I have been on a road trip with my family for over a week and have another week of driving ahead. Traveling and remaining conscious of the wasteful nature we adopt when out of our comfort zones is a challenge but I found encouragement in unusual places. I have been pleasantly surprised at how much things have changed for the better in the places I’ve visited recently.
I took the kids to the Herr’s snack factory in Nottingham, Pennsylvania for a tour of the facility. Factories always seem to be a huge source of waste but in this instance I was happy to hear about the measures they take to create less waste and reuse when then can. The potato starch discarded in processing goes to a paper factory. They reuse the oil to heat the building in the winter months and they reuse packing boxes over and over. All excess food dropped on the factory floor is given to local farm animals and buy products local as much as possible. It was refreshing to see that forward progress is happening in the places we least suspect. (If you ever get a chance to visit the Herr’s factory I recommend it! Kids loved it and it was free!)
Our hotel in Pennsylvania had a recycle bin in our room, had a “reuse” policy for linens and used reusable trash liners instead of plastic bags.
While in the car things can get less eco-friendly since everything these days is individually wrapped and let’s face it, you need a roll of paper towels when you drive somewhere far with two kids and a dog. But we kept our reusable stainless bottles filled and packed our own food in reusable containers to reduce waste. It’s tricky but we try. Of course I am stocked with safe sunscreen for the whole family!
Have you traveled this summer yet? What are your plans to keep your vacations eco-friendly?