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Sun, Sea, and Sustainability

With the school holidays starting, many of you are packing your suitcases and getting ready to head off somewhere sunny. As you prepare for holiday season, we've shared some ways you can have a positive impact on the areas you’re visiting by cutting down on the amount you waste and increasing your recycling.

We all enjoy more leisure time over the summer, but whether you’re eating out, doing activities with the family, or just catching some sun on the beach, it’s important to behave responsibly toward the environment.

Making sustainable decisions when planning your holiday can make a big difference to the amount of waste that you produce. With Earth Overshoot Day occurring earlier every year, it’s important for everyone to ensure that they’re doing their bit to preserve our resources.

Reduce waste

The UK produces an estimated 10.2million tonnes of food waste each year. You can help to reduce this food waste by packing your own food for long journeys. This way you can prepare just the right amount of food and reduce the likelihood of discarded left-over food.

Preparing and packing your food at home, using reusable containers, will also help cut down on any convenience buys of single-use plastic or on-the-go food and drink. We recently shared some top tips on ways to go green this picnic season.

Reuse your containers

When you’re out for the day, focus on making sure you don’t generate unnecessary waste. For example, invest in a reusable cup for coffee top-ups to prevent unnecessary waste, as every year, 2.5bn single-use cups are thrown away.

If you’re heading out in the sun, be sure to take a refillable bottle of water with - more and more places are now providing improved facilities for people to refill rather than buy throw away bottles. And if you’re flying, buying 100ml containers for any liquids, creams, and gels going in your hand luggage will save you from needing to buy travel-sized toiletries, and you can re-use the containers next time you fly.

Recycling - find the right bin

Wherever you are, try to look out for the different bins available – sorting waste into the right bins will help it to be recycled.

Where possible, you should also scrape off any excess food, or pour out any liquid, from plastic or paper-based food packaging before you recycle it.

It’s always good advice, whether you’re on holiday or not, to think about recycling when making purchases. Check whether a product or piece of packaging can be easily recycled when you buy it, so you can help prevent those waste bins from filling up!

Do your research

Look up the local recycling rules where you’re going. There might be a different bin system to what you’re used to, so ensure you can make the most of the recycling options available.

There might be separate food waste collections, or a different set-up for collecting cans, plastics, and paper – check out the local system when you check in so that you know where to put your waste.

If you make sure that you put the right material in the right bin, you’re increasing its chance of being recycled into something useful again, because you’re helping to safeguard the quality of the material being collected for recycling.

Looking up the recycling collections will also tell you what day you need to put your bins out while you’re there.

Take it with you

Once you’ve made sure you’re not generating unnecessary waste, and enjoyed your day out, make sure you don’t leave anything behind. If there are no recycling and waste bins available, take it home with you.

Wherever you are in the world, you can help to preserve the natural world for future generations by ensuring you don’t leave litter behind.

By recycling correctly, separating out your materials where you can, and planning ahead to reduce your waste, you can stay sustainable on your summer holiday.