Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Green Staycation

Tourism is the ultimate exercise in environmental inefficiency. That’s what my friend says, and many people cite the eco-friendliness of a staycation as one of its big selling points. No flight or long road trip means burning less fuel.

I’d like to say that my desire to be green is what led me to a staycation. But although I think about the future of the Earth, I do a lot more thinking about the muddy footprints of my kids than my carbon footprint. Still, a staycation is a great opportunity to take steps toward a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

During your time at home, consider creating a compost bin in your backyard (find out how at www.howtocompost.org). You can also begin bringing reusable bags to the grocery store, replace traditional incandescent light bulbs in your home with compact flourescent light bulbs, and even shop for eco-chic clothing. If you have yard lighting, you can change it out with solar-powered lighting, and you can visit a farmers market to find fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables. If that gets you motivated, try volunteering with a local environmental organization, which can be found through www.volunteermatch.org.

So where is the fun in all that environmental friendliness?

Well, the whole vacation doesn’t have to be dedicated to Mother Earth. But mix in a few green ideas and you’ll know that your staycation is helping the planet. Or at least you’ll feel better about driving the car to the grocery store for the sole purpose of satisfying a craving for chocolate chip cookies.

*** "The Great American Staycation: How to Make a Vacation at Home Fun for the Whole Family (and Your Wallet!)" is now available. You can find it in stores or online.

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