Increasingly scrutinized for its impact on the planet, the travel industry has been seeking ways to up their environmental game. Airlines must find ways to decrease emissions while continuing to satisfy the growing demand for air travel, all in efforts to slow the rising CO2 emitted by commercial flights, which are currently rising 70% faster than predicted by the United Nations. Global carbon emissions also increased by 32% between 2013 and 2018.
Without a doubt, 2019 was the year of Greta Thunberg and the anti-flying movement -- and while we commend the young activist's efforts, eschewing air travel isn't in our future.
As passionate travellers with manufacturing based in Europe, our team spends a lot of time on airplanes -- but we're making a concerted effort to be more environmentally conscious when we do. Here are a few ways you can reduce your impact when flying in the future.
The more a plane weighs, the more emissions it generates. Before you throw your entire closet into the biggest suitcase you can find, consider skipping a checked bag and opt for a lighter load. Packing less means no checked bag fees, less risk of your bag getting lost in transit, and less time wasted in indecisive dressing. Win, win win.
Take a second to consider the amount of waste generated on a flight. Literally everything is offered in plastic packaging. Single-use cutlery is provided in single-use plastic wrap. Then there's beverage service -- and nothing makes us cringe more than the offering of new plastic cups every hour on a long-haul flight. In 2016, airline passengers generated 5.6 million tonnes of in-flight waste that was almost entirely sent to landfill. Packing a reusable water bottle and cutlery requires a little planning ahead, but offers a meaningful reduction in the waste you generate.
If you forget your water bottle at home, please, please hold onto your first plastic cup for the duration of the flight.
While taking a connecting flight may save you a bit of cash, flying direct where possible is far more eco-friendly. A plane's take-off and landing are estimated to generate 25-50% of total emissions. Save yourself some time and aggravation and fly non-stop.
Pack Your Own Headphones
Used airplane headphones and their plastic packaging are typically left behind at the end of a flight, quickly making their way into the landfill. Pass on this source of single-use plastic entirely. The sound quality from your own headphones is infinitely better.
Offset Your Carbon
An increasing number of airlines and third-party travel platforms are offering carbon offset programs in the booking process. While this option is far from perfect, and doesn't actually reduce the volume of CO2 contributions from your flight, carbon offset programs will make donations to tree planting initiatives and other environmental charities that absorb flight emissions.
Direct flights to Miami, Nassau and Montego Bay pair well with Copper Bottom -- and they'll fit nicely in your carry-on.