My Hawaiian Vacation, Part 1

Although my Hawaii tan might be fading, the memories and the photos aren't. Now that the shopping and the wrapping are almost done, it's time to share some of the highlights of our vacation!

Because I've got so many photos (and ALL the words), I'll break the trip recap into two parts. Today focuses on reusable items and my zero-waste efforts.

While any trip I take involves my trusty reusable water bottle and insulated coffee mug, I tried to do a little extra for this trip. My carry-on bag probably looked a little ridiculous, but I was glad to have my reusable arsenal on-hand.

My poor husband had to endure me sitting in the Houston airport at 7am (when we had woken up at 3am), going "Here, take a picture of me with all my reusable things." 
  • Insulated coffee mug
  • Large Nalgene water bottle
  • Project Front Yard stainless steel water bottle
  • Stainless steel cup
  • Reusable straws
  • Cloth napkin
  • Reusable travel fork and spoon
  • Cloth shopping/beach/utility bags

I was definitely able to reduce the amount of plastic and single-use items by having my reusables in my backpack, although sometimes, I didn't have what I needed at the time I needed it. Especially when you're hiking, you don't exactly want to overpack.

When we were on the plane, I would hold out my small stainless steel cup when it was time for drink orders, and ask if the flight attendants could pour my soft drink or water into that instead of a plastic cup. Most of the flight attendants obliged, although a couple seemed confused. One just handed me the whole can of soda and let me pour it myself. Especially on our 8 1/2 hour flight, when the attendants would come around with pre-filled water cups, I took one anyway, and saved the plastic to recycle.

There were a few instances where I was unable to avoid straws and Styrofoam. One restaurant we visited talked about their recycling practices and sourcing local ingredients on their menu, but brought straws for our drinks before I had the chance to say I didn't need one.

The food overall was amazing as well. We had poke bowls from a few different places, healthy local ingredients, incredible Japanese dishes, and lots of leftover meatballs from my brother-in-law's military retirement reception.

We visited the Kailua Farmers Market and I got a delicious Vietnamese crab noodle bowl, but it came in Styrofoam. I treated myself to a pineapple ginger juice that was in plastic, but at least compostable plastic (although you have to make sure it ends up in a compost pile.)

I'm totally craving another one of these fresh pineapple ginger juices now.

One reusable item I never thought to pack, but should have, is a pair of chopsticks. Especially in Hawaii, we used single-use bamboo chopsticks pretty often, since we like to eat our weight in poke bowls.

One afternoon we visited the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu and explored the Japanese food court on the first level. This place was completely amazing, and that ramen above lived up to its accolades of being one of the best in the state. Once again, single-use bamboo chopsticks. Seriously, if you visit Hawaii, pack reusable chopsticks. (They also make great coffee stirrers.)

My indecisiveness also led me to getting both a matcha tea latte and a canned pog juice. Luckily, I was able to recycle both containers.

Love finding bottle fillers in the airport!

On our trips to the beach and on our hikes, the reusable bottles came in extremely handy.

I brought a few different cloth bags with the intention of using them when shopping, but they came in handy the most when it came to carrying our stuff to the beach. This smaller one is from a coworker who recently visited the 9/11 museum in New York, and it was extremely helpful to carry the essentials (including my secondhand scarf/sarong).

I picked up this Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii tote bag on our previous trip, and its large size is perfect for stuffing beach towels.

I brought a little bit of Cajun Country to Oahu with my Bayou Vermilion District packable cloth bag, seen here at the Macadamia Nut Farm, carrying most of my parents' Christmas gifts.

Back to Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, on our trip to the North Shore and into the town of Haleiwa, we came across a surf competition, and I spotted this SCH popup tent as my husband was walking to check out the activities. The organization often participates in events, where they provide waste diversion services.

While we were at the Ala Moana Shopping Center, we discovered a Tesla showroom, complete with a beautiful red Model S on display. Santa, if you are still looking for something to put under my tree this Christmas, I'll take this here automobile.

That touch screen, tho.  

We didn't have time to squeeze in any bike rides (or feel like renting bikes), but I had to rep my niece's new Schwinn bicycle. Pretty sure hers is cooler than mine!

Tomorrow, I'll continue the Hawaii recap with my yoga, hiking and nature adventures!

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