Use Less: The Travel-Size Principle

Red checkered child's size travel bag.

Photo by Sanja Gjenero at RGBStock.

In the past five years, I have traveled a lot. As in for two years, I commuted from Tennessee to Wisconsin almost every week and for the last six months, I traveled from Iowa to Wisconsin and Tennessee pretty much weekly. For the most part, I tried to avoid travel-size anything, because it’s expensive and not that great for the environment.

However, when I abruptly decided to go visit my dying father earlier this summer, I decided that I wanted to avoid bringing my large toiletry bag, so I bought a travel-size container of face lotion (I had small containers for everything else).

As I was applying it one evening in my mother’s bathroom in Sweden, I noticed that I was using less lotion than I typically would if I had my regular bottle. “Hmmm,” I thought. “A smaller container causes me to use less product. Interesting…”

Thus, “the travel-size principle” was born.

It is as simple as this: Pretend that you have only a small amount of product and it will help you use less of it.

Why is this good?

  • Save money
  • Save resources
  • Postpone trips to the store
  • More money and time to spend on changing the world

So next time you use lotion, shampoo, conditioner, detergent, foundation, shaving cream, etc, just pretend you have a small container that must last for the duration of your imaginary trip (this imagery is a nice bonus of this principle).

You will automatically use less!

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