Air travel has an impact on both our own health as well as our planet’s. When we think about it – the carbon emissions resulting from it as well as the waste produced, or jet-lag – it may not be the healthiest choice after all. However, there are many ways to make your long-haul flight a better experience by considering the environmental impact, your health, and your sleep cycle.
Book an eco-friendly flight and check whether your airline offers carbon offset programs. You can learn more about offsetting your global travels via PATA partner EarthCheck’s carbon calculator here. Be sure to check out our previous tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint and make the most of your air miles.
When getting ready for your journey at home, start with packing eco-friendly travel essentials that allow you to produce zero waste on your next long flight. For example, bring your own empty water bottle(s) to refill at an airport water fountain after passing security and carry your own slow-energy release snacks (e.g. nuts or dried fruits) in a reusable container or environmental friendly packaging. Drink plenty of water two days before traveling and get some exercise if possible. Bring a thermo flask if you like to drink coffee or tea to avoid disposable cups, both at the airport and on the plane. Little changes and a mindful preparation for your flight can have a positive impact on our earth.
At the terminal, stretch your legs and walk around the terminal before boarding. Remember to refill your water bottles to stay well hydrated during the flight. Choose what works best for you to stay healthy on your travels. By avoiding single-use water bottles, cups or disposable cutlery throughout your travels you will also reduce plastic waste in which our oceans and other places around the world are drowning in.
On board, choose to say ‘No’ to all items that are wrapped in plastic on board, from the headphones to the toiletry bag to minimise waste. Move around the plane, wiggle your feet and toes to keep the blood circulating. Lower your window shades to help keep the aircraft cool. You may even want to consider fasting on a long-haul flight to avoid or reduce jet lag. Read more about three good reasons to fast here.
Ready for take-off? Enjoy your flight and stay green.