7 Easy Ways to Participate in Low-Waste Travel

You may be wondering how your travels have anything to do with the environment or how you can help lessen your impact on our earth when you do travel. The truth is, traveling comes with a cost, but there are things you can do to offset the consequences. Keep reading to learn how.

Book direct flights if you can

Fuel emission is one of the biggest environmental harms from travel. Every time a jet takes off and lands, fuel is released into the air. The more direct flights we take, the less fuel lingers around us. Direct flights may cost more, but when you book with any of Rakuten’s numerous travel partners, you’ll get the best deals plus Cash Back on your flight.

Go mobile

Download your airline app or check in online to have your mobile boarding pass handy. Waive any itineraries that attendants will print for you. The point: Avoid printing anything if it’s available on your phone.

Pack lightly and efficiently

The more cargo a plane carries, the more fuel it uses. We know it’s hard but packing less to bring will help decrease the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air. Every bit counts. Stick to one carry-on and a personal item to avoid checking in a bag. Other helpful tips:


  • Pack neutral colors, so you can recycle your clothes easily – black, white, nude and grey are great options.
  • Opt for layers, so you can wear the top layers more often without worrying about gaining odors.
  • Don’t pack items “just in case.” If you don’t wear it at home, you probably won’t wear it on your trip.
  • Wear jackets, thick sweaters and heavy denim on the flight, so you can pack more efficiently.
  • Bring versatile shoes and accessories. Do you have a pair of booties you can dress up or down? Think simpler.

Bring reusable bottles and toiletries

Stores sure make it convenient with travel-sized items, but they aren’t always the best for the environment. Some things to consider:

Silicone Travel Bottles

Love Beauty and Planet Coconut Water Shampoo + Conditioner Bar

Small Rectangular Metal Tin with Lid

Cotton Reusable Makeup Remover Pads with Laundry Bag

Silicone Travel Bottles 4-Pack


Enjoy your own snacks on the flight

Pack some tasty treats in reusable snack bags, bring a reusable water bottle (bonus points if it’s collapsible!) or coffee cup to fill at the airport and bring travel utensils to wash and reuse. This is an easy way to enjoy the food you want and leave less of a footprint.

(re)zip Reusable Food Storage Bags

Que® Collapsible Water Bottle

Huskee Reusable Coffee Cup

Majestick Goods Travel Utensils Set

Eat all your perishable food before you go

Before you leave on a longer trip, go through your pantry and fridge to find anything that may spoil by the time you return. Vegetables can be roasted then frozen to eat later, fruit can be chopped up and frozen later for snacking or smoothies and meat can be frozen for cooking later.

Scan your home one last time

Unplug everything in outlets before you go. This may be news, but even if it’s not on, being plugged in still consumes energy. Lamps, fans, portable heaters – scan it all.

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