Today’s post is all about how you can have a zero-waste flight and it’s by Rebecca Burgess who is all about low-effort ways to live a low-waste lifestyle, at home and on holiday. Rebecca founded The Lather Box – a subscription box of all-natural, zero-waste toiletries – with a mission to make plastic-free showering a hassle-free choice.
You may have noticed in my Instagram stories that Rebecca sent The Lather Box my way to test out. My challenge for this month is to have a zero-waste month (you can see more about my monthly challenges here) so The Lather Box has helped me eliminate a lot of my bathroom plastic waste.
I know it’s unlikely I’ll have a full month at 100% zero waste but simple swaps are making it easier! I’ll be sharing more of my zero waste favourites throughout the month.
Here, Rebecca shares her top 5 tips for a zero-waste flight.
Ok, let’s address the elephant in the Departure Lounge up-front: in the grand scheme of things, the words “zero-waste” and “flight” in the same sentence are a bit of a contradiction.
Commercial travel, and everything that comes with it, obviously has a big environmental impact. But considering modern travel habits, a straight-up ban on plane travel ain’t gonna fly! Because we, however, most certainly are.
Now that international jobs, families and friendship groups are the norm for a lot of people, finding ways to to make small zero-waste changes during your flight can make an important difference as your air miles add up.
So to help you fly in a more eco-friendly way, here are 5 easy hacks for a zero-waste flight.
Offset The Carbon Emissions Of Your Flight
Until we have alternative ways to fuel planes, the greenest approach to air travel is to book your flight through a carbon offsetting booking website like My Climate or Flygrn. These companies calculate the carbon impact of your flight and adjust the price of your ticket to offset that amount. The extra money is donated to sustainable energy projects around the world, allowing you to balance out your carbon footprint.
Full disclosure; this hack relies on having a charged-up phone!
Ditch all the unnecessary print-outs of your boarding passes and hotel reservations, and save everything on your phone. Most airlines offer an e-boarding pass through their app.
TripIt is a great app to organise all your confirmations in one place so you’re not searching through the depths of your inbox at the security gate, being that person holding up the queue. You can forward any confirmation emails for your trip straight to the app and it organises it into a chronological itinerary for you.
Travel Hack Tip: If you’re worried about your phone dying make sure you’ve got a portable charger with you!
Did you know that every single piece of plastic ever made in history still exists today?
Every. Single. Piece.
Cabin-bag toiletries involve a crazy amount of single-use plastic, from the heaps of miniature plastic bottles to the thousands of clear plastic bags the airports give away. This all contributes to the 8 million pieces of plastic that enter the ocean every day. Switching to solid bar toiletries is a really easy way to reduce your plastic waste and actually take more product with you because you won’t be limited by the 100ml liquid allowance.
The Lather Box makes plastic-free toiletries a totally hassle-free choice. A box of solid bars of shampoo, conditioner, body wash and shaving foam are delivered to your door in a biodegradable, recyclable box. The bars are made from only natural ingredients, totally free from parabens, SLS and palm oil. Bars like this are perfect for travel – they’re compact and easily transportable in recycled mint tins or reusable tupperware containers.
Pretty much any food or drink situation in the airport and on the plane involves single-use packaging. If you plan ahead and pack a keep cup or reusable water bottle (empty for when you pass through security of course!) you’ll avoid paying for bottled water at the airport and collecting a stack of disposable plastic cups on the plane.
A reusable cutlery set and drinking straw cut down on the waste from your in-flight meal as well, plus they’ll come in handy if you’ll be exploring food markets or grabbing food on the go at your destination.
Travel Hack Tip: Don’t forget you can take solid food through security with no problem so you can take food for the plane with you and avoid all disposable packaging completely. You’ll also save a lot of money and it’s bound to be tastier than plane food!
Travel Hack Tip #2: I really like the collapsible water bottles from Vapur. You can roll them down when they’re empty and the flexible plastic makes it easy to refill them on planes. Many planes have tiny little taps with tiny little cups and you can’t fit a regular water bottle under the tap to fill it up.
Planes are less than ideal places to sleep; understatement of the year.
The free blanket and eye-mask are poor substitutes for a cosy duvet and, you know, a horizontal bed, but they do help. All that plastic packaging is less helpful, though. Invest in your own personal sleep kit for the plane and you can leave the blanket and eye mask untouched in their packaging. Layers are key here. Layer up in clothes that are as close to PJs as you can realistically wear in public, in the day time. The crucial accessories are a big blanket scarf (or just your own blanket if you have space!), a good quality eye-mask and chunky, warm socks.
Those are the top five tips for zero-waste travel. Have you tried any?
Friday 8th of February 2019
These are great! I haven't even heard of the carbon emission offsetting sites so will give them a go next time I book a flight. Thank you for sharing!
Tuesday 5th of February 2019
These are all brilliant ideas! The one thing I’m going to for sure implement this year is bringing reusable straws and cutlery.
Something I already do is pack some healthy mini muffins in a reusable container to take as a plane snack.