Going on an eco-friendly vacation with your kids might seem to be impossible and expensive.
However, traveling with your children is also a great opportunity to introduce them to new cultures and allow them to witness the natural world’s beauty firsthand. Because, it can help kids develop tolerance, confidence, and an open-hearted love of and interest in the planet, all of which are important attitudes to cultivate to be able to live in harmony with the environment.
“Eco travel is full of educational moments or, more precisely, unforeseen opportunities to explain a topic that has unwittingly captivated a child’s interest”
— Irene Lane, head of the eco-tourism service Greenloons.
Although it is fair enough to say that the idea of changing diapers on rivers and carrying your kid through the rainforest doesn’t make you want to book a flight to such a place, no matter how environmentally friendly. Yet there are ways for any family to travel that are good for the environment, no matter what they like to do or how old your kids are.
Here are some tips to help you be more eco-friendly with your kids on your next vacation:
Stay at eco-friendly lodgings
As COVID-19 brought the globe to a standstill, it has also given us all an opportunity to pause and think about our relationship with the environment. It has given us a sharpened sense of responsibility for our actions. We may begin our holidays by choosing a sustainable, eco-friendly lodging—a place that uses green methods to minimize its environmental effect.
But how do you know if you are staying at a truly environmentally-friendly place? Here are a few things to consider:
- Are the accommodations certified?
- Is there a report on sustainability? Examine their webpage.
- What are their plans for waste management and recycling?
- What is their plastic policy?
- How does the place support the local community?
How to travel: Better by train or bicycle or go hiking
When traveling within your region, you might prefer to take the train: Public transport always has a small carbon footprint than a private car. However, if you’re going somewhere close, you may go by bike or hike. Or you can break up your journey, start on a train, or continue hiking or biking.
Read More About: The Top Green Hotel Certifications for Your Eco Hotel
Additionally, if you have older children, they might be able to break off and go exploring on their own, and you can spend one day exploring a location and then play a game of locating each other the next. Your tweens and adolescents could go sightseeing on their own while you keep an eye on them from afar using a GPS monitoring tool like Xnspy.
Pack less, fewer loads of laundry
While it may be tough for young children and toddlers, older children can wear dark jeans and slacks a number of times. The same is true with pajamas. Make sure that you not only pack less and only what is required, but that you also avoid doing superfluous laundry.
Eco-friendly accommodations generally ensure that towels are re-used as daily washes have an environmental cost. Ask your children to act accordingly, putting towels back on their rack for later use.
Water bottles on the go
Although drinking from the tap may be the only choice in certain locations, the flavour may be unfamiliar to some and arouse fears of contamination. Even in locations where the tap water is safe, most people prefer bottled water. Yet bottled water, especially plastic ones, comes with an environmental cost.
Hotels and lodges often contribute to the situation by leaving bottled water in the rooms, and worse, they are often plastic bottles. So, if you want to decrease your usage of plastic, bring reusable bottles with you. They are lightweight and easy to transport. If you have a household of four, you may even save 4-8 bottles a day!
Make a point of finding green and eco-friendly activities for your children
Fortunately, and this will make matters simple, you’ll find that a wide variety of green activities are now available for children. Using Google, you’ll be able to uncover a variety of fun and engaging eco-friendly activities.
There are several volunteer activities that are appropriate and enjoyable for both children and adults. It’s a wonderful opportunity to teach your children about the importance of nature. Activities like cleaning up the beach or volunteering at animal shelters and helping animals are quite uplifting and at the same time it could be an indirect way to educate your kids.
Take a Balanced Approach: Think of you and the planet
Since you are on an eco-vacation, you will undoubtedly want to be as environmentally responsible as possible. And be sure you’re not adding to your own stress. Plan your journey so that it is not stressful for you. Do what you can simply plan to meet the expectations of your family.
Simple things can create good impact to the local communities, such as providing decent cuisine, access to natural areas, and transportation options such as bicycles, public buses, or safe walking pathways, among other things.
Since you are on an eco-vacation, you will undoubtedly want to be as environmentally responsible as possible. Have a light carbon footprint is a good thing, and you also need to leave as little garbage as possible behind. Nobody wants to be like those loud tourists who carelessly wake up the neighborhood, damage the environment and leave empty bottles, dirty paper and uneaten food behind. But that’s not you!
This said, even if your vacation is environmentally perfect, be sure you’re not adding to your own stress. Plan your journey so that there’s enough time to enjoy everything. You don’t want to be like the American tourists in that famous 1960s film about touring Europe called “If it’s Tuesday, it must be Belgium.”
Do what you can to meet the expectations of your family but don’t overdo it.
Remember that engaging in simple everyday activities can have a positive impact on local communities.
For example, enjoying simple meals that rely on locally available produce rather than demanding exotic, complex cuisine means that the locals will be encouraged to cultivate their vegetable gardens and provide healthy family cooking; choosing to enjoy nature means that more and better access to natural areas will be provided and, overtime, with the success of eco-vacations, there will be an incentive to create yet more natural areas; and transportation options such as bicycles, public buses, or safe walking pathways will multiply among other things, thus helping to reduce pollution, carbon emissions and environmental damage.
Whatever you do with your kids, you must embrace it as a chance to share with them your love for nature and the environment.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: Family Session in Texas Hill Country. Photo credit: Unsplash.