I’m sitting on a folding chair in the ICU with our tablet perched in the window sill. My nan is sleeping, the machines around her beeping every time she fumbles with the cable on her middle finger that monitors her blood pressure.

This is not what either of us had planned for this Sunday. She was going to bake an apple crumble, and I had scheduled two photoshoots. We would’ve been doing our own thing, a thousand miles removed.

holding hands with my grandma

 

Emergency flight

I wrote that introduction a few weeks ago. It had to be our first post of 2019, but I couldn’t stomach writing more than a few sentences. Early January, my grandmother broke her hip. Less than a day later, her condition worsened and her body struggled to keep up. She was rushed into intensive care.

Though many things in our current society are bad for our planet, air travel is high up in the list. And I must admit, sustainability is not the first thing that’s on my mind in emergencies. Family comes first, so we immediately booked tickets for me to fly home. 

But aside from the actual trip by plane itself, (sudden) travel can create quite a bit of unnecessary waste. To inspire other travelers to be less wasteful on the road or in the air, I took some pictures during my trip from Dublin to Amsterdam. I only had my old iPhone, so the pictures aren’t great, but that shouldn’t matter.

 

Healthy and fresh low waste food

My day started with a long walk with the dogs. Whilst I entertained Mojo and Venus outdoors and cleared my mind after a very bad night’s sleep, Jordy prepared my breakfast. He had made a delicious wholemeal sourdough loaf and prepared my lunch before he cycled to work. 

staffords

sourdough bread in cotton bag

He packed my slices of sourdough in a cotton produce bag. They were topped with cheddar from a plastic bulk package: unhealthy and unsustainable. We had a craving earlier that week. 

banana blood orange

After coming home from my walk with the dogs, I had a super simple and quick breakfast. I ate a banana that we bought package free at Lidl, as well as an orange and a blood orange delivered by Green Earth Organics. 

apple

car

I had a crunchy apple on the car ride from Amsterdam to the north of Holland. Jordy’s mum and his brother’s girlfriend kindly picked me up at the airport. It was so much better than a lonely train ride!

zero waste fruit snack

Since GEO had just delivered our fresh produce two days before my departure, I also brought an apples and two oranges along on my trip. Along with some peanut butter for the apple, they served as lunch the next day. This helped prevent food waste, as Jordy would have never finished all the fruit we ordered on his own.

zero waste grocery shopping basket

Before traveling back to Dublin, I visited the local grocery store for some more fruits to eat on the way home. Though the store was small, I managed to find some package free healthy food. 

On the first evening at my dad’s home, I prepared dinner with him as my sous-chef. He had already bought some delicious plant-based steaks for me, while they had beef. We created some small side dishes to go with them. A green salad with onion and bell pepper, roasted cherry vine tomatoes, mushrooms with soy sauce, and wholegrain fusilli pasta with garlic, herbs, and olive oil.

 

Family

I felt so blessed to spend three days with my nan. It was a very emotional time, but she perked up enough to pull through and have surgery. Both on her clear and drowsy moments, she was funny and kind.

flowers

When I heard she’d broken her hip, I sent a lovely bunch of flowers her way. Sadly, she was then transferred to the ICU where flowers are not allowed. But they didn’t go to waste. My father and stepmom brought them home.

girl driving bmw

I knew how much it meant to my nan and dad if I would start driving again. Aside from a few (very short) trips in our camper van, I hadn’t driven for over a year. Dad loves his car, and allowed me to drive it home after seeing my grandma for the first time that trip. It was quite a euphoric feeling, I can’t really describe it.

 

Thoughts at the airport

The airport in Dublin was small and quiet. Everything went smoothly, and the place was easy to navigate.

waste management dublin airport

The first thing I noticed though, was their waste management system. Please take a look at the images displayed on the general waste bin. Food waste should cover two of the five Rs in waste management; reduce and rot. One should eat the stuff they buy, refrain from buying what they won’t consume, and compost any obvious leftovers! Luckily, recycling is an option to those who understand what goes where! 😉

hydration station

I did however LOVE seeing these hydration stations around! Even people who are afraid of filling their bottle in the bathroom or don’t like drinking unfiltered tap water have no reason to buy single use plastic bottles at this airport!

minimalist travel essentials

Here’s a sneak peak into my minimalist travel bag. It features among others:

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