Al Gore took a lot of heat for flying around the world promoting
his plan to fight global warming. Was the environmental activist a
part of the solution or just another part of the problem?
The reality is that travel is inherently un-green. We drive
hundreds more miles than we normally would or climb aboard a jumbo
jet to zip off to some destination, where we proceed to luxuriate
in having someone else make the bed, clean the room and leave fresh
towels every day.
But travel can be green, or at least greener, by following these
Print your Mapquest directions on recycled paper. Better yet,
use a GPS to get you there and let the kids learn to navigate
following the route on an old-fashioned reusable paper map.
Pack your snacks in reusable containers.
Bring a refillable water bottle and, unless the water at your
destination is unsafe to drink, refill it regularly rather than
buying and throwing away plastic water bottles.
Turn off the TV, lights and air conditioning when you leave your
hotel room. It will only take a few minutes to cool the room when
Repeat this motto: Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but
footprints. Kill nothing but time.
Drive 55. It saves gas as well as lives.
Shop and eat locally. Stay in a locally owned bed and breakfast
(an increasing number accept children) and eat in restaurants that
use locally grown foods and support the local economy.
Think about ways to help. Consider bringing things you can
donate to a local charity, particularly if you're traveling to a
place plagued by poverty, such as a Caribbean island. Maybe you can
leave the books you finished reading or the summer clothes your
kids will outgrow by next year. Ask the kids to come up with other
ideas about how your family can help. They might surprise you.
Cindy Richards is the mom of two who gets her muse from traveling the world, usually with kids in tow. She also writes for TravelingMom.com, where she also serves as editor.
See more of Cindy's stories here.
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