By Zara Lewis:
A green and sustainable lifestyle involves helping the planet we live on and, in that respect, there’s nothing more rewarding than having your kids join you in this cause. Greening up your living environment and instilling eco-friendly habits in your children is definitely the start of an environmentally aware lifestyle, but you should know that taking a holiday doesn’t mean taking one from sustainability. With a bit of research and some useful tweaks to your itinerary, your travels with your kids undoubtedly will be very much fun and quite fulfilling.
Choose your transport
When you’re looking into your next vacation destination, try to avoid air travel as much as possible. Unfortunately, even though they might be the fastest travel mode, planes are one of the biggest causes of air pollution. Opting for a bus or a train ride is definitely the best possible transport option unless you can reach your destination on bikes or in a hybrid. Both you and your kids will enjoy spending time together and will have lots of fun.
Pack lightly and properly
The less stuff you bring with you, the smaller your carbon footprint will be. Just think about the cost of transporting your luggage, and the resources necessary to wash and iron your clothes during your travels. Even if your child is still just a baby, you can be more practical with the packing of essentials. For example, there are various eco-friendly luggage bags available that can make your light packing a lot easier and even cater to all your baby’s needs.
You don’t need to bring your own food with you (apart from some snacks for the kids if the trip is a bit longer) because everything you need should be available once you reach your destination. Make sure to check out locally owned stores at the place you’re visiting, so that you and your family can support these businesses.
Use public transportation
If the place you’re staying at has public transportation, make sure to use it to the fullest, instead of renting a car or using a taxi to get around. Moreover, if the place is fairly small, use this opportunity to go on meaningful walks with your kids. On the other hand, wandering around on a bike and even something fun and practical such as a self– balancing scooter will double the funwhile significantly minimizing your carbon footprint.
Experience vs. material goods
Before the trip, make sure to have a long, yet purposeful and engaging conversation with your kids. Explain that travelling is all about the experience and family bonding, not about shopping for material things. Taking the time to encourage your kids to value the experience of travel more than anything else not only will help you stay green on your vacations but will definitely make your children’s life more fulfilling.
Of course, before you leave your home, don’t forget to turn all the appliances and lights off. You’d be surprised at how much electricity you can waste simply by leaving some appliances plugged in. Also, encourage your kids to behave the same way they do at home by turning off the water or power when they leave the hotel room. Most importantly, be their role model.
Zara Lewis (Twitter: @ZaraELewis) is a mom, fitness & yoga enthusiast and a regular writer for High Style Life. She is devoted to implementing healthy life habits in every aspect of life of her family and friends. She loves to share her parenting tips and is always open to learning some new skills, because she sees her parenthood as going to school forever. She enjoys traveling, hiking, cycling and baking.