Top 10 ways to reduce waste on holiday

Saturday, June 20th, 2020

Thanks to Covid-19, a great proportion of us now have a lot more time on our hands and can use some of this time to get to grips with our recycling habits and make better choices for the future. We will also soon be able to get away from our homes to enjoy a well-deserved UK staycation; this remaining an important time to continue making good recycling and waste reducing choices like we do at home.

My top ten tips to follow while on holiday include:

1. Reading the recycling tips sheets that are provided in your welcome folder

All regions can differ in terms of what they will recycle, so it’s important to read up what the local rules are so that you can recycle more. There are a number of items you may bring away with you that are widely forgotten about when it comes to recycling such as empty aerosol cans, cosmetic pots and tubs and medication blister packs, which would make a real difference if we all were to recycle these.

2. Rinsing your used ready meal and food containers

It’s extremely important to continue rinsing out all recyclable food packaging. Many items will be rejected at recycling facilities if there is too much food residue left, so those few extra minutes needed to soak and rinse ready plastic ready meal trays after dinner are really worth it. Better still, it is usually cheaper to make meals from scratch, so why not utilise all of the high-quality cooking utensils and baking material serviced at our holiday properties!

3. Remembering to remove bottle tops from your used drink containers

It not only takes up a huge amount of space in the wheelie bins provided at your holiday home but can actually mean that the entire bottle may be rejected at the recycling facility if you don’t take off the top before recycling. Bottle tops can still be recycled in most areas so it’s worth popping those in too!

4. Leaving new or part used items behind

Although a lot of self-catering homes specify that you should remove all items at the end of your stay, we at Happy Homes Management are happy to sort through left over food items and toiletries if you would rather not take them onto the next stop of your travels. More often than not, unopened dry foods and drinks can either be left for the next guests to enjoy or can be used by our housekeepers. Loose Tea bags, coffee granules and sugar are left for guests anyway, so it is a nice gesture to leave behind these items ready for them to enjoy.

5. Trying to order online items with less packaging

Although we are happy for you to have items delivered to our properties during your stay, if you can, try to stick to the essentials, and don’t shop online for the sake of it. This will only create more packaging waste. Many online delivery companies like Amazon and Ebay have items listed with the keyword ‘Frustration free packaging’ which in lots of cases, means that your products won’t come in anything that’s difficult to unravel. Instead, they’ll come in easy to open recyclable packaging. It is also worth asking sellers to send multiple items in the same box or in smaller packages.

6. Making better use of carrier bags and packaging materials

Online food deliveries usually come in single use plastic carrier bags, so why not use them to house general waste that’s accumulated during your stay. Any carriers that are still left over can be taken away with you and kept for your shopping at home. As we know, plastic bags are now not given any free, so why not make use of these bags and extend the life of them many times-over. Bubble wrap is handy to keep at home for sending on your own packaging items or for your next home move.

7. Using chilled tap water rather than buying expensive bottled water

We often find that guests can use dozens of large mineral water bottles over the course of their stay. All of our holiday homes provide glass or plastic water jugs which are perfect for keeping a constant supply of ready chilled refreshing water. We also provide ice cube trays which are free to top up, rather than buying supermarket bagged ice, which also come with the inevitable single use plastic packaging. If you buy individual bottled drinks while out for the day, these can be refiled with water or with larger bottles of fizzy drinks or juice over again to extend their life.

8. Bringing along family sized toiletry bottles rather than travel size

Not all of us are aware that buying larger containers of toiletries works out far cheaper. Most of our properties have one shared bathroom, so it makes sense both financially and environmentally to use larger bottles which the entire family can use throughout your holiday.

9. Making better use of used news-papers and magazines

There are many great uses for new-spapers, magazines and even used card food packaging. Rolled up news-paper pages are great to use to light fires or wood stoves, to line pet waste containers or to mop up spills under dog food and drink bowls, and an old fashioned tip to make better use of cereal and food card packaging is to cut into smaller pieces and write lists or to use when sending packages.

10. Re-using tourist information leaflets and guide books

Why not take a look through the provided leaflets to see if previous guests may have collected any interesting leaflets to give you ideas for activities? Guidebooks can be expensive so it makes sense to bring along one that may have been purchased by a previous guest; this not only saving you money but extending the life of the paper they are made from.

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If you’d like to discuss how Christopher and the team could help you with your holiday property, please contact us on 07825 212834 or email

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