Well, summer travel is upon us and many us will hit the road, trains and airports.
Recently, when I traveled down to Virginia for Memorial Day weekend, I stopped at off the highway to pick-up some nourishment at one of those mega rest stop food courts.
Nevermind trying to be healthy (I gave up the second I saw the Cinnabon next to the Taco Bell with a Haagen Daaz ice cream booth wedged in between). Instead, I wondered if it’s possible to be green in a world of fast-food over-packaging. As I looked at the overflowing trash cans of plastic cups, styrofoam burger boxes, and soiled napkins, I started to wonder what are some good green tips I could share when it comes to finding green food options when traveling. Or is this a lost cause?
Okay, so in this summer travel tip post, I’ll start with the easiest: beverages.
1. Go glass or aluminum whenever possible. Skip the paper/plastic cups and plastic soda bottles altogether. Look for a vending machine that sells glass or metal cans; think Snapple or orange juice or even Red Bull (like I said, this is not a healthy-eating post). Glass and aluminum are easily recyclable and desirable recyclables; aluminum and glass get recycled into new aluminum and glass. Bring the drink with you, sip in the car, and drop in a recycling bin at home or at your final destination. For flyers, the good news is that many airports have recycling bins throughout the terminal, so you can drop your can or bottle into the recycling bin right before you board the plane.
2. For coffee drinks, look for Starbucks. Yes, they are everywhere. But they also encourage reuse of those metal coffee bottles in their chains. Not only will you avoid getting a paper cup, but they’ll also give you a discount for bringing your own traveling mug. Plus it keeps your hot drink, hot longer. (Although in the hot summer heat, that may not be a great thing… hmmmm). If you have a reusable SIGG water bottle, Starbucks will often fill it up for you with their filtered water for free. Just be nice when asking.
A smile, I find…goes a long way.