Just One Thing: Green Your Travel

Tips for packing light that save you money and help the environment.

ByABC News via logo
August 18, 2010, 11:51 AM

Aug. 18, 2010— -- Gearing up for a vacation? Most travelers don't realize how heavy bags can bog you down and hurt the environment.

Patty Kim visited "Good Morning America" with tips on how to pack lighter to save a little green and be kinder to the planet at the same time.

If You're Flying:

The heavier your suitcase, the more fuel it takes to fly and the more carbon dioxide you send into the atmosphere.

For each additional 10 pounds each passenger brings on an airplane, it requires an extra 350 million gallons of jet fuel per year. Jets produce an average of almost 0.4 tons of CO2 per passenger per flight, so a plane with 150 passengers releases 120,000 of CO2.

By packing light -- bringing just a carry-on -- you'll save time (no waiting at the luggage carousel), save money on airline bag fees and avoid stress by not worrying about lost luggage.

Two great carry-on bag options are Rick Steve's Convertible Carry On, which sells for $99 and is made of recycled durable polyester. It weighs 3 pounds, compared to the 7 pounds or so you'd lug if you took a hard case. There's also a version with wheels.

Tip: Make sure your carry-on bag meets overhead restrictions, which are usually 9x14x21 inches.

If You're Driving: Adding 100 pounds of weight to your car decreases the fuel economy by 2 percent. Packing light can save you money and help the environment.