Airports and airplanes are huge culprits of single-use plastics, but there are some seriously simple ways to be a more sustainable flyer!
Does anybody else feel like all of the food in airports is completely over-packaged in bulky plastic? And yes, plastic packaging is just unfortunately a thing now, but for some reason airports seem to go completely over the top with it. Between the airport and the plane itself, it may seem impossible to avoid single-use plastics when traveling – but not without a little preparation. Let me show you how to do it! (P.S. It’s really not that hard!)
Pack Your Own Snacks
Food and beverages are the biggest culprits of single-use plastics when flying, so the easiest way to avoid them is to bring your own! And be realistic about timing. It’s a lot more than just the length of the flight! Consider the amount of time you’ll be in your departure airport, on the plane, and then in the arrival airport. I’m obsessed with snacks and I need a whole lot of them when flying. Some sort of granola or protein bar is perfect because they’re healthy, relatively small, and filling. One of my favorites is Lemon Zest Luna Bars – I actually eat one of them like every single day. But don’t forget to add in some treats too!
Pack a Meal
I fly Norwegian Air a lot, and while I am obsessed with the airline in so many ways, it was initially shocking to me that meals are not included with every fare. But it turns out that in some ways, this is a blessing in disguise! If you would rather spare all the plastic that comes with an airplane meal, you won’t feel obligated to choose one (though of course you can always opt out of receiving one on any airline).
But hey, there’s no judgement here. If you wanna indulge in an airplane meal, seriously by all means go for it! We all know they are not the most luxurious of meals, but there is something weirdly nice about them. Especially for those of us who don’t get to travel too often, they really are like a little luxury! So if you secretly kind of love airplane meals, I get it. And I’m here for you.
But if you are into the idea of packing your own meal, it’s really not difficult. Because it doesn’t need to be some elaborate Sunday dinner type of thing to get the job done. Pack foods that will keep well without being refrigerated or re-heated, like a sandwich, wrap, salad, or raw slaw. Maybe some fruits or veggies for a side. Add some nuts and you’ve got yourself a substantial meal. Nuts are great because they’re very filling and very good for you!
Bring a Water Bottle
This. Is. So. Important. Not only do water bottles cost like $10 at the airport, but plastic water bottles are so environmentally irresponsible. There, I said it. And oh my god I just cringe at the thought of the garbage bins right outside the security line at the airport. Think about how many half empty plastic beverage bottles are in there. We can do better, guys! Get yourself a reusable water bottle – you’ll be able to carry it through security empty and refill it from water fountains not only in the airport, but for the duration of your trip! I have a MIRA bottle and I seriously love it. It’s super durable, pretty, and keeps beverages both cold AND hot!
Don’t Rely On The Airport or Airplane For Anything
Except maybe their restrooms. But really. Of course it’s very nice and convenient that airports are able to provide us with anything and everything we could have forgotten to pack. But if you’d like to be a more eco-friendly traveler, don’t rely on the airports or the airplanes for anything! By bringing your own items (headphones, chargers, pillows, blankets, food, etc…) you’ll save money, and the planet.
I’d like to hear from you! What sorts of things do you do to be a more sustainable flyer?