Recycling Tips for Your Summer Trips
Summer is a time to kick back, relax, and spend as much time outside as possible. Whether you plan to hike in the mountains or head to the beach, a summer vacation is the perfect reward for working hard all year long. The only challenge is ensuring that you’re not so relaxed you forget about rewarding the earth, too. After all, you may be on vacation, but the earth never takes a break. This summer, make sure you keep your good habits hard at work and make your next trip a little greener. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Hitting the Road
If you’re traveling by highway, it is possible to make your journey more earth friendly. Bring two small trash bags with you—one for garbage, and one for recyclables. This makes it easier to keep up your good habits while you’re on the road! You can also pack snacks in reusable containers instead of buying treats at the gas station. This will save on packaging, and will probably be quite a bit healthier, too!
Instead of buying a bunch of plastic beach toys, see what you have lying around the house that can be used instead. Plastic kitchen pieces, such as mixing bowls and ladles, are great in the sand! Before you go, challenge your kids to fill a bucket with trash discarded by other people, and keep track of how many buckets you pack out all summer long. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it adds up, and how motivated you are to keep the beach clean! This is also a great way to set a good example for the next generation.
Camping and Hiking
If you’re car camping, you have an opportunity to pack a little more. Use that extra space for reusable or biodegradable dishes, forks, and napkins. If you build a fire, make sure to put it out completely when you’re done in order to help prevent forest fires. When you’re done enjoying the great outdoors, always leave it spotless—as the Boy Scouts say, “Pack It In, Pack It Out.” Don’t forget to do a final sweep of your campsite right before you go to grab anything you may have missed.
Up, Up and Away
If your summer vacation includes a flight, you have a number of opportunities to make good choices for the earth. Carry an empty water bottle through security, then fill it up once you get to the other side. You can also purchase reusable containers for your toiletries—simply fill them with your shampoo and body wash from the big bottles you must leave at home. If you need reading material for the flight, skip the magazines and newspapers and bring a library book or e-reader and catch up on some quality literature instead.
You don’t have to travel far to find adventure—sometimes staying close to home is the best way to go green! Summer is a great time to have a yard sale, which will keep your unwanted items out of the trash and make you some extra cash. Plant a garden and watch the miracle of life unfold all summer long. Explore your city’s public transit options and challenge yourself to have a car-free weekend. Visit local parks, beaches, and hiking trails, and take some time to enjoy the earth you work so hard to protect.
It doesn’t matter what you do or where you go this summer. The important thing is to make sure you take your good recycling habits with you.