A “Green” Surprise in Ecuador

I’m used to the “green” lifestyle living in Western Washington.  I sort my recycling and put my food waste in the yard waste container.  What I didn’t expect was encountering “green” in Ecuador.

Recycling at Juan ValdezThe signs of Ecuador’s “green” initiatives were visible immediately.  At the airport in Quito, I easily found receptacles for plastic, paper, and organics but I never did find a trash can for items that didn’t fall into those categories.  Similar receptacles were found in the local Juan Valdez coffee shop.

Leaving the mainland for the more remote Galapagos Islands, didn’t mean leaving “green” behind.Recycling on Floreana  Plastic, paper, and organic receptacles were prevalent.  The receptacles, in this photo, for recyclables and non-recyclables were on the small island of Floreana (the only things nearby were homes and a small restaurant that we ate at).

Being “green” didn’t end with trash cans, all the places I stayed used compact fluorescent bulbs.  Sometimes I even wondered if the hot water was being rationed…based on the number of cold showers I ended up taking.  😉

Back in Quito, I took this photo of bicycles that could be rented.  I’m sure something similar exists in the United States, but I’ve never seen it.

Bikes in Quito

Kim at “So Many Places” (around the world travel blog) wrote about “Quito’s Sunday Ciclopaseo” in her “First Impressions of Quito, Ecuador” post.  Basically a local organization closes down 18 miles of streets in Quito every Sunday to promote cycling.

All of this was a huge (inspiring) surprise to me.

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