Wednesday, 12 June 2019

13 Hacks for Low Waste Air Travel | Lifestyle


One thing I often get asked when I travel is 'how do you travel low-waste?', so in today's post, I want to share what I've learnt about traveling sustainably. Often people forget that where they're going may have the biggest impact on sustainable travel. It's no secret that traveling by train is the greener option and should probably the first choice for travel if the destination is close, but if you're flying, here's ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

1. Before you leave 


  • Try to book a direct flight to save on carbon emissions
  • Go digital  - Download all tickets and refuse paper receipts (unless you need to keep info on paper). This also includes downloading entertainment, instead of buying books or magazines before your trip. Try and get the books secondhand or from the library. 
  •  Travel light - People pack more than they will ever need to use or wear while on holiday. I try to travel using only carry on luggage by taking into consideration the climate, the duration of my stay and the area I will be in. Clothing items are kept neutral and I never pack more than two pairs of shoes unless necessary for a specific event. 
  • Book the vegan (or vegetarian) meal - sometimes meat free meals have less plastic, but overall I prefer to do this because it's healthier and makes me feel less sluggish or heavy when I am traveling. Choice is up to you, of course! 
  • Bring your own snacks in a reusable container - this makes it easier to avoid the plastic packaged ones on the plane


2.  Reusables are key
  • Reusable (stainless steel) water bottles are a life saver in foreign countries who may charge for water at restaurants and are an easy way to save money. They also  help prevent additional plastic from ending up in landfill if you have access to drinkable water. For those who live in the Netherlands, Typo, LevenZonderAfval and Babongo have some really cute ones! For those who don't, Etsy, local health and sport stores and Amazon also stock them!






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  • Large scarf and headphones - a large scarf serves as a blanket on planes, which helps you to avoid the plastic wrapped ones, of which the plastic will inevitably be thrown away in landfill. Using your own headphones also prevents additional plastic from being discarded.
  • Reusable straw or better yet, a reusable travel cutlery kit - This is great for events like concerts, festivals or even picnics. You don't even have to spend money on reusable cutlery. Just get a large hankerchief and use your own cutlery from home (I often borrow frim my Airbnb host, if I'm staying in an Airbnb) when you're out and about. I prefer stainless steel straws from Klean Kanteen.



Reusable bag - even a backpack is good when grocery shopping to avoid plastic. If you do get a plastic bag, try to use it as many times as possible before discarding it.






3. While in transit
  • Refill your reusable water bottle - often the stewardesses are  nice enough to pour water directly into your bottle. Opt for this instead of taking water in a plastic cup.
  • Challenge yourself to travel with carry on only -  checking a bag in often requires using stickers which can't be recycled.
  • Avoid single use items on the plane - obviously make an exception if necessary or it's a long haul flight).  

Naturally, traveling by plane takes a lot of energy, pollutes the air and can be incredibly damaging for the environment. Doing the above steps is in no way saving the world overnight, I am aware. However, it is still important to contribute what you can to sustain the world you live in. These are just some of the things I aim to do when traveling. If you enjoed this post, keep an eye out for the part two on how to travel sustainably once you arrive at the destination of choice!



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Do you have any hacks or suggestions for traveling sustainably? Let me know via @earthtomiah on Instagram or by commenting on this post below!