01 Oct 20

Green Travel – low impact packing

Birte Moliere Community

Here are the RAW Travel team’s green travel hacks for a low-impact packing list.

Remember: what you buy is what you choose to support.

Choose brands that protect what you love

Between production, transportation and eventual disposal, most outdoor gear has a detrimental impact on the environment. Think water pollution, chemicals, carbon emissions and unfair working conditions – just to name a few. Before you buy, check company philosophies and achievements. Some of our staff’s favourites include Patagonia, Icebreaker, Fjällräven, VAUDE and Marmot.

Choose quality that’s made to last

Outdoor apparel often only gets used a couple of times. Trust us, you don’t need the latest gear, as trends come and go. You don’t even have to choose between style and caring for the planet. Select style over mass-produced trends, opt for quality over quantity and collect memories together with your most loved pieces.

Rent, borrow or buy second hand

If you can resist the urge to buy everything new, you’ll save a lot of money and drastically reduce your footprint. Ask family and friends and embrace buying pre-loved goodies. Many backpacks and other gear are re-sold ‘near-new’ after a couple of uses.

Are you wearing a plastic bag in disguise?

Did you know the most used fabric in the world is polyester, a form of fossil-fuel based plastic? Polyester sheds millions of non-biodegradable microfibres in washing machines, leading to more and more plastic build-up in our oceans. Whenever possible, choose sustainably grown natural materials such as organic cotton, merino or linen.

Here comes the sun

Reduce your reliance on unsustainable energy sources by going solar whenever you can. You can get a great deal of solar-powered gear including solar phone chargers and torches. Again, look for quality and avoid cheap and nasty.

Eliminate single-use plastics

Only 9% of the nine billion tonnes of plastic the world has ever produced has been recycled! Most ends up in landfill, parks, along trails or in our oceans. Find out how you can say goodbye to single-use plastics.

Travel light

Double-check your pack before you go. Do you really need all that gear? Be brutal. If you don’t need it, leave it at home. You’ll have a lot less to carry and the more a plane weighs, the more carbon emissions are emitted.

Nature is your friend

Swap from chemical to natural ingredients and dramatically reduce the impact you have on the places you visit. You may not have thought about the amount of chemicals that your products are releasing into local waterways, especially in countries not well equipped to treat water.

Here’s a list of items where a simple swap can make a big difference:

  • Shampoo: biodegradable shampoo bars have the added benefit of lightening your load.
  • Insect repellent: natural sprays harness the power of plants such as eucalypt, lavender and citronella.
  • Sunscreens: physical (e.g. zinc-based) rather than chemical filters, choose reef friendly.
  • Soap: for you and your laundry, natural, biodegradable ingredients are much kinder to the planet

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