You may be familiar with the saying, “reduce, reuse, recycle.” It’s more than a catchy phrase. It’s a vital part of our ever-growing world. With billions of people on the planet, you can’t go anywhere without seeing garbage. It’s filling up our landfills, polluting our oceans, and tainting the beauty of our landscapes. But it doesn’t have to be that way when there are so many ways to recycle. Many companies specialize in recycling plastics, metals, or paper. But there are also ways to recycle many of the other products we use.
Vacations may be the most difficult time to recycle. Disposable goods are just so much more convenient for trips than cookware, utensils, and other items. But if you’re environmentally conscious and wish to spend your time being kind to the earth, here are some tips to ensure your vacation is as green as you want it to be.
Recycle along the way
Depending on what you’re traveling in, it should be easy to keep a small container for recyclable trash. If you’re taking measures to be eco-friendly, chances are your trash will be minimal anyway. But you can usually easily find a recycling center for the trash you do have. If you’re staying in one location for any period of time, you can ask locals where they go to recycle. And many campgrounds and hotels even have their own recycling bins available for their guests.
Also, look for uncommon ways to recycle products. For example, there are companies that offer used cooking oil collection services. These companies recycle this oil and turn it into biodiesel, which is a much cleaner and greener alternative to petroleum diesel. Other things you might not have known you can recycle are wine corks, cigarette butts, CDs, and diapers.
Camping can be a very eco-friendly activity with the proper guidelines. You can use your own dishes instead of disposable products for cooking and eating. Rather than buying snacks in disposable plastics, pack your own in containers you can reuse. And buy biodegradable products whenever possible. Also, try to clean up every trace of your stay before you leave. But to make an even bigger impact, enlist the whole family in a mission to clean up anything left behind by others. This way, you can leave the space anywhere you go a little bit better than how you found it.
Keep your hotel stays green
If you do stay in a hotel, check to make sure it’s an eco-friendly accommodation. You’ll find more of these abroad, but it’s not impossible to find them in the states. But even if you can’t find a green hotel in the area you’re staying in, you can still do your part. For example, pack your own lotions and shampoos rather than using those tiny single-use bottles that have to be tossed out daily. And request that your linens not be changed everyday. Also, take quick showers rather than baths and hang your towels up to dry so they can be reused.
Take your own coffee cup or water bottle
Stopping for coffee in every major town might be a non-negotiable part of your trip. But instead of going through dozens of styrofoam cups along the way, consider taking your own reusable mug. Most truck stops and diners are fine with you filling up your own container. It saves them money, too.
And the same goes for water. Those plastic bottles can really pile up. But it is possible to find places to fill up your reusable water bottle. Many towns even have water bottle fill-up stations where you can pay a quarter to fill up an entire jug. This is not only important for the environment, but it’s also a necessity in many cases. For example, if you choose to Take the LAN150 Challenge, you might find yourself hiking along a river where you won’t have many opportunities to buy a beverage.