A green packing list: 10 items for a more environmentally responsible suitcase

April 16, 2018

The Jane Goodall Collection by G Adventures is a selection of 20 incredible, wildlife-focused tours endorsed by world-renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall. Here’s some more information about how we believe responsible travel — in the spirit of Dr. Goodall — can help change the world.

On April 22, communities around the world will observe Earth Day, by celebrating all the natural wonder our planet has to offer, and reflecting on the environmental risks, threats, and challenges the world's citizens have yet to overcome. In the week leading up to April 22, the G Adventures blog will be looking at how responsible travel can help make the world a better place. Here, 10 ways you can make your suitcase a little greener.

Let’s face it: travel can take a toll on the environment. But a few thoughtful additions to — or substitutions in — your packing list can help lessen your footprint, making the planet a better place for everyone (and every creature) on it:

1. A reusable water bottle

Staying hydrated on the road is important — but there’s no need to buy plastic bottle after plastic bottle. Choose metal containers, or BPA plastic for your reusable canteen.

2. Biodegradable soaps

Staying clean is probably second only to staying hydrated! Keep harmful chemicals out of the water supply by looking for all-natural, biodegradable soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, and other personal care items.

3. Reusable towelettes/quick-dry microfibre towels

Wet wipes begone. Cut up old towels or t-shirts, or purchase quick-dry microfibre towels for cleanup on the go, instead of bringing disposable wet wipes.

4. Dry sacs

A broken bottle or leak can ruin a trip. Look for reusable dry bags for your toiletries; they’re washable and 100% leak-proof — and, unlike a Ziploc, they won’t end up in the landfill at the end of your travels.

5. Tote bag

If you plan to do some shopping while you’re away — and even if you don’t — bring a reusable tote bag (or two), and decline those plastic shopping bags.

6. Organic bug spray

Many brands produce insect repellant made from natural ingredients such as citronella.

7. Reusable food containers

If you end up with restaurant leftovers, opt out of disposable Styrofoam or plastic containers.

8. Solar powered/windup flashlight

Save on single-use batteries by harnessing the power of the sun (or a little elbow grease).

9. Non-aerosol toiletries

Modern-day aerosol toiletries are not nearly as environmentally toxic as their early-20th century predecessors. But they still emit not-so-helpful gases. Choose solid deodorants, hair products, and other personal care items instead of opting for the spray can.

10. Metal straws

Plastic straws are notoriously harmful to animals — particularly marine animals, who often get straws stuck in their body cavities. If you like to drink from a straw, consider toting around your own, reusable metal one.

Bonus tip: simply pack less!

The lighter your suitcase, the lighter your plane's load will be — and the less fuel it will burn as it brings you to your destination. So pack less! Not only will you be lugging fewer pounds from place to place, but you'll be helping the planet in the process.

Getting there

Check out our Jane Goodall Collection series of tours here.

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