The three Rs: Reduce, reuse, recycle

Recycle with cool dinosaurs. Visit the Canary Islands and you’ll inevitably stumble across a HiperDino. If you choose to step inside a branch of the archipelago’s local supermarket chain, you’re bound to hear what will quickly develop into an earworm. I’m talking the dinosaur family band rocking out on Reducir, Reutilizar, y Reciclar.

 “Well, this is just a simple song,” you might well retort. And therein lies its beauty. When we hear someone like Greta Thunberg speak, we’re struck by how single-mindedly she gets to the heart of the matter.


The message Mamá, Papá and Niños Dino are conveying is a similarly uncomplicated, three-fold one. As in 1.) Reduce, 2.) Reuse, and 3.) Recycle. Let’s break that down.

Reuse and make your holiday more sustainable

Ordinarily you’ll be able to see as well as listen to the musical dinosaurs. So you’ll be able to observe on the screens how they urge you to reduce the use of light and water. As the Canary Islands’s most in-demand  reviewer, the first thing I do after checking in is to head up to my room and unplug all the appliances I don’t need which, of course, includes (who wants to stay within a giant fridge?).

Next up is reuse. Whilst the dinos suggest saving old newspapers and magazines for future craft projects, I urge you to follow the hotels’ advice in reusing your towels. If you change your towels on a weekly basis at home, why switch to daily on your hols?

Recycle for our future

Last, and least, is recycle. Although the hotels are rightly rethinking the cost of single-use plastics. To the extent, that Playa del Inglés’ acclaimed Bohemia Suites and Spa have switched to cocktails with bamboo rather than plastic straws.

Yes, the order is key. Consumerism encourages mass consumption but more often than not the off switch is the one we should be flicking. Reuse is the next priority with the snacks of my three sons taken in tupperware rather than foil to their school, college, and university. With big question marks over how much glass, paper, and plastic is actually recycled, we’ve actually switched to having our water delivered on a weekly basis in glass bottles rather than buying it in plastic garafas from such outlets as HiperDino.

Matthew Hirtes is Telegraph Travel’s man on Gran Canaria and the island’s only resident broadsheet journalist covers the Canaries and beyond for a wide range of publications.

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