One Green Thing: Travel a ‘greener’ way (or maybe with just less hassle?)

By Jan Herbert
Rockford Park District

Whether you were “green” before the color was fashionable or whether you’re just ready to find the “shade” that works best for you, here’s information about doing just “one green thing.”

No matter how you are getting there — plane, train, boat or automobile — packing lighter has to be a “greener way” somewhere along the way. Here are just a few thoughts …

If you don’t have the perfect piece of luggage, somebody does, so borrow what you need. Make sure it rolls so you aren’t straining. If you think you have the right size bag, choose something smaller. I don’t care where or when you are going, you don’t need as much as you plan to take. And if you are moving from place to place, you will thank me.

Going for 10 days? Take undergarments for five and wash them out. Or, there’s the “Allison” plan. She taught me to take my most worn items and throw them away as I travel. This works for all clothing, I’ve found.

Plan your wardrobe around just a couple of colors. Black works for me (doesn’t show dirt as much), but khaki blends in well, too. Just mix and match the items so several blouses/tops go with several pants/skirts … you get the drift. Toss in a couple of colorful (but lightweight) scarves for accents.

Cotton is my favorite fabric, but always choose lightweight and natural fabrics. Take items for layering rather than taking sweaters. If you must have a pair of jeans, wear them, as they take up too much room in the suitcase. One good pair of walking shoes (wear them) with a pair of ultra-lightweight tennis shoes in the bag will get you through almost anything anywhere, honest. Take a jacket (only if you must) and wear it.

Ready to pack? Roll your clothing like a sailor. You may discover you can take an even smaller bag, and your back will thank you!

For more information, e-mail Jan Herbert at

From the May 23-29, 2012, issue

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