Green Travel: Eco-friendly Suitcases

| 6/10/2009 5:01:05 PM

You know you need a new suitcase when your dad has to sit on it to make it close, the zipper gets caught on the fabric every two centimeters, and the chances the handle won’t get stuck are about 1 in 7.

Time to go shopping for a new carry-on suitcase. But first, how do I get rid of my dysfunctional suitcase in an eco-friendly way? Unfortunately, because it’s broken, I can’t donate it to a company like Suitcases for Kids, but I don’t want it to end up in the landfill. Solution?  Turn it into something new!  

I scoured the Internet for ideas and found a Natural Home article that suggested creating a pet bed out of an old suitcase—but I think only my labradoodle’s head could fit in my carry-on. I also found some instructions to turn it into an ottoman or vanity. It sounds like a fun project, but my suitcase is not vintage or cute like the examples online. Until then, I can use the old carry-on to store organize my messy closet currently overflowing with yearbooks, photos, event programs and other memorabilia.

Now, on to the shopping. I want my new suitcase to meet these requirements:

• Eco-friendly: This is my number one priority in my suitcase search. A suitcase made from recycled material, hemp or organic cotton with a water-based coating would be best.

• Light and easy to move: My shoes and clothes are heavy enough as is. I would be lucky to last 10 minutes lugging around a duffle bag.