Year for the Planet Week 24: Attempting Zero-Waste Healthy Eating on Long-Haul Flights

Before you can fix the world, you have to fix yourself. Year for a Planet is a personal challenge to be a better human for the planet for a whole year. This year, 2017, is where I deal with my food choices.


Tonight, I’ll be on a long journey for the next several weeks. I’ll be hitting up Spain and Uganda for work, then back to Manila for a week, then to the Amazon. While I’m excited, I’m also wary of the unhealthy and wasteful eating practices I end up having on the plane and at my destinations. Being a tourist often means eating unhealthily. Consider the five-straws-a-day I was averaging when I was in hot and humid Bangkok. Or the sugary treats and bottled water I had in Indonesia. Or even just yesterday in Manila, when travel-related stress made me inhale a huge slice of chocolate mousse.

Yes, I’ve fixed most of myself, but there are these days of mistakes committed out of desperation and exhaustion. I know I have to do better.

So, for this trip, I have prepared an arsenal of food to make sure I can balance myself as much as possible. In Spain, I will be speaking as a finalist for this innovation prize, and so I’m extremely nervous. In Uganda, I’ll be giving an exhibition and so am even doubly nervous. In the Amazon, I’ll be on an art residency and so I’m freaking out. Nervousness is my version of actual excitement—I give 120% of myself to these things and if I were totally calm, I would panic because it means I don’t care.

Thus far, meal prep and packing the essentials are undoubtedly my top choices for making sure I get through the next few weeks with producing as little waste as possible and with eating healthily. Here are the things in my suitcase:

1. Three batches of oatmeal and peanut butter energy balls in reusable containers
2. Three sugar-free chocolate bars
3. A medium-sized bottle of apple cider vinegar
4. A bag of turmeric tea
5. My reusable water bottle
6. Three reusable bags that also serve as dividers in my suitcase
7. Vitamin D supplements
8. A measuring spoon

I can do this. I will get through the next few weeks without cracking. Here goes nothing. Ready? Steady? Go!


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