Monday, September 07, 2015

Recycling on vacation saves money

To me, recycling on vacation is as important as recycling at home. It also saves money. Committing to reduce, reuse and recycle may seem easier for campers than for hotel travelers, however, it works there too. Until our road trip to Alaska, I never knew how easy it is to recycle on vacation - and save money! A look at our travel supplies and habits showed room for improvement. A few changes were all that we needed to make recycling on vacation work for us.

Plastic bottles
Get a good reusable water bottle and dump the disposables. Hubby's Contigo bottle cost about the same as a single case of water. Washing it was easy since the wide mouth let me reach to the bottom. We refilled it from a glass jar that we keep in the van, but a five gallon beverage cooler works.

You can get free water just about anywhere. Campgrounds, national parks and rest areas all have water. Changing things up is as simple as tossing cold brew tea bags into the glass jar and steeping as directed. Free tea in minutes.

Free ice
Did you know that truck stops and some convenience stores offer free ice? Many Flying J and Pilot let you get free ice from the soda fountains if you have your own cup. To save more money, I put the free ice into the Quantum Cooler that we already had. A small cooler like this one is okay for short trips, but the Quantum holds ice longer. Having ice, reusable cups and sun tea lowered the temptation to buy iced drinks on the road, so we could put those vacation dollars to use elsewhere.

Picnic
We only used a pack and a half of disposable plates on our month-long trip to Alaska and no plastic tablecloths. I brought what we needed from home and washed as necessary. It was a cheap way to reuse what we already had.

Reusable tote bags
I love my reusable grocery sacks. You can stuff them full and still have space leftover. Although the reusable grocery sacks didn't completely get us away from plastic, they made a huge difference. The few bags that we ended up with from stores were reused for trash, the dog or for wrapping souvenirs.

I'm glad that we did the recycling on vacation. Saving money is great! But, keeping plastics out of landfills and saving money is even better. That's cash in our pockets that we can use for other things - like a bigger memory cards for the road trip.