Eco-Friendly Family Vacations
With warmer weather coming many of us are planning our next family vacation. I started to wonder if there were ‘other’ options for travel that would leave less of an impact on the environment. Travel with kids can be challenging enough, when I went looking for eco-friendly travel tips I had to make sure they were family-friendly too. Here are some ideas for Eco-Friendly Family Travel:
Before you leave the house make sure you have unplugged any appliances and chargers that won’t be used. The Microwave, Tv’s, Computers, etc. can waste ‘phantom power’ even when you are away. Make sure your heating and cooling system is set for your vacation too. Why spend money and energy heating and cooling and empty house? Set lights that you want on for security, on a timer. This will ensure you house is illuminated when you want it to be, and powered off when not needed.
When considering your mode of transportation keep in mind that air travel leaves the biggest impact on the environment compared to that same trip by train, bus or car. If your destination requires a long haul flight, try to choose a flight that is direct. Take off and landing uses a considerable amount of fuel. Not only will your baby have a chance to catch some zzzzz’s on a direct flight you won’t have to get on and off the plane mid flight. Another option for travelers is purchasing Carbon Offset Credits against your flight. This system has been set up so that travelers can purchase emission reduction credits from a company that will then use that money to do things like planting trees and supporting renewable energy products (ex: wind power). It won’t lessen the impact of the flight you just took but it is one method to try and reduce your environmental footprint.
Choosing your accommodation can be done with an eco-friendly state of mind too. We’ve all seen hotels that ask guests to reuse towels but have you ever stayed at a hotel that uses compact fluorescent bulbs, has a recycling program, or using non-toxic or biodegradable cleaning products? They are out there; ask your hotel if they are an Eco-Friendly Accommodation. Maybe you have a favorite place to stay that is a bit behind the green movement…there are ways to reduce your impact here too. Turn down the heating or air conditioning in your room when you leave, turn the lights off and ask housekeeping not to change your sheets every day to save water and energy in laundering them.
Your stroller seems pretty environmentally friendly, it is mom-powered. Well, you may need another mode of transportation when you arrive at your destination. Why not rent a Hybrid car? There are car rental agencies that specialize in providing hybrid vehicles for rent and some that offer some vehicles that run on alternate types of fuel.
Eco-friendly, baby friendly, family friendly- you can have it all on your next vacation.
Stacey Corbett is a mother of twins and an avid traveller. As the owner of One Tiny Suitcase, Calgary’s premier baby equipment rental company she is now helping other families travel stress free! For interviews or more baby travel articles visit http://www.onetinysuitcase.ca or call 403-208-1167.