Travelling, although amazing, doesn’t always go hand in hand with being eco friendly. Long haul flights especially can be difficult to avoid plastic and single use items. Recently however, I have discovered some airlines (China Airlines!) using reusable hard plastic containers for food which is a great step forward. Until the time comes when airlines are using fully reusable or compostable food containers, it’s up to us to reduce the amount of waste we consume on flights. Below are 5 simple ideas to fly more eco friendly.
1. Pack a travel cutlery set – If you’re eating on long haul flights you always will be given a plastic cutlery set. It’s super easy to carry a small cutlery set (either metal or wooden) so you can refuse the single use plastic ones! My favourite is this bamboo set but I’ve also carried a metal set in my hand luggage through 7 airports so far and never had any issues (I believe the rule is that any blades must not be longer than 6 cm but it might be worth checking).
2. Headphones / ear pods – Many flights give out cheap little ear pods or headphones so you can plug into the screen and watch all those movies you’ve been meaning to catch up on. Unfortunately these are also single use and just get thrown in the trash after the flight. Carry your own headphones or ear pods so you can refuse these ones.
I’ve had a pair of apple ear pods for almost 5 years and they’re still going strong! If you don’t already have some, buy a good quality pair that you know will last.
3. Bring your own snacks – Not only are snacks expensive on planes they also are almost always unhealthy and create so much waste! Make your own to bring with you in a small container or reusable bag. Don’t forget your reusable cutlery!
4. Water bottle or flask – The only water available on planes are out of plastic bottles. Bring a water bottle or a flask that you can fill up at the airport (the other side of security) before you get on the plane. If you do need water when on the plane, the flight attendants are usually happy to fill your bottle up from their own water supply (usually a large plastic container but it’s still a little better than purchasing small plastic bottles). I carry a water bottle plus my beloved bamboo flask which I ask them to fill up with tea, coffee, juice etc instead of using a plastic cup. No one has ever refused so far!
5. Cosy jumper, blanket and/or pillow – Most long haul flights have blankets and pillows that are packaged in a plastic bag. Carry your own cosy jumper and a travel pillow so you don’t have to use theirs and waste the plastic packaging. Plus it’s always nicer to have your own!
All of these things barely take up any room and come in useful for many other things too! Let me know in the comments below if you do any of these and any other great tips for flying!