By their very nature, family vacations are special. They generally come just once a year and something special is usually planned. They are a time for families to renew the ties that bind. For these reasons, money is often spent unreservedly with no thought for the future. Many family members have an attitude that says, “It doesn’t matter. We’re on vacation.”
It’s a sad state of affairs because it does matter. Vacations, for a variety of reasons, should not be a time of unrelenting avarice and consumption. Instead, an attitude of moderation should be embraced. Besides the obvious savings to mom and dad’s bank account, a laid-back, environmentally conscious vacation yields many other benefits. In addition to less stress and more communication for the family, there are benefits to the planet.
Travelling “green” doesn’t mean that a vacation can’t be fun, exciting and memorable. It simply means taking some time to think about the ramifications of your actions and taking some easy steps to help diminish your impact on the environment.
Here are some easy to do, green travel tips for families that you will hardly notice and will keep the planet cleaner and healthier, Bear then in mind when planning your trip and traveling.
Does anyone like carrying heavy suitcases? There is little doubt that luggage is a hassle. Whether you are driving, flying or simply walking to your room, the less luggage you have, the better. In addition, less luggage means less fuel consumed. That fact eases the strain on your wallet and it’s just plain good for the planet. Click here are some great luggage options for lightening the load.
Lose the Car
Moonlight and the stars for illumination and a fire for warmth provide two of the basic necessities when you go camping and they come without a utility bill. No electricity, no lights, no modern distractions; just you, your family and the great outdoors. If you know how to fish, you can probably last a few days without running into town for supplies. It’s a great way to spend a week, is far more fun than many realize and makes you and your family appreciate the conveniences of modern life.
Use Mass Transit
The trip, itself, can also be exciting, as anyone who has taken the commuter hovercraft that crosses the English Channel will tell you and the a round trip rise on the Staten Island fery in N.Y.C.. offers a spectacular and little seen - by tourists - view of the Big Apple.
There is simply no better place to immerse yourself in the local flavor than on public transportation. The rich and the poor, the local and the foreign, all commingle on the bus or train. You’ll see a side of the city that no tour group or taxicab can show you.
In the same vein, take the time to visit local markets. Examine the work of local artists, try the produce of nearby farmers and sample the culinary delights of roadside restaurants and carts outside of the traditional tourist areas. You’ll help sustain the independent farmers and artisans and, by buying local, you cut down on the environmental transportation costs and do the planet a significant favor as well.
Reduce & Reuse
The same concept applies to anything you use. A conscious effort to consume less will have a significant impact on the amount of garbage produced. The less garbage produced means fewer landfills, fewer contaminants released into the air and less pollution of our drinking water.
One of the most important going green tips is to remember that the Earth is an integrated biological system. This fact is most elegantly pointed out by the “butterfly effect.” Your actions on the far side of the plant will eventually have ramifications in your home town.
So, the recycling habits learned at home should not be casually disregarded while on vacation. Continue to ask for biodegradable paper bags instead of plastic ones. Better yet, since most purchases on vacation are for only one or two items, take no bag at all. Follow the local recycling laws and sort plastic, glass and paper. Don’t be mistaken, even the smallest beach and ski communities have recycling programs.
Most Importantly, Think
No list of green travel tips for families is complete without the warning to think about these effects. Your every breath releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. While this process is part of the natural order, many things we do are not. Take the time to consider all your options before doing anything and always choose the eco-friendly route. Your vacation will still be everything that you desire but you, your family and the planet will be far better off. With these Excellent Travel Tips for Green Family Vacations in 2012, you can make a difference.