Monday, June 28, 2010

Being Green, Both Home & On Holiday

Cincinnati Zoo...check.   Kings Island...check.  30,000 steps on the pedometer over the last 2 days....check.  Wiped out kids....check!  Good times had by all....check!  All signs of a great vacation!!

I saw this link on Earth Hour's Facebook posting today, and it rings true with what I've been thinking and noticing a lot during this li'l family vacation of ours.  To read the whole article "Britons 'More Ecological at Home'," click the title above or go to AOL's UK news page .

The gist of the article is that at least in the UK, as gung ho as people are about recycling in their homes, they slack off on holiday.  I've gotta say:  I see it here, in middle America with myself...and it bums me out!  It isn't for lack of trying, it's for lack of true opportunity!  

As I have previously written this week, the hotel industry (at least where we've been) is great on their breakfast fronts, but lacking in their recycling (and worse yet with their Styrofoam consumption).  There's nothing available in my hotels to even attempt recycling.  At one we stayed at a few days, I posed the question of "If I were to want to recycle, where would I do it or take it."  The clerk didn't know.  I did do a quick glance at to try to remedy it myself, but even that proved minimally helpful not knowing the area.  So I'm an environmentally slacking activist.  Moment of pride, let me tell you.

At both the Cincinnati Zoo and Kings Island, I was impressed with the green recycle containers throughout with round-cut openings for both bottles and cans, yet there was nothing for the massive amounts of plates (happily paper not Styrofoam), paper boxes, plastic cups, plastic cutlery, and more.  Ironically too, the Zoo had these wonderful sustainable napkins they were publicly touting, but it seemed a little lost with the overflowing trash cans, and multitudes of ketchup packets and such.  The Zoo did have green bins labeled for cell phones to donate in order to protect gorilla habitats.  The Zoo also has a sections on their website about conservation & "going green," detailing how they are harvesting wind with their wind turbine. (See to learn more about their turbines, and go to for tips about "being green.")  So the commitment is there, I was just hoping for more.
It reminds me once again how spoiled I am, living in Anne Arundel County, Maryland because they literally recycle EVERYTHING. They make it easy with one-bin collection, and simple in its inclusion of all paper, plastic, aluminum, and glass products.   More counties, municipalities, communities need to follow suit.  (To learn more about AA County recycling, go to  Of course, there's the double edge sword of making it mandatory so more people take part (= governmental involvement = noise by many)...but without an overriding program (or maybe a wave of social activism), will it ever happen? 

So for now, I'm banking on the wave, hoping more people join the bandwagon.  In doing so, it proves that one person CAN and DOES make a difference, which in turn will make it become easier when we're away from home to do what we need to do. 

Images from,, and .

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