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How To Travel Lightly (For Your Carry On and For the Planet)

By Kristina Zabelin

Is that the beach calling? By now you’ve likely already been inundated by Instagram stories filled with scenes from Cinque Terre, the Algarve and Maui. If not then we’re here to tell you that travel is officially back. As much as we love a good trip abroad, we’re also hyper aware of the carbon footprint that air travel can have on the planet. 

Tourism is responsible for around 8% of the world's carbon emissions, and with the demand for travel ever increasing, this impact will only continue to compound. Pretty scary, right? The good news is that there are a ton of ways (both big and small) that travellers can become more eco-conscious without compromising the many benefits of exploring new and familiar places. 

To help reduce your carbon footprint on your next vacay, we’ve pulled together some tips for packing lightly, eco-friendly travel trends, and more!


How to Travel Lightly on You Next Vacay

One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint when flying to your next destination is to simply travel lightly. We know, this seems too easy to be true—but the simple act of bringing less weight onto a plane helps to reduce the amount of carbon put out into the atmosphere. To put it into numbers, if you’re flying across the country, every pound of luggage you bring creates an additional pound of carbon emissions.

If everyone took this precaution we could help to reduce plane emissions immensely, so every little action you can take helps.

Here are some of our favorite tips for making sure your luggage is as light as you can make it on your next trip:

  1. Make a packing list (and stick to it). One of the most effective ways to keep your luggage light is by writing out what you need to bring (emphasis on need), and sticking to it. It helps to outline how many days you’ll be there, what sort of activities you have planned, and challenging yourself to keep the list as short as possible. 
  2. Bring multipurpose clothing and shoes. Once you’ve got your list, it’s time to start selecting the actual items. A part of the packing planning process should include choosing clothing and shoes that are versatile. We’re not here to give you style advice, but a tried and true method is choosing neutral colors so you can swap items in and out without worrying about things clashing.
  3. Use travel size shampoo and conditioner, and opt for waterless products. When it comes to travel toiletries, including portable shampoo, body wash and conditioner, ditch your full sized products and opt for the 100ml or less options. Better yet, choose waterless products like Everist – our concentrates are activated with the water already being used in the shower so there is no need to transport water from point A to B. 
  4. Stick to a smaller suitcase, backpack or duffle bag. The bigger the suitcase, the more you’ll feel obligated to stuff things into it. Reducing your bag size forces you to be more efficient and mindful of the items you decide to pack into it.  
  5. Use compression cubes. A tried and tested method to keep your suitcase organised and tight is using travel packing cubes. These cubes can be soft, or have wiring to keep their shape. You can find tons of these cubes online, or as an accessory at most luggage stores. Some suitcases even come with them!
  6. Choose a lightweight suitcase material. There are many different suitcase materials to choose from on the market, but some are much lighter than others. For example, on average aluminium suitcases weigh 10.05 lbs, whereas the same size in Nylon weights in at 5.99 lbs, and polypropylene at 6.49 lbs.
  7. Wear your bulkiest items, don’t pack them. This tip is less about reducing the amount that you bring while travelling, and more to help you save space in your bag so you can be efficient with your packing. Big sweaters and coats? Layer up! Chunky boots? Wear them on the plane. Your suitcase will thank you later.


Eco Travel Tips & Trends to Try in 2023

Apart from being tactful with your travel luggage, there are some other clever ways to reduce your carbon footprint without sacrificing an epic trip. Below are a few travel trends that we predict will continue to rise in 2023!

Travel slow and live like a local

One of the best things you can do while travelling is to spend more time in each destination on your list. Don’t cram a bunch of plane rides into 1 week of travel—try to stay put for longer, or use a different method of travel to go from one city or country to another.

And when exploring a city, skip the uber or car rental and instead take the bus, train and/or bike to destinations. You know, like the locals do.

Opt for eco friendly locations

What exactly is ecotourism? It’s tourism rooted in often exotic, natural environments with the intention to support various conservation efforts. For example, if you’re exploring a national park, your fee to get in and the various activities you do in the space will often help to fund other initiatives that work to support the environment.

 Explore eco-friendly destinations such as: Costa Rica, Chile, Iceland, The Azores Islands, Slovenia and Norway. To give you some perspective, here are a few of the least eco-friendly spots to visit as a tourist: China, Romania, Qatar, Russia, and London, UK.

Apart from the location, you can also search for eco-friendly hotels and accommodation, which are places that are employing sustainable best practices in everything from services and supply chains, to maintenance and products.  For example, some measures within an eco-friendly hotel may include aiming for zero waste, reducing both energy and water consumption, using solar power, and stacking the shelves with environmentally friendly products.

Travel in the off season

By travelling during less busy times of the year, you’re helping to combat the damaging impact of over-tourism. What exactly does over-tourism mean? It’s a phenomenon we’ve seen increase over the years, where certain hot spots are visited by excessive numbers of tourists, which in turn causes undesirable effects on the environment.

For example, Venice, Italy welcomes 20 million tourists every year. Although this surge in foot traffic is great for the economy and small business owners, the number is a little too high for one place, and in turn the city has seen the effects of cruise ship pollution and other damage. 

That doesn’t mean you should cross all of the popular travel destinations off your list. Instead, travel to these places (or any place in general) in the off-season. You will also enjoy lighter crowds and reduced rates on accommodation, flights/transportation and excursions, so it’s a win-win!

When it comes to body and hair care, go waterless

Eco-friendly consumers are raving about waterless products, and for good reason. Not only is it good for the environment, waterless shampoo and conditioner, body wash and face wash are ideal for travelling. 

When you’re flying, every pound of extra luggage weight counts. Waterless products are the lightest option you can find, aside from not bringing any toiletries at all. And in addition to helping reduce carbon emissions, they also save you a lot of space in your luggage. Overstuffed liquids bag, no more!


Why Waterless Eco Beauty Products are your Best Option (For Travel or Otherwise)

Waterless beauty is the way of the future, and here’s why.

Did you know that most shampoos are more than 70% water? Yes, you’re paying for water. Traditional shampoos are also made from petrochemicals and come packaged in single-use plastic. It’s time to embrace eco-friendly hair care!

Novel options like Everist offer the best travel size conditioner, shampoo, and bodywash on the market, without sacrificing quality or performance. Here are a few reasons to love Everist products:

  • Free-from parabens, sulphates, silicones, dyes, synthetic fragrances and added preservatives
  • 100% plant-based paste-textured concentrate
  • Made with a refreshing blend of five essential oils all with hair and scalp benefits

Looking for the best travel shampoo and conditioner? Our 100 ml tubes and tins are perfect for your carry-on travel needs. Gone are the days of plastic travel containers! Check out our new travel mini tins, which are great to throw in a gym bag or to take on a weekend getaway.


Cassandra King, December 16th, 2022

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