Recycla and her family have just returned from spring break, during which they went out west and visited several national parks and national monuments. One thing Recycla noticed at every place they visited was an emphasis on the environment and easy ways that visitors could make a different. One would think that national parks would naturally be eco-friendly but that hasn’t always been the case.
Here’s a list of some of the things Recycla was thrilled to see:
The Grand Canyon no longer sells bottled water. Instead they sell reusable water bottles and have free water stations in convenient locations.
On a related note, at every national park Recycla and her family visited, they saw signs talking about the water-saving measures being used at that park — an important reminder for visitors to pay attention to where water comes from and how it is used.
Naturally, all of the parks had separated recycling bins next to trash cans.
The larger parks have shuttle buses that are powered by natural gas. In the cases of the Grand Canyon and Zion, cars are not allowed in some parts of the parks during peak visiting months and visitors are required to take the buses in order to get around. The buses are convenient and easy to use and Recycla and her family were happy to park their car and take buses.
Some of the bathrooms Recycla visited had toilets with two buttons on the top instead of a traditional flushing handle — the button on the left was for liquids and used minimal water, while the button on the right was for solids and used a little more water. Bathrooms also had hand dryers instead of paper towels. And, it appears that water is being recycled, with reclaimed waste water being used to flush toilets and irrigate landscaping.
Recycla also saw solar panels and small wind turbines at every park.
And, every park contained signs, brochures, and other information about their environmental practices and how visitors could help.
All in all, Recycla was very pleased to see so many different ways that the national parks are working to be more environmentally friendly — and asking visitors to join in the cause.
Recycla has a friend who works for the company that manages the food and hotels at many of the major national parks out west. This friend’s job involves environmental sustainability. If there’s interest, Recycla would be happy to interview her to find out more about what they’re doing.