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Traveling as a family is a great way to encourage your kids to explore the world around them and embrace the differences they find. But traveling the world in an effort to better understand it can cause environmental damage to the places you visit. It has the potential to damage fragile environments and destroy local cultures if managed poorly, but the exciting news is that travel can also provide many economic, environmental and social benefits when done thoughtfully. When you make travel plans with your children, it’s fun to talk about the impact of your travels on the environment so they can see that green thinking is always a part of the planning process. According to the UN’s Commission on Sustainable Development, Travel & Tourism is the single largest industry in the world. Simple Tips For Green Travel

  • Book your stay at green hotels. Look for hotels that have received the LEED certification or the EPA’s ENERGY STAR. Talk with your children about the green practices you observe when traveling for ideas to implement at home. Or notice together where green practices are lacking, and write to hotels together with ideas on how they can improve.
  • Use public transportation. Take advantage of trains and buses when visiting cities. Ask about group shuttle services to and from major attractions. Children naturally love public transportation and typically find it exciting to travel in a diversity of large vehicles. Use their excitement to help you break from the car habit, and you’ll find it’s a fun way to explore a new area without the stresses of driving and parking.
  • Rent a hybrid vehicle. If you have to drive, look for the greenest rental options. When possible, rent bikes instead!.
  • Conserve energy in your room. Shut off the lights and lower the air conditioning when you leave your hotel room for the day. Help your children remember that even though you aren’t at home, travel is an extension of your home and each location you visit deserves just as much care.
  • Pack light. Remember that the heavier something is, the more resources required to move it from one place to another.

Practicing many of the same green living strategies while you travel that you use at home can help ensure that the places you love to explore on vacation will remain beautiful escapes for future generations of travelers. Imagine your own child taking his or her children on a family vacation someday! Learn More/ For more great tips on eco-friendly traveling, check out the Go Green Travel Green blog and the Green Traveler Guides website.