'Packing Light' Lays It on Thick


Did I bring too much?

Lately, I’ve come across a lot of hype about packing lighter. Our fellow eco-friendly sites and publications have accepted the stance that less of a load is somehow better for the environment and are touting the idea in all of their tips and guides to a greener existence.

Good-natured and well-intended, this lightbulb-gone-off advice is driving me crazy. The airlines are laying it on thick in the way of hefty baggage fees, and our sister green authorities have fallen hook, line, and sinker (less luggage = less fuel = less emissions). Are the airlines at all concerned about the environment or are recently established fees just a way to compensate for the higher cost of fuel?

Sure, packing lighter may seem like a green idea in theory, but as any fashionista knows, this spartan plan will inevitably backfire. The less we bring, the more we’ll buy while away, leading to greater purchase of new goods. It’s a bit of a fashion catch-22 and the airlines certainly are capitalizing on it. If you’re not a dyed-in-the-cashmere fashionista, packing light and avoiding the purchase of new goods may be a snap. (But then, I think there’s a little fashionista inside you dying to get out…why are you at EcoSalon?)

So, rather than pack so lightly you’re bound to buy more (admit it, you know you’ll be tempted) just pack a little smarter. Here are my 5 top tips to pack smart – and avoid the temptation to splurge:

-Create a master packing list-a personal blueprint, some might say-including essentials for any and all trips.

-Choose a base color (the most obvious is black) so that you’ll easily be able to mix and match.

-If possible, opt for lighter-weight clothing. Fabrics like denim are heavy and bulky when you’re tight on space. Quick-drying materials are also key.

-Roll instead of fold. You’ll encounter fewer wrinkles and will find that you can squeeze a lot more into one bag/suitcase.

-Use accessories to diversify outfits. You may be wearing the same basics, but if you choose a belt one day and long necklace on another, you have successfully created two different looks.

Image: moon soleil

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