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Green Ideas for ‘Infrequent’ Flyers

If you live away from parents, siblings, cousins and old friends (the kind that know all the embarrassing stories), these last two to three years have been a long wait to see them again. Flying long haul after so long, I was both excited and nervous, not knowing when one emotion overtook the other. I wanted to pass on a few discoveries and tips from our recent family trip that went into the Earth-friendly ‘bank account’. 

Carry your own water bottle – I know what you are going to say… airports ask you to throw away your water at security check. They didn’t (perhaps because we were travelling with children) but in case that isn’t your experience, here is a loophole – carry an empty water bottle and you can fill it after Security check. 

Save the Headphones – OK I am excited to share this one as well! I lose headphones all the time and it seems like a waste not to take the disposable headphones (but totally reusable if you are not hung up on the ‘look’ of your headphones). I plan on keeping mine for a long time, and they work with multiple devices.

Airport Shuttle Services - Depending on the destination you may be able to take advantage of airport shuttle services from the airport into the city – it is a safe and more economical option compared to taxis. Do your research beforehand and if it applies, use it and see your green quotient rise and your expenses fall.

Hotel Amenities – While this tip didn’t require any action on my part, it had a lot of feel good value. We broke our journey with one night at a hotel. While I know that IHG Hotels have been transitioning out of the small shampoo, shower gel and conditioner amenities in rooms in the UK, I was happily impressed when the Holiday Inn we stayed at in Mumbai had a Dove Shampoo and Conditioner dispenser instead of the thumb sized bottles that were previously available.

Vacuum Packing  – I can’t take credit for this one, it was my husband who discovered it and it saved a ton of space in our very full bags! Works just like when you’re storing away winter clothes, with the additional benefit of making more room to fit in all your odds and ends instead of carrying air across continents! While not plastic free, the bags are reusable and sturdy and various brands are available at Savers and Robert Dyas stores.

Keep your cool, don’t stress if you are not perfectly zero waste – Though we tried to fit as many zero waste solutions from home into our trip, we couldn’t manage everything. We did our best and enjoyed the time with loved ones.

Photo by Maria Tyutina