How to make your summer plans #ZeroWaste

By: Sara Mack, Marketing Manager

After a week of 80 degree days, it’s hard to deny that summer is on the way. We can’t wait to spend time outdoors this summer, but it can sometimes be difficult to plan day trips or other adventures  that won’t create unnecessary food or single use waste. 

It is important that when you’re making plans you keep sustainability in mind, especially if you’re traveling to an area where your waste may interrupt or damage local communities or habitats. “Leave no trace” is not only an important mantra to follow when spending time in the wilderness, it also can help us think about reducing waste while traveling in general. The idea behind the “leave no trace” mentality is to leave the areas you visit exactly as you find them. This also means that anything that you bring along with you, you need to take with you when you leave. 

Although “leave no trace” sounds simple in theory, how does it work in practice? And how can you reduce your waste on your summer trips? 

  • Pack any snacks and meals that you will need for the day in a tupperware or reusable cloth/silicon bags
    • Planning your meals in advance will not only reduce your waste, but it will also likely save you the time and stress of trying to decide where to stop for food last minute along your journey. 
  • Bring any food waste home with you
    • If you’re already bringing your lunch in a reusable container, it is easy to bring your apple cores and orange peels back home with you so they can make it to your compost bin and avoid the landfill. 
  • Come prepared and avoid last minute shopping trips
    • Through remembering to bring items like a first aid kit, sunscreen, and extra water, you can avoid unnecessary shopping runs and therefore unnecessary purchases and waste. 
  • Pool your resources
    • If you’re planning a meet-up with individuals from multiple households, don’t be redundant when it comes to your packing lists! If you’re planning to bring a picnic lunch, for example, you likely won’t need to bring a picnic blanket for each individual. Sharing resources will shrink your environmental impact and the amount of things you are responsible for throughout the day. 
  • Avoid activities centered around single use purchases
    • Opt for activities like going on a hike or visiting a lake or beach over visiting a theme park or spending a lot of time at the mall in order to avoid situations where you feel pressure to make unnecessary purchases that will lead to excess waste. 

Especially after a long year of being cooped up indoors, it is exciting to plan for the possibilities that warmer weather offers. Summer fun doesn’t mean that you have to disregard sustainability. Feel free to share your own tips for being more environmentally friendly on trips — we’re all about learning new strategies to keep waste out of the landfill!

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