Going Green on Hatteras Island

With a population that swells in the summertime, Hatteras Island has its’ own unique challenge in going green. Many folks say that Hatteras Island can be a little behind the times when it comes to everyday life, and certainly time here seems to move at a slower pace than it does in the rest of the world, but visitors and locals alike have taken the initiative in making these sandy white beaches a little more green.
For the conservation savvy, there are a few recycling centers on Hatteras Island so you can stay green even while on vacation. The Chicamacomico Fire Station in Rodanthe and the Village Grocery Parking Lot in Avon both have drop-off centers that are accessible 24/7. In Buxton, there is a recycling center behind the RBC Centura Bank on Buxton Back Road that’s open from 8:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. through 12:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Of course, there are plenty of simple things you can do at the rental home to make your stay a little more eco-friendly. Set the air conditioner at a higher temperature, and turn on all the ceiling fans to use less energy. On cool late summer and fall evenings, when a little ocean breeze goes a long way, give the air conditioning a rest and open up the windows.

You can also turn the lights off when you’re not using them, take shorter showers, and wait for the laundry and dishwasher to be full before you run a load. Basically, it’s all common sense and the same little steps you take at home to save water and electricity.

On the shore side, local beachcombers always bring two bags to the beach – one for shells, and one for trash. Take along an extra bag or two just in case you spot a little debris. Most public accesses have trash cans, and many local associations, like the Avon Property Owner’s Association, sponsor beach garbage cans for convenience. As an added bonus, avid beachcombers swear that for every piece of debris they pick up, they’re rewarded with a great shell find.

Hatteras Island is also ideal for biking and walking, so while exploring the neighborhoods, why not leave the family vehicle at home. Several local rental companies, like Island Cycles, Moneysworth and Ocean Atlantic Rentals, offer affordable weekly bike rentals. This is also an exceptional way to see all the scenic beauty and less-traveled roads that can be lost from the view of a car window.

You can even take your own canvas bags to the grocery store, or purchase a reusable one at smaller grocers like the Village Grocery in Avon, to use throughout your entire stay.

There are literally dozens of trips and tricks to keep Hatteras Island beautiful while doing a small service to the environment, and with more eco-conscious guests and locals, the tide is definitely turning towards a clean, green Hatteras Island.

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