According to the International Air Transport Association, airlines produced 5.2 million tons of waste last year, and will produce over 10 million tons annually by 2030.
With our love of travel and with our families are scattered around New Zealand and Australia we end up flying multiple times a year. When traveling we have found it can be a lot harder to adhere to our zero waste and plastic-free rules. Each destination has it's own challenges, but we have put together a few key things we do to help us minimise our waste when flying, whether it is a short or long haul.
- Take your own reusable drink bottle - A lot of airports have water refill stations now days, which makes it easy to take your own bottle on the plane and to say no to the disposable plastic cups of water. We've also found that most airport cafés or restaurants will fill it for you - just remember to ensure its empty before you go through customs!
- Take your own reusable cup or a jar - cabin crew are more than happy to fill your own reusable cup with coffee, tea, juice, beer or wine and even water if you don’t have a drink bottle.
- Learn to say “No thank you”! - Just because its free doesn’t mean you need it. Take your own and say no to in-flight snacks!
- Pack your own meal - Airplane food often comes packaged in excessive plastic packaging that goes to landfill, so if you have the option, consider ditching the in-flight meal and instead take your own food from home. We've even bought food unpackaged at the airport and put it in our own containers for the flight ahead.
- Bring your own headphones - For hygiene purposes, airline supplied headphones generally come in a plastic bag, so consider taking your own instead.
- Same with blankets! - Dress warm or take extra clothes to keep warm on your flight.
And remember not to be too hard on yourself if you forget, do what you can with what you have and travel safe.