Aloha from Waikiki! This is my brother David Terry who wanted to help me show you some ways to cut down on waste, plastic and otherwise, while traveling. Displayed are a few essentials that I bring with me everywhere, as well as some things I brought just for the plane.
First, my trusty Klean Kanteen. Yes, you CAN bring an empty Klean Kanteen through security and then fill it up at the drinking fountain in the airport once you get past the guards. This is perfectly legal. The security agents did ask me a couple of times if the bottle was empty, but they didn’t bother looking inside it. And liquids you obtain in the secure area of the airport are never questioned.
But, of course, you can only carry so much water in a Klean Kanteen. This one is 27 ounces. Perhaps I should have borrowed one of Michael’s 40 ouncers.
I also brought my travel mug for coffee throughout my visit. Last year, when I visited my parents here on Oahu, I had no trouble presenting it to cafe staff to fill, and I don’t expect any problems this time. On the plane, I filled up with coffee, and then several hours into the flight, after finishing the water in my Klean Kanteen, I was parched again from the dry airplane environment.
I could have waited until the end of the flight for water, but instead I decided to go ahead and have some of the airline’s bottled water. To mitigate the plastic waste, I asked the flight attendant to pour the water into my travel mug, saving a plastic cup. Maybe next time I’ll drink a lot more before I get on the plane so that the water in my Klean Kanteen will see me through. The point is that we can only do the best we can, and bringing a reusable cup is never a bad idea.
How many of us think to bring back the headphones we bought on our last flight? If we’re using an iPod or CD player on the plane, we’ll have standard headphones with us. But if we want to watch the airline movie, we might be out of luck. Some planes have connections for standard headphones, but others require the model with the two prongs. And often, you have to buy them from the airline. So I brought not only a set of standard headphones, but also the ones from my last flight on Aloha Airlines. It turned out they were not necessary on my United flight this time, but it’s nice to be prepared. Who needs a big collection of two-pronged headphones that are only useful the few times most of us fly?
And of course, here’s my handy To-Go Ware utensil set with added GlassDharma drinking straws, which I actually had the opportunity to use last night during my mom’s birthday dinner. The Bubba Gump’s waitress was very impressed with my straw and asked if I used it instead of plastic “for environmental reasons.” To which my dad barked, “Yes! Yes she does!”
The meal was great fun. Especially the joy on David’s face as he scarffed down his favorite meal and on my mom’s as she clapped and danced to the Happy Birthday serenade.
At the end of the meal, I scraped my leftovers into the blue Tupperware container I had brought. Yes, it’s plastic. Normally, I would bring stainless steel, but the size and shape of the Tupperware container just fits so much better in my purse while traveling. Oh, how I’d love to find a stainless container the same size.
I also brought my cloth napkin, provded by The Green Cat, but unfortunately, I forgot to use it last night! With all my focus on plastic, sometimes I forget about wasting paper. Need to get better about that.
David took some leftovers too in a cardboard to-go box and then asked for a plastic bag in which to carry the box. I tried to talk him out of it unsuccessfully. I’m hoping to fit in a trip to Turtle Beach where I can let him see the sea turtles and explain to him how they are harmed by plastic bags. Plus, sea turtles are cool. Who doesn’t want to see them?
Aloha. What tips do you have for cutting waste while traveling?
01/17/09 Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn: I should have mentioned that I’m staying in my parents’ home on this trip, so I haven’t discussed the hotel aspect of traveling. But be sure and check out the comments to this post. Many readers have good ideas about how to cut the waste while staying in hotels.