How to Pack & Travel as Green as Possible

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Starting to pack for you program and looking to make some eco-friendly decisions within your suitcase and while you’re traveling? We’ve outlined several easy options that can help you keep the environment in mind!  

What is Green Travel?

Green travel is the practice of keeping the environment in mind while you are traveling. Making eco-friendly decisions in what you pack, is the first step! – Source

Packing Light

When you’re packing your clothing start by laying out full outfits, this will keep you from tossing in pieces that may not actual match anything else. This will make it easy to get dressed during your program since you will already have your outfits in mind. Overall, the weight of your bag contributes to the weight of the plane and how much fuel it must burn, directly contributing to the amount of CO2 that the plane emits. Our article Packing 101: Lighter is Better is also a great resource!

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Pack Reef Safe Sunscreen

If you’re traveling to a tropical program destination such as Biodiversity in Belize this will come in handy when you’re snorkeling in the nearby cayes. Sunscreen is a must for long days in the sun, but on days when you’ll be in the water look to a sunscreen that is reef safe. Ingredients such as paraben and benzophenone will harm and bleach coral reefs, which are found in many name brands. However, sticking to sunscreens that contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide will be a sure way to have fun in the water, while also protecting your skin.

Shop a reef safe sunscreen here: Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

Reusable Water Bottles

When you are traveling on a program having water is a necessity! Pack a reusable water bottle that can also fold flat when empty. This will save you space in your backpack and will keep you hydrated! Having a reusable water bottle nearby will not only preserve the environment but also save you money. There won’t be any need to purchase plastic water bottles when you have a reusable one handy!

Shop a collapsible water bottle here: Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle

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Reusable Baggies

Whether you’re tossing your toiletries in a bag, so they don’t leak, or packing a few snacks for the long day ahead, reusable baggies are the way to go. The reusable zip-top bags are also a handy way to keep electronic chargers separated from the rest of your packing, so they won’t get tangled. They also come in so many fun colors and sizes, there is surely a great fit for your needs.

Shop a few here: Half Gallon Size, Sandwich Size, and Snack Size

Reusable Toiletry Options

When bringing along toiletries it’s very easy to head to the travel size section of Target and stock up on the mini sizes of all your favorite products. However, this isn’t the best option for the environment, due to all the one-time use plastic that makes up each small bottle and container. By using reusable travel toiletry bottles and containers, you can fill them with which ever type of shampoo, conditioner, body wash and anything else you prefer.

Recycle When You Can

When you buy new items for your trip, such as a tube of toothpaste, a new phone case, notebook, what ever it may be, make sure you recycle the packaging at home before packing the item away in your luggage. This makes for a lighter suitcase that isn’t weighted down with unnecessary packaging and ensures that you can correctly discard the packaging into either the recycling or garbage.

You can also quickly search online for the rules and customs regarding recycling at your destination before take-off. This is a great way to plan ahead if you do find yourself using an aluminum can or a plastic bottle during your program. You may also find that your destination offers services for composting as well.

Heading on a program to London & Paris? Check out this recycling guide: Dos and Don’ts: How to Recycle in London  

Heading on the Renewable Energy in Germany & Switzerland program? Check out his recycling guide: How to Recycle in Germany

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We hope that these tips come in handy as you embark on your next program!

Find more “How To’s” and resources here.