Your summer vacation can be a wonderful time to reconnect with your family, have some fun and take time out from your busy schedule. Travel can carry with it a huge carbon footprint and take its toll on the environment. But with just a little planning and thought, you can turn your wasteful holiday into a green one that sets a positive example for your kids and provides you with a natural, authentic experience. Give Mother Nature a break this summer vacation with these green holiday tips.
When planning your summer vacation, consider an alternate to the family sedan. You can take a train or a boat or share a ride with another family. Taking a train or a boat will be a really fun and relaxing way to get to your destination. Sure, it may take a little longer, but you can enjoy the time with your family without the stress of driving, traffic and endless; “Are we there yet?” questions. Taking the train will cut 75% of your emissions and is much cheaper than traveling by car.
Bring your own
Take your own water bottles and coffee mugs. Using these will save tons of wasted disposable coffee cups and plastic water bottles. Pack your own snacks too so that you reduce the amount of garbage you create. These options also have the added benefit of reducing holiday costs.
Bring your own toiletries and share them with your family so that you don’t have to create waste by using the tiny bottles in hotels and motels.
Shop at local farmer’s markets to reduce the carbon footprint of your food. Have picnics to reduce the amount of restaurant meals you eat. This is a healthy and inexpensive option.
Give your house a holiday too
Turn off all the AC and appliances in your home. Even when they are on standby, appliances use electricity, so turn everything off or unplug it. Make sure your fridge and freezer are empty too so that you can turn those off as well. Just think how much you will save on your utility bills!
Green your accommodation
Get outdoors! Going camping and hiking is a great way to save money and reduce your summer vacation carbon footprint. Choose a green hotel if you aren’t camping to further reduce your carbon footprint. Green hotels have reduced carbon footprints and use only natural products so they are healthier for your family too. You can help by not turning up the room thermostat and not getting a change of towels and linen each day.