Trash Free Traveling
On the road again...most of us will be there at some point this summer. Traveling is fun, but it sure can produce a ton of trash. If you add up all your snacks, fast food fixes, and convenient travel-sized containers, your waste footprint is probably pretty significant. By planning ahead, you can avoid quite a few trips to the trash bin. Here are some ideas to get you started.
1) Drinks: Essential for every traveler, invest in a sturdy re-usable water bottle rather than constantly buying drinks in disposables. If you are flying, make sure your bottle is small enough to pass security. Remember, you can fill it with water once you get past the TSA. A collapsible cup is also good for plane drinks.
2) Grocery Bags: Pack a couple lightweight reusable bags for shopping. When you’re not using them for groceries, use them for picnics or even dirty clothes!
3) Toiletries: Rather than buying disposables, re-use the small containers you undoubtedly already have at home to pack travel-sized portions. Fill them with stuff you like rather than the stuff you have to buy if you visit your drug store’s travel rack.
4) Cloth Napkins: Pack a cloth napkin for each family member. The more often you use them, the fewer paper napkins you will throw away. If you’re camping, use easy-to-rinse bandanas.
5) Utensils: Bring a fork (or a handy spork!) for all your travelers if you are packing more than a carry-on flight bag. Think of all the plastic waste you’ll avoid tossing!
6) Snacks: Rather than buying individually wrapped items, buy your favorite snacks in regular-sized containers or in bulk and then pre-pack small portions in reusable plastic bags or small easy-to-wash containers.
7) Just Say No: Pass on straws, plastic lids, extra packages of catsup, and other disposables that are offered along with fast food.
8) Recycle: Lots of airports and some restaurants recycle these days. Use these services!
Nearby Nature News, Summer 2012