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Eco-Friendly Travel Tips and Resources For Families

Rania Walker

As more and more families are becoming  eco-conscious, finding the resources to plan an eco-friendly vacation with the kids can take some time. Here are some simple eco-travel ideas and tips to help make planning easier and get you on the road to a fun springtime family vacation sooner!

ecofriendlytravel Eco Friendly Travel Tips and Resources For Families

Eco-friendly travel with kids can be fun and affordable. Photo courtesy of Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation.

WEplusTHREE…or more presents:

Eco-Friendly Spring Travel in Canada

Spring is the time of year where, as Canadians, we are reawakened to the beauty that is Canada.  I don’t know about you but the spring season just makes me appreciate nature more, maybe because I tend to get out, walk along our neighbourhood trails, get my hands dirty in the garden and just clean up around the house.

With Earth Day coming up April 22nd this year, I thought this would be a great opportunity to share some eco-friendly family destination ideas from around the country.

Eco-Travel For Families

Eco-friendly is a term that is hard to define.  Even as a television producer who worked on many green features and interviewed many notable experts in the field, to claim that something or someplace is eco-friendly can be cause for debate.  We can discuss green cleaning practices, carbon credits or outdoor adventures.

For my purposes here I am going to highlight eco-travel ideas and activities that I personally think are good resources for those who would like to take an eco-friendly vacation, as well as ideas to help make your travel footprint eco-friendly. Since it would be too difficult to recommend individual locations, WEplusTHREE…or more’s presents our suggested list of eco-friendly travel ideas and resources for families.

Top Five Eco-Friendly Destination Resources:

  1. Canadian Trails—A great compilation of hiking, biking and sports trails across the country.
  2. Treehouse Cottages—These a growing attraction across the world, but here is one from Perth, Ont., made entirely of recycled and reclaimed materials.
  3. Eco-Volunteerism Travel—That’s right, there is volun-tourism and now there is eco-voluntourism.
  4. Eco-lodges—These locales across the globe offer the best eco-lodges, hotels and resorts that are certified “Green”.
  5. Eco-tours—Discover all the beautiful places, people and wildlife this planet has to offer on your next adventure-focused eco-holiday.

How to Travel Eco-Conscious

One of the best ways to travel eco-friendly is to treat wherever you go as your home. Travel responsibly and appreciate the individual landscapes without trying to take a piece home with you. Doing so will respect the people, land and ecology of your chosen destination.

Some tips for practicing eco-conscious travel are:

  1. Consider your carbon footprint—What modes of transportation will you choose and what alternatives do you have that will have less of an impact on the environment?  Can you walk rather than take a cab? Are you going to rent a car when you arrive to your destination or can you consider public transportation or bike rentals?
    • Tip that we’ve learned in our travels – kids LOVE buses and trains and subways and streetcars—they just add to the adventure!
  2. Green Accommodations—What are the environmentally-responsible practices at your hotel or resort? Do they employ water conservation measures? What cleaning products do they use? Are they LEED certified? Not sure how to find out?  iStayGreen.org is a great website listing eco-friendly hotels.
  3. Are YOU Eco-friendly? When you go on vacation does your conscience and good sense go too? Do you overuse towels and products?  Do you waste food and water?  Do you leave the lights on and AC jacked up high? Do you respect the grounds around the hotel or do you feel more careless with garbage and toiletries?
  4. Illegal Aliens—As tempting as it is to take home a piece or coral or wisk away a starfish, respecting your vacation locales ecology can be important for preserving its beauty for generations to come.  Not only can this deplete and alter the local ecosystem, it can cause hostile foreign species of plants and bugs to cause chaos to your local environment.  I’ve even heard of people taking seedlings of local vegetation with the hopes that they will adapt and flourish in our Canadian climate—it’s unlikely and unsound, so just don’t bother.
  5. Be selective with Souvenirs—I too am guilty of grabbing all those maps and tourist brochures offered up on the racks of travel stops and hotels.  Most end up in the garbage or misplaced before they are picked up again on the way out.  Be selective with what you take—do you really need it? Remember, most hotels offer an internet connection where you can look up the information offered in the brochures.

That being said, there are lots of great ways and incredible places to discover, and no greater way to appreciate the earth than to see and experience it for yourself.  Happy Earth Day everyone and safe travels wherever they may take you!!

Rania Walker: We Plus Three

For more Tips and Ideas from WEplusTHREE…or more, go to: http://www.rwspeakboutique.com/blog/

Rania Walker is a busy mom of three kids who loves to travel and is always looking for deals and tips to allow her to do so with her “large” family of 5.  Through her company R.W. SPEAKBoutique she offers Media Training and On-Air Presentation Skills; P.R. & Marketing Consultation, and Corporate Training.  A television producer and host, she is a woman of very many words who loves to share information, especially tips and tricks to make life just that little bit easier.

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Are you eco-conscious when you travel? What other tips do you have for families who want to become more eco-friendly when they travel? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Related:

6 Top Tips: How To Travel With Kids

Staycation Ontario: Explore Family-Friendly St. Jacobs

Making Earth Hour Count: Instilling Year-Round Change

The Truth About Global Climate Change and How to Stop it

WEplusTHREE…The Big Easy Is Definitely NOT Sleazy For Family-Friendly Vacation

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