You may be a master recycler at home, but what about when you’re on the road? Summer vacations are just around the corner. Wherever your travels might take you, be sure to reduce, reuse and recycle along the way. Here are some helpful tips:
- Check ahead — Planning for recycling on your road trip is just as important as remembering to pack your tooth brush and phone charger. Contact the places you’ll be staying (campground, motel, resort, etc.) to find out what recycling services they offer. Once you arrive, lodging staff should be able to direct you to a recycling location on- or off-site. Another great resource is iRecycle, an app developed by Earth911 to provide recycling information and locations for the USA, and parts of Mexico and Canada. Both EnvironmentallyFriendlyHotels.com and the Green Hotel Association can help you find lodging that offers recycling.
- Contain it — You’ll need a way to contain your recyclables and trash while you’re on the road. Bring a container (bag, bin, etc.) for each. If you’re staying someplace that doesn’t offer recycling, bring your own container to hold recyclables until you reach someplace that does.
- Let it rot — If you compost at home, you can compost on the road, too. Take an airtight plastic container or two to store your compostables until you get back home.
- Reduce packaging — Space is always at a premium when you’re on the road, so choose items with little or no packaging. Avoid items that are individually wrapped. If you end up with candy wrappers or chip bags, check with TerraCycle, a company that prides itself in recycling everything.
- Leave only small “food prints” — Eating out on the road is expensive both in terms of your pocket book and energy and resources. Pre-purchase snacks, drinks and food, keep perishables in a cooler, and visit a local grocery store when you run low.
- Go for unique souvenirs — Consider buying goods by local artists to support the local economy and buy fair trade items when available. If you’re buying gifts for others, use your old road map or a brochure as gift wrap.
- Pack your reusable bags — Always pack a few reusable bags for souvenirs and those on-the-road grocery stops.
- Just say no to “Would you like a box for that?” — Remember to take plastic food storage containers for your restaurant leftovers. They’re easier to pack in a cooler than flimsy takeout containers, and they keep food fresh longer.
- Reduce, reuse, rehydrate — Take reusable mugs and bottles for all your road trip drinks.
For information on where you can take your recyclables once you get home, visit RecycleSpot.org, Kansas City metro area’s one-stop spot for recycling, reuse and waste reduction information.