We Tried To Do Our Part
We just returned from traveling 3,300 miles over 26 days in the United States and I just had to blog about how difficult it was to find places to recycle along the way. Since we were driving I decided to take along my Brita jug from home and bring our stainless steel water bottles to fill up each day and night. No need to buy water in plastic bottles right? Good start. However, when driving 8 to 10 hours at a time several sodas (coke and orange crush are our beverages of choice) are needed along the way. Also to stay in touch with the rest of the world (and the upcoming Olympic news) we bought a newspaper every few days.

The Worst Offenders
We stopped at 10 gas stations over the 26 days and NOT ONE had recycling for even plastic bottles. I had suspected this is Washington and Oregon but I was very disappointed in California given how ‘green’ I perceived Arnie’s state to have become. The shining light was at Club Intrawest in Palm Desert where we spent our second full week. Each building of 9 units is provided with its own recycling bins for plastic, glass, paper and cardboard. They were easily accessible and well marked. We spent our first week at the Lawrence Welk Resort in Escondido which had limited glass and plastic recycling and our third week at the Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort where the cleaning staff picked up bottles and cans if left in the sink. Both made an effort but fell short of what we expected. The worst offenders of all were the amusements parks. We visited 4 in all – Universal Studios, Disneyland, Sea World and the Wild Animal Park – and I did not see one blue bin despite the proliferation of plastic pop bottles being sold. This does not mean that the staff did not have some way to separate the trash that we did not see but why not have bins?  How can the happiest place on earth be so happy without blue bins?

Gotta Speak to the Terminator…
All in all we had a great trip and do enjoy Southern California. But I have to ask, California – what’s up? USA – what’s up? I am happy to report that on my first morning back in Vancouver I took my usual walk through Stanley Park and was very happy to see an extra recycle bin outside of Café Villagio on Coal Harbour Quay and a set of four (paper, plastic, glass and garbage) at the end of Denman beside Crime Lab at the entrance to the park just in time for all of the extra guests. Maybe I can talk to Arnie as he runs by with the torch on Friday! (See tomorrow’s blog for what really ticked Jeff off along the way)