plastic involved.

Here’s a small sample checklist you could use to make sure you have all the sustainable utensils you need:


Choose Eco-Friendly Clothes

When packing clothes for your eco-friendly vacation (and generally as well), try to opt for items that are made of natural fabrics or materials like linen, bamboo, wool, or organic cotton. These are generally more sustainable than synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon.

There are several brands today that offer sustainable clothing on a budget. If you’re looking to go to the beach, perhaps sustainable swimsuits could be a good alternative to the traditional spandex. Whatever you choose, be sure it’s ethically sourced and manufactured.

Bring Reusable Bags

When shopping for souvenirs or snacks during your trip, bring reusable bags with you instead so you can save on wasting the extra single-use plastic bags the store will provide. Opt for cloth bags that can be used multiple times, or if the store offers you a biodegradable bag, you can use that as well instead of having to carry around an extra item every time you go shopping.

Use Eco-Friendly Luggage Bags

Luggage bags are often overlooked and are one of the largest waste products from the travel industry. When it comes to luggage bags, look for options that are made from sustainable materials like bamboo or recycled jute.

If you can’t find a suitable option, try to look for brands that have sustainable sourcing or manufacturing processes, so your carbon footprint remains at a minimum.

Don’t Forget Your Reusable Travel Mug

Another item that is essential for any eco-friendly traveller is a reusable travel mug. This is not only useful when you’re driving on your vacation, but also once you’ve reached your destination. Instead of relying on disposable cups at coffee shops and restaurants, bring your mug with you and ask the servers to pour your drink into your mug to cut down on waste, which would also allow you to store that hot coffee for later if needed.

Think Before You Buy

top products on amazon awareOne of the best ways to make sure your eco-friendly vacation is as green as possible is to make proper choices when shopping. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you need that extra item?
  • Can you make do with what you already have?

Doing this will help reduce the amount of luggage you take, and also prevent doesn’t leave a negative impact on the environment.

Use Public Transportation

Whenever possible, opt for public transportation during your holiday. Public transport is a great way to explore the local area and sights that you would have missed otherwise. This would also mean that you have one less vehicle on the street, thereby contributing to a lower carbon footprint, as well as saving some money to spend elsewhere!

Embrace Nature

Whenever possible, try to immerse yourself in nature instead of being constantly engulfed in your phone at the hotel. Opt for outdoor activities like hiking, swimming, or biking instead of staying indoors.

If you’re in the city, spend the day outside walking around the street and trying out different cuisines, or just stroll around and see what the place has to offer. The more you can learn to appreciate the natural beauty around you, the better it is for the environment.

Offset Your Carbon Footprint

If you feel like it might not be possible for you to keep track of your carbon footprint while on vacation, consider offsetting your carbon footprint. Some companies such as Rainforest Coalition offer carbon offsets or donate to green initiatives and charities that focus on sustainability.

This includes (but is not limited to) hotels, airlines, and even restaurants that not only offer to offset your carbon footprint but sometimes also give discounts for your next purchase. Every little bit helps, so even if you don’t offset your carbon footprint by a lot, don’t worry, you’re still contributing!

Try to Reduce Waste While Packing

When planning your eco-friendly vacation, try to reduce waste as much as possible. To cut down on luggage weight, we often just throw away the packing material that comes with some of our items. This can turn into a problem as much of that trash would contain plastic and end up in landfills.

Look for ways to reuse the discarded things you have lying around or recycle them instead of tossing them in the trash (if possible). Again, every little bit helps, so think carefully before you throw that bubble wrap away and find ways to make it useful, or at least dispose of it sustainably so it can help protect the environment while you’re packing.

Look for Airlines and Hotels with Sustainable Practices

As previously mentioned, it’s always best to look for ways to offset your carbon footprint even if you don’t plan to have an eco-friendly vacation. When deciding to book your holiday, try to look for airlines and hotels that have sustainable practices in place.

Many airlines now offer carbon offsets and are working towards more sustainable fuel sources, while many hotels are switching to green energy sources and using recycled materials whenever possible.

Plan Ahead

Planning is key to having a greener vacation. The more you know about the destination, the better prepared you’ll be to find the right restaurants, places and transportation means at your destination and make your vacation sustainable. So, take some time to do research before your trip and create a plan that will help ensure that your eco-friendly vacation goes off without a hitch.

Ensure Sustainable Food Sources

Whenever possible, make sure that you’re sourcing your food from sustainable sources. Consider going to restaurants that advertise sustainable means of food preparation and waste management and opt for eateries that serve locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Eating sustainably is an underestimated way to help reduce your impact on the environment, and while travelling this can make all the difference.

Lead by Example

As much as it’s important to practice sustainability while on holiday, it’s also important to show people that eco-friendly vacations are possible. You don’t need to go overboard and show off, but start answering to those people who ask for help on this topic.

You never know, you may just inspire someone else to go green on their next holiday or think twice about the items they bring with them when travelling. So much of the world is focusing on sustainability and you’re bound to find someone who’ll benefit from what you’ve learned and practiced.

Pack Light

If you’re travelling for just a few days, packing light should be your priority. Not only will it help reduce the amount of luggage you have to drag around, but it will also reduce the amount of clothing you would need to clean upon return. So resist the temptation to bring four pairs of jeans to your seven-day vacation, and pack only what you need to ensure a stress-free and green holiday.

Start an Eco-Friendly Vacation Fund

Trying to be sustainable on a vacation is often a little expensive. However, by starting a fund to save up for a greener holiday, you can save up money that will help cover the costs of sustainable activities or carbon offsets. You’ll be surprised by how much you can save by contributing a little each day and before you know it you’ll even have some to spare!

Ask the Local Community

When you arrive at your destination, you should always look to ask the locals for tips on green activities or sustainable eateries. The local population knows the area best and will be able to tell you about the best places to visit and help you avoid wasting time and money finding the right places. It may be intimidating at first, but you’ll find people willing to help.

Ask People on Social Media

Asking the local community when you arrive is fine, but what about when you’re planning for the trip? How do you make sure that the hotel you book is closer to places where you can engage in eco-friendly activities? How do you find out the most sustainable way of transport so you can book tickets beforehand? Or perhaps you’re simply not considering asking the local community on arrival, what is the alternative?

Thankfully, social media has brought the eco-conscious community closer than ever. Many travel bloggers and influencers are active on social media, so don’t be afraid to ask them for advice or look up hashtags related to green holidays. You never know what kind of information you might find!

Make it a Group Effort

If you’re travelling with your family or friends, encourage everyone to join in and help reduce your collective impact on the environment. You can even come up with fun challenges or activities that will help you stay sustainable during your trip.

However, don’t go overboard and make the effort seem like a chore. Remember, you’re going on a vacation, so don’t be too critical of others not interested in your idea.

Don’t Stress

Finally, don’t stress too much about creating the perfect eco-friendly holiday. Every little bit helps, so even if you slip up on occasion or things don’t go exactly according to plan, don’t worry about it, just remember that every small action can add up to make a big difference in the long run. Even though you might not be able to make it perfect, you’ve still managed to do a lot!

Remember to have fun!

At the end of the day, having a holiday should still be fun. So don’t forget to take the time to enjoy yourself and your family. Plan everything out, but make sure to have enough time to relax and have a great time. Even if you don’t succeed in making it a perfect eco-friendly vacation, with just a few of these tips in mind, you can have a fantastic holiday that also helps protect the environment.


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