Enviro Girl just had the great pleasure of taking a long weekend jaunt to southern California. (Her husband believed her when she said the best gifts come in envelopes–airline tickets!) While flying there and back, she avoided the ridiculous baggage fees by carrying on a small duffel and managed to generate very little waste during her travels.
Here are 5 tips to make your next airline travel experience greener and cleaner for the environment:
1. BYOB. That’s right: Bring Your Own Bottle. You may not bring a full water bottle through security checkpoints, but you can bring an empty one and fill it at the nearest water fountain or restaurant. Enviro Girl’s seatmate was shocked when she pulled out her metal water bottle for a swig on the plane. “How did you get that through?” she asked in surprise. “I brought it through empty, then filled it after the checkpoint.” Saved both money and plastic packaging.
2. Recycle your paper. Every airport has recycling containers for your old magazines and newspapers. Use them.
3. Print your boarding pass at home. Enviro Girl was pleased to save herself a wait in line by printing her boarding pass the night before she flew. She waltzed straight to the security line and breezed to her gate in less than half an hour. Bonus: she printed the boarding pass on the back side of something else, recycling paper!
4. Unplug. Granted, Enviro Girl was not a business traveler, but she saved herself hassle with the flight crew by leaving her electronic equipment behind. No ipod, laptop, phone or blackberry device meant she took her seat and laid her head back to rest. It didn’t matter when she could or couldn’t have her stuff turned on because she didn’t bring it. This also saved her time in the security checkpoints.
5. Bring a bag, not a purse. Enviro Girl carried her wallet, sunglasses, book, camera and other sundries in an attractive shopping tote. The extra room meant she could easily stash and grab her quart-sized bag of toiletries at security checkpoints. Once she reached her destination, that bag served as her own shopping bag so she didn’t have to accept a store’s plastic shopping bag when grabbing 3 pairs of board shorts for her sons.
By carrying her cloth shopping bag as a “purse” and a small duffel for her clothes and gear, Enviro Girl skipped the wait at baggage claim, saved herself the headaches of losing luggage and enjoyed peace of mind that her stuff was at her fingertips during the whole trip.