Monday, June 20, 2011

Green Summer Vacation Ideas!

This summer brings a plethora of all natural vacation choices. Just when you thought life would be challenging once your children got out of school, it became much easier with this easy guide to fun and green vacations.

First, there is the beloved, ever so simple staycation. By staying at home you save the planet a plane trip or two which helps improve air quality. Your time is quality as well because it is put toward sharing activities together rather than running through airports, waiting in line, packing and unpacking, and getting cranky about all of the logistics. A staycation is also a huge money saver as long as you keep it planned and organized.

Some staycation activities that are great for the environment include a walk to your local park to picnic and play games such as frisbee. Your local farms welcome curious children for tours, and your backyard can be the start of your own mini-farm with some care and tending during your staycation. Don’t forget the homemade, organic meals and snacks you can make with your children simply because you will finally have the time to do so. If your children enjoy sewing, try tackling a project such as a new shirt or dress for the new school year, or a family quilt.

Second, to get the most out of your get up and go, head out to the wilderness for a camping adventure. Be sure to bring a sunscreen that is free of chemicals such as Badger sunscreen, and use Herbal Armor or another similar all-natural chemical free bug repellent. The greenest way to camp is to be sure that you leave no trace, meaning that you do not leave any trash behind. Camping is a great way to foster a love of nature and respect to the environment.

Lastly, ecotourism is a new and booming industry for good reason. Now, you can connect with like-minded people in some of the most eco-friendly and environmentally progressive areas. Imagine staying at a cottage at the US Virgin Islands campground where you will live a simple and green life on the shores. Or, getting a tour of the indigenous people and then the geothermal energy plants in Scandinavia. Check out International Ecotourism Society for more information and a full range of destination ideas.

Whether you stay at home, trek off to the mountains, or head out to another country, do it with green in mind and feel a sense of pride after this summer vacation!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Green Father's Day!

Father’s Day is just about here, which means another chance to really share our love and gratitude with our dads and granddads. Luckily, our fathers are mostly already leading quite natural lives, from grilling outdoors to playing golf to enjoying other outdoor activities. It is simple to just add to these green activities with some quality time and gifts.

As far as gifts for basics go, did you know that you can find solar powered chargers for laptops, smartphones and other gadgets your dad uses? Also, solar powered razors have hit the scene and will add to the greening of your dad’s morning routine.

For all of his activities, your father needs a BPA free reusable water bottle to keep him hydrated. And, believe it or not, for those dads who love to tee off, there are recycled tees and golf balls available so he feels even more green when out on the greens. One of the most natural outdoor activities is gardening, so if your father enjoys planting and tending to flowers and vegetables outside, then be sure he has all the organic soil and seeds he needs.

When enjoying the summer barbeques remember to shop from those local farmer’s markets and go organic for produce so pops can feel even better about his grilled feast. A great idea is to give your father a homemade coupon for seven summer farmer’s markets trips and then join him to have fun treating him to whatever produce he wants to grill for his family and friends.

The most important part of Father’s Day is simply spending time together that day. Remember that time shared does not only have to be on Father’s Day. In addition to providing your dad with a time of undivided attention on this Father’s Day, give him the gift of time throughout the year. Gifts such as gift certificates to his favorite restaurants, movie theaters, and sporting events in town will create an opportunity for you and your family to be enjoy time and create memories all year long. Be sure to bring your camera for these events so that you can create a photo album of all of your memories with your father to treasure for a lifetime.

What are some ways you will celebrate your father this year?