Packing Sustainably for a Winter Destination - Public Goods Blog

Packing Sustainably for a Winter Destination

Packing is an indisputable art. Just ask the thousands of Pinterest boards dedicated to styling the inside of a suitcase.

away suitcase, public goods travel toiletries, shoes

But we recently learned that packing becomes even more complicated when you’re preparing for a 50-degree difference in weather.

Ariana and I are Angelinos through and through (Angelinos are people from Los Angeles, in case you haven’t heard that lingo). We love California’s easy climate and relative lack of seasons, and neither of us were equipped for a real east coast winter. When we decided we wanted to do a ten-day trip to New York City during the coldest time of the year, we knew we needed some extra preparation.

So from us to you, here is our sustainable winter (if you’re not used to it) packing list!

1. Thermals

One of the most important items we purchased for this trip was a set of thermals. Thermals are incredibly important when you’re travelling to a destination that will be consistently below freezing. They are thin enough to effortlessly layer actual clothing over, and also great at keeping body heat where it belongs.

Thermals are one of our top winter packing essentials because they do what they are supposed to do — and you only have to buy them once! Buying one high quality set of thermals will set you up for any and every winter trip you take, which makes your packing list that much more sustainable.

2. Waterproofing Spray for Shoes

Waterproofing spray can rain-and-snow-proof any pair of boots. This protection saves both money and resources. Depending on the spray, it’s also great for jackets, backpacks and most other clothing and supplies.

There are natural options on Amazon, but you can also DIY a waterproofing spray yourself using these recipes. This is a great item to include in your packing list if buying brand new shoes for one trip just isn’t worth the ecological footprint.

3. Layers

Layers may be a given when it comes to winter packing, but you might be surprised how big of a difference they can make! By layering t-shirts, sweaters, jackets and coats on top of our thermals, we were comfortable on one of the coldest days of the year in New York City!

As Californians, layers are life-changing for us. Our new layering skills are even helping us thrive in all of the rain and cold we’ve been bombarded with back in LA!

One of our favorite sustainable ways to find layering pieces is through thrifting. Shopping from any secondhand store is a great habit to get into for any wardrobe need, but it is especially useful for winter packing.

We found an unholy amount of turtlenecks, sweaters and scarves, and we were able to guiltlessly indulge in all of them. Buying secondhand clothing is an easy and inexpensive way to practice sustainability, and we wholeheartedly recommend this strategy for collecting all of the layers you’ll need to stay warm and toasty.

4. Accessories

Leave your jewelry at home — because you will not want freezing metal on your skin when navigating winter climates. Instead, our favorite winter accessories are those of the aforementioned warm and toasty variety. Namely gloves, thick socks, scarves and head coverage.

Gloves are an investment. This was one of the most challenging parts of our winter packing journey, as we really struggled to find a quality pair of gloves that would last us through many winter trips.

The right pair of gloves will be durable, waterproof, and will allow you to use your phone through touchpads. This way, one or two pairs will last for all of your winter adventures.

Other accessories that are of the utmost — and we mean utmost — importance are scarves and head coverage. Ear muffs, knit headbands, blanket scarves, beanies — the whole package. You can even get yourself a recycled knit balaclava from Patagonia to save both your face and the environment.

If you are not used to winter, you will need an accessory for every exposed body part. Scarves are really easy to thrift, but because the other items can be more challenging, it’s always a good idea to invest in a high-quality piece that will work for every outfit.

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5. Moisturizer, and Lots of It!

Our final tip for packing for a winter destination is to bring a healthy amount of moisturizer. Trust us, the cold is hard enough to handle without the struggles of dry skin.

That’s why Public Goods’ travel products are perfect for the job. Their moisturizers, lotions, and other travel skincare is sulfate, paraben, gluten, and cruelty-free, and is vegan-friendly with only natural fragrance.

The best thing about sustainable packing for a winter destination is that all of the clothing from this list is versatile enough to be used again and again! Investing in one high-quality essential for items like thermals — and thrifting items that are more accessible like sweaters, scarves, and coats — not only saves space and money.

These habits consume less resources and waste less material than buying everything new or buying multiples when it isn’t necessary. And when it comes to packing essentials that aren’t reusable, like toiletries, buying from a sustainable brand like Public Goods can make a big difference in helping the planet and ensuring the quality of your winter experience.

For more of our New York City travels, check out our blog at!

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