Recycling While Traveling

May 24th, 2009 | By | Category: Green Living

After spending a week in some really strange weather for Florida, I can’t say I wasn’t glad to reach dry land again yesterday when I arrived back at home. However, that little trip did teach me a lot about living green while traveling. It also provided some insight into how businesses and communities are working together to reduce the amount of waste produced.

Disney is one of the most popular vacation spots in the country. I had never been, so I hadn’t had a really good grasp of just how large this particular resort was in reality. It is vast in size and resembles a mid-sized city rather than a resort. Encompassed in its boundaries are every conceivable want of a tourist, vacationer, and even the business traveler could desire. In short, it is magnificent.

It is also extremely clean and environmentally friendly. The wildlife live side by side at Disney without either hindering the freedom of the other. This intrigued me, so I asked a few question on just how that could be since it doesn’t seem to happen anywhere else. The answers I received surprised me.

Disney has a multitude of recycling bins for various trash. This makes it a snap to continue recycling efforts while on vacation. To help reduce the confusion of mistakes in these bins, the receptacles had shaped openings to fit what should go inside. These were scattered throughout the park in vast numbers to encourage tourists to go green. They are simply painted and decorated to match whatever area you happen to be in. This keeps people happy as there are no eye sores and animals happy as there is less trash that can be harmful to them being left on the ground.

In fact, Disney goes even further in their conservation efforts than most vacation resorts. All of the benches in the Animal Kingdom are made from recycled plastic. They look and feel like wood, but are made entirely out of plastic that would have otherwise become part of a landfill. This greatly reduces the amount of trash inside the dumps and gives something that is needed back to the community. (Trust me, that park is huge and those benches are needed to rest very tired feet!)

Further, you can’t even get a straw in the Animal Kingdom because Disney doesn’t want them on the ground. They don’t want their animals to suffer at our carelessness. Some of the animals Disney shelters are on the endangered list, such as the manatee. For this reason, Disney takes extreme caution to preserve the natural world around us as much as possible while still delivering a magical experience that has become their trademark.

After learning about the efforts of Disney, I decided to look into what I could do with all of my discarded plastic trash at home. The possibilities are really endless-from molds to planters to containers for other items. One thing I discovered is that plastic shopping bags don’t have to end up in the trash at all. Out of boredom (read that as a need to relax and do nothing for a couple of hours), I began to braid some old shopping bags together. I spent most of the afternoon doing this yesterday and ended up with the best bath mat I’ve ever had!

I did put some double sided tape on the bottom of my plastic braided rug when I was finished to avoid slipping, but water won’t ruin this one and washing it is a breeze. I just have to rinse it every now and then under running water and I’m done.

I will be working on a completely recycled scrapbook and will post that with instructions as soon as I have it finished. So far, it is proving to be a most memorable method of preserving the trip to Disney. I’m finding as I research for this blog that going green is less work and much more fun than I ever imagined. In fact, it’s completely painless.

If you have ideas on how to recycle items and reduce the trash on the planet or on how to live a little greener, please feel free to share them with me. I’d love to hear from you.

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