Eco-Friendly Family Vacations
July 25, 2012Keywords Meta-Tag
Our first priority when on vacation usually isn't to reduce consumption and be kind to the earth, especially when taking some time away often means overindulgence and gobbling up local experiences and exotic foods without a care. For all of us who mean well but also want to enjoy the luxury of being a tourist, there are ways to stay environmentally savvy when vacationing.
1. Choose Alternate Transportation
The environment takes a beating from the aviation industry: worldwide air travel is responsible for emitting millions of tonnes of climate-changing carbon dioxide every year. The popularity of cheap flight bonanzas and an increasing number of air passengers is only adding to the problem of global warming, so cut down on waste by choosing an alternate method of travel. The best eco-friendly travel is train, bus or, driving yourself. If you must fly however, book a direct flight, as takeoff and landing use a lot of fuel.
Choose Green Accommodation
This doesn't mean staying in a log cabin, with an outhouse and no running water! As eco-friendly itineraries become more of a priority for visitors, a number of luxury hotels have gone from green beginnings to completely developed sustainability programs. Some hotels have gone green by adding low-flow water valves to all rooms, use of eco-conscious cleaners, and composting kitchen waste.
3. Be an Eco tourist
Plan your holiday to be as carbon-neutral as possible. Find earth-friendly activities to take part in: go canoeing rather than renting a gas guzzling motorboat, or try horseback riding rather than jumping on an ATV. See the sights on foot or bicycle rather than renting a car, and if you do rent a vehicle, try a hybrid. Consider an eco-tour, which will give your family a way to see local greenery, marine life or architecture without attacking the environment. Remember it is important that wherever you go, respect your surroundings - if so many people hadn't wanted just a teeny piece of the coral reefs, they wouldn't be in such grave danger.
4. Shop Smartly
Finally, ensure you're making sustainable food choices – avoid eating endangered fish and shop locally and organically as much as possible on your next trip. Buyer beware when it comes to products from abroad: many unsuspecting tourists returning from a vacation don't realize that the souvenir they just bought contains real ivory or tortoiseshell, or is trimmed with endangered wildcat fur. Not only will you be contributing to a dying trade, you'll also be banned from bringing your trappings through customs, so find out what's in those souvenirs before you head home.