Home TRAVEL TIPS How to Recycle During Travel

How to Recycle During Travel

plastic bottle on beach
Image by Glyn Hupalo

Whether you are going for a road trip or vacation, you can remain environmentally conscious and reduce waste by recycling. Unfortunately, most people do not recycle away from home. While recycling during travel may require more effort on your part, it is a worthy cause. Here are tips for recycling to help you care for the planet while on the go.

1. Avoid Plastic Water Bottles

It is no doubt that plastic waste harms the environment. Instead of buying water every time you run out, bring along a reusable water bottle. You can refill it with drinking water instead of buying a new one. The good thing is that you can find collapsible water bottles which can easily fit into your traveling bag. Places you can refill your reusable water bottle when traveling include a refilling station, an airport, or a fountain.

2. Carry a Bag for Your Recyclables

When traveling, especially by car, you may be tempted to throw all the waste in a trashcan without sorting them. You may also find places with no recycling bins to use. With this in mind, consider carrying your bag or box to place your recyclables, and watch out for recycling bins as you travel so you can recycle the waste. If you cannot find a bin for your recyclables,  it is better to take them home whenever possible. Choose a reusable bag or box to minimize waste.

3. Dine Responsibly

Avoid using single-use plastic cutlery and eating utensils while traveling. These include everything from forks and plates to plastic straws. Instead, buy a set of traveling utensils you can re-use, such as mugs, food containers, and cutlery. For cases where you have no choice but to use plastic utensils, ensure that they get into a recycle bin. On the same note, pick eateries and restaurants that use real plates and cutlery when dining. Lastly, avoid taking extra packing bags, containers, or paper towels after eating street food.

4. Choose Hotels with Recycling Programs

Before you travel, perform a background check on the hotel you intend to stay in to ensure it has a recycling program. You can call the hotel before your trip and find out about their recycling services or check online for options with high green ratings. Also, sites like Trip Advisor have programs that help you plan your eco-friendly stay in a hotel. If your accommodation does not offer recycling services for recyclables, you can look for alternatives that provide green trash removal or collect them yourself.

5. Dispose of Batteries Properly

As a traveler, you probably have batteries for devices like cameras, mobile phones, and flashlights. Most times, the batteries end up in landfills with other waste, and the casings corrode, releasing chemicals into the soil. You can avoid this by disposing of them in line with your city’s or state’s requirements. Again, check online for the requirements depending on your location. When in doubt, collect the used batteries until you find the appropriate disposal or recycling point.

6. Do Not Print Everything

In the age of technology, where you can buy tickets online, you don’t have to print out everything. Most airlines also have apps that allow you to obtain a digital boarding pass, thus reducing paper waste. Similarly, get a reusable luggage tag you can use each time you travel. Besides being environmentally friendly, it also saves you time as you don’t have to write your details each time you fly.

Every effort counts when it comes to protecting the planet. With the above tips, you can make recycling a breeze while traveling and contribute positively to environmental sustainability.