If you're like me, you look forward all year to your summer vacation. Not that I don't like winter vacations and family holidays - but summer is the one time of year when I really get to relax. De-stress. You know what I mean...That lie-on-the-beach, forget-about-everything, read-a-book-for-fun, have-a-mojito kind of relaxation. Ahhh…good times.
But whether your idea of relaxation is sitting poolside, hiking in Joshua Tree, or driving cross country to see the world's largest ball of twine (BTW-that would be in Darwin, MN or Cawker City, KN, depending on which Chamber of Commerce you believe,) relaxing doesn't mean becoming lax about keeping the earth clean.
Recycling while away from home may seem like a drag, but it's worth it if you want your kids to continue to have wonderful, clean places to visit. And with these tips, it's easier than you think. In fact, it's almost stress free.
Believe It Or Not, Your Car Is Already A Recycling Bin–Or It Could Be
Keep A Recycling Bin In Your Car - Our cars, especially while on a driving vacation, can become littered with old water bottles, soda cans and papers that are just rolling around on the floorboard. They could be recycled, but haven't made it to the bin. Take time to convert your car into your own "on-the-go recycling center." All you really need is a handy tub, a cardboard box or even a plastic or paper grocery bag to catch your recyclable cast-offs. It doesn't need to be a big production. All you need is a container - and a moment - to toss and store those discarded "roadies" for later recycling. Bring it back home, sort and recycle there. That way, your community still gets the benefit of the dollars that come in from the sale of recyclables.
Water, Water, Everywhere
Bring Your Own Bottle - Because let's face it, the best way to recycle is to use less from the beginning. A reusable water bottle made of metal, glass or even plastic will use less water to fill each time than a traditional pre-filled plastic bottle. It produces no waste since you don't throw it away and you'll be saving the $1.25 each for the glorified tap water that other less-informed individuals might be drinking.
Get On A Plane - One good thing about bringing your own water bottle. Plane travel. Yes, plane travel. In this day and age of take-off-your-shoes and no liquids, a personal water bottle is a godsend. Empty it before you go through security, then refill at the nearest water fountain. Voila!
Cooler Anyone? - Another great idea, especially if your going to the beach or a sporting event, is to use an old fashioned thermos. They come in all sizes, small enough for one or big enough to hydrate an entire football team. Fill it with ice and the beverage of your choice, pair with reuseable, unbreakable cups and you're all set.
Find A Spot To Drop It Off - Most wayside rest areas, national parks and gas stations have recycling bins these days. If you don't see a bin, ask. Most people will be happy to help you find what you're looking for. Then it's easy enough to drop off some recycling when you fill up your tank or tour the sights.
Call Ahead - If you're not sure about recycling at a specific destination, call ahead. Many hotels and restaurants now recycle. For instance, Monterey, CA has successfully launched the Blue-to-Blue program in their community. It provides blue recycling bins free of charge to local hotels and restaurants. To see if your destination has a similar program, check out EcoTourism.org or GreenSeal.org or call the local Chamber of Commerce.