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Five Sustainable Packing Tips

AUTHOR: Nina Karnikowski

Whether you’re venturing away trip-of-a-lifetime style or embracing holidaying-near-home, we can all agree that there is an art and admirable skill to the perfectly packed bag. We’re all guilty of spending 80% of our precious baggage allowance on items that never made it out of the suitcase.

So we asked author, travel writer, and dear Outland friend Nina Karnikowski for her top 5 tips to packing sustainably and ensuring you don’t spend your whole trip wondering ‘why did I even bring that?’


Packing light is better for the planet (the heavier your bag, the more fuel the plane or car needs), but also your wallet since you’re not paying extra luggage fees. Not buying a completely new holiday wardrobe helps keep the kilos down, and for essentials look choose sustainable brands like Outland, second-hand items and timeless pieces.

It’s midnight the night before a big trip and you’ve only just started throwing things into your suitcase - we’ve all been there. Light packing takes time and energy, so start a few days before you leave, so you’ve got time to edit out surplus items.

A capsule wardrobe, including basics in durable fabrics like denim or linen that require minimal washing, is easy to mix and match, plus you’ll reclaim time for adventuring when you’re not agonising over outfits each morning. A pair of blue and black ethical jeans, a few t-shirts and shirts, a good pair of boots and you’re (almost) done.

Remembering that about 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans each year, taking your reusables is important. Three favourites include an insulated water bottle which doubles as a reusable cup, a stainless-steel food container, and reusable bamboo cutlery.

A sarong that doubles as a scarf or a blanket, a denim shirt you can wear as a shirt or jacket, sandals you can use as hiking shoes, a linen or hemp tote that can be used for shopping or collecting trash – the more multi-use items you pack, the lighter you’ll be able to go.

ABOUT NINA: Having worked as a travel writer for the past decade, Nina Karnikowski is now on her greatest adventure yet: making her and her readers’ travels more conscious, and less harmful for the planet. The author of Go Lightly: How to Travel Without Hurting the Planet and Make a Living Living: Be Successful Doing What You Love, Nina works at the convergence of creativity and sustainability, and is dedicated to helping people discover less impactful ways of travelling and living. She also teaches regular writing and creativity workshops, both in-person and online, focused on deepening connections to Self and the Earth.

Nina Wears

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