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Pack light, go green

Written by , published January 28, 2010

We're starting to put together the April issue, and one story about sustainable travel especially holds my interest. The author makes the point that people in general are growing more aware of lessening their impact on the environment when they travel, and she provides suggestions on restaurants that source their food locally, hotels that make an effort to be energy-efficient, and destinations that focus on conservation. It's a topic I suspect we'll revisit from time to time, especially since most places don't expect us to relinquish any of our creature comforts. In most cases, after all, conservation is about efficiency.

I was poking around on the Web to learn more about this timely topic, and I stumbled across a concept that hadn't occurred to me. one aspect of traveling green means packing light. Obviously, transporting less weight means using less energy. As someone who has made great strides in the art of packing but has yet to master it, I appreciate any and all advice about lessening the packing burden.

I've erred on the side of packing practically half my closet for a two-day trip to Dallas, but I've also erred on the side of packing a single T-shirt and a pair of pants for a weeklong (unfortunately unfashionable) trip to Costa Rica. These days I'm shooting for the middle ground. A packing list helps, that way I don't wake up in the middle of the night wondering if I've remembered to stash my sunglasses in the suitcase; I can throw them in my case, check them off the list, and move on. But still I recently went to Saint Louis without any socks. Go figure.

I'll be making trips to Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and beyond in coming months, and I imagine I'll wrestle with the packing conundrum each trip. Like I said, I could use helpful suggestions. Bring 'em on, please. 

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