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News item submitted by Gap Year Blog
News item dated 14 Sep 2017

You don't necessarily have to live a "zero waste" lifestyle to make a positive impact on your ecological footprint and contribute to conservation efforts. Reducing your plastic use would be a first, very important step to getting there.

While it seems quite easy to follow this goal back at home, all of us experience how difficult it is to keep up this ecological lifestyle while living and working abroad. There are not only different recycling standards compared to our home countries, with our project we're also located in a very touristy region where they sell heaps of single-use goods and restaurants offer food and drinks for take-away in plastic wrappings everywhere.

Even if we weren't aware of the amount of unnecessary plastic use, we would realize it while doing our beach cleanups at the latest. It's unbelievable how much rubbish we have to pick up every time we go down to the beaches to do our work – even if we choose of the places that we cleaned up only one week ago. We would love to help tourists reduce their plastic consumption, but of course we can't tell people how to act and how to spend their vacations responsibly.

For those who are interested, we put together a list of useful information on how to reduce the plastic consumption while on vacation in Tenerife:
●    Don't buy new plastic bottles of water every time you're thirsty, rather take water in reusable bottles with you when you leave the house/hotel. You can use tap water or buy huge water bottles of at least 5 litres to refill them.    
●    Instead of using plastic or paper sandwich bags, carry your prepared meals in a reusable lunch box.
●    When going out for a meal, bring your own container for take-away since many restaurants use styrofoam containers.
●    Don't buy/use plastic bags from the supermarket - bring a reusable shopping bag or a rucksack instead. You can tell the personnel "no necesito bolsa", so they know.
●    Say no to plastic straws. When ordering drinks you can say "sin pajita de plástico, por favor". You could also purchase a reusable stainless steel or glass straw.
●    Bring a reusable coffee cup for your coffee-to-go.
●    Skip the disposable razor. The ones that let you replace the blade don't take much more space in your luggage.
●    If you plan on getting your clothes washed at the laundry, bring your own garment bag for pickups or ask for your a return free of plastic wrap.

We always try to stick to these guidelines and hope, they're useful for you as well!

By Anna Momberger - Tenerife Field Communications Officer

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