0014. My essential travel items

I've always loved planes - the bird's eye view, the perceived proximity to the stars, sun + moon, the excitement of going somewhere far.

I know it's pretty terrible for the environment and that is one of the reasons I wont be flying before the new year. (Also, priorities.) Nonetheless, lots of people voyage for the holidays, so I thought I'd share my essential low waste travel items.

I was thrilled when I realized that I'd made no waste at all on my last plane trip. Unfortunately, can't say the same for my seat neighbor. He asked for a soda that he took one sip of before falling asleep (naturally) and spilling it. All over me. It was upsetting. Mostly for the waste, but also because I was shocked out of sleep and quite literally drenched.

Thankfully, I had my turkish towel - it is one of the items I can't travel without. I'd been wearing it as a scarf to hold my neck up while sleeping, I used it to dry my pants + sleeves and hung it on the seat in front of me. My towel and I were dry by the time we landed, all was forgiven, and it inspired this post. Thank you, seat neighbor!

Simply, my attempts at low-waste living always come down to a few things: be prepared, make decisions easier, and don't worry about perfection. Our attempts matter more than our failures.

It's always easier to make less waste when I'm prepared. This time, I took an earlier bus to the airport, got a filling dinner, went through security, and found a water fountain. Fully satiated, saying no was easy. I like soda as much as the next person, but do you really need it at midnight on a plane? (Your poor teeth!) Another trick: I always brush my teeth before boarding - less temptation to get that snack or sugary bev, decision made, no internal debate.

As always set yourself up for the win. Success propels success. If I can do it once, I can do it again. These items make it a breeze:

+ Water bottle. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. My bottle and I are inseparable + thank goodness for water fountains! At airports where there were none, I popped into the nearest place and all the staff I encountered said yes to filling up my water bottle - fast food restaurant, snack stand, coffee shop, flight attendant. I was pleasantly surprised and very, very happy.

+ Jar. Pack a snack and then give it a rinse ... perfect for a hot beverage at the airport if that's your thing. I hate dealing with hot beverages when I travel but I've always found jars to be useful - I can use it to save my leftovers or compost. It's also easier for your flight attendant to fill if you do want to indulge in a drink.

+ Turkish towel. Hand dryer doesn't work? No problem, I have a towel around my neck! This is honestly the most versatile item I own. It's my scarf, towel, blanket (no need to use the airline provided plastic-wrapped one).

+ Snacks. I can't travel for 8+ hours and not have a snack. Helpful items to tote a treat: jar or beeswax wrap.

+ Headphones. Drown out the noise of a bunch of people trapped on a flying metal object + avoid using (or paying for) the airline option.

+ Utensils. It's pretty odd when a snack stand gives you a real plate with a plastic fork - what/why?? Bring your own and as you enter look around to make sure you don't get any unwanted plasticware or straws.

Other ways to stay green while traveling this way.

I would love to know - are you traveling anytime soon? What are your favorite snacks to pack for a trip?


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