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Family Adventure Guidebooks:Tips to Travel Green in 2009

April 22nd, 2009 by bsmith | Filed under Family Adventure Guidebooks, Travel Tips, Uncategorized.

A few months ago a friend out there in the blogosphere asked me to be “Green Mom” for her website.  I turned her down, because I am not a paragon of green living…at least not yet.  Sure my recycling bins are overflowing ,  I have solar panels on my roof.  On the other hand, my kids love super long showers and our family adventuremobiles are made up of a minivan and a big honking SUV.  (No hate mail please)

Dear American Car Makers,

The moment that you produce a hybrid minivan that I can afford, I will be at the dealership in a heartbeat (At least as soon as you have used ones for sale.)

Regards,

Wanna be Green Mom Bridget Smith

P.S.  Get a clue! I can’t fit my kids, their friends, and all of their stuff into a Prius.

Anyway,  in honor of Earth Day I wanted to share three ways that our family is trying to travel a little greener in 2009. 

The Smith Kids Clean Up Carlsbad State Beach

The Smith Kids Clean Up Carlsbad State Beach

Save a Shovel…Save The World !

Our family loves to hit the beach in the early evening.  We pack up a dinner picnic, pick up Daddy at the train station, and hit the beach just as everyone else is heading home.  Sunscreen is less important and the sunset is beautiful.  Before we leave  we comb the beach for buckets and shovels left behind by visitors.  We never have to buy beach toys, and  we keep all that plastic from floating out to sea.  This year I plan to bring an extra garbage bag, and do an impromptu beach clean up by picking up any other “safe” trash we find.

The Untimely Demise of the Happy Meal Toy

The Untimely Demise of the Happy Meal Toy

Break The Happy Meal Toy Addiction

I’ll confess…I let my kids eat at fast food restaurants while on vacation.  Every year I make one or more road trips from San Diego to Santa Cruz by myself.  When you are a mom traveling alone with two grumpy toddlers,  a Mc’Donald’s Play Place is paradise.  Usually our stops have included a Happy Meal, but as my former neighbor Larry pointed out, the toys come home and usually end up being thrown away.  Our dog seems to see them as a source of food and entertainment.  See the above photo for our latest victim. 

On our trip to Las Vegas I tried to go cold turkey and  order from the dollar menu for the kids instead of going the Happy Meal route.  Twice I caved as a result of extremely stressful circumstances (the end of the endless drive to Las Vegas and the sensory overload of Circus Circus).  On our trip up to Santa Cruz this year, I will do my best to hold firm to my Happy Meal moratorium. 

If your kids must have those little doo dads for a brief period, find a good home for them when the novelty wears off.  Teachers and Sunday School teachers are always looking for prize giveaways.  One of Justin’s most prized possesions is a Burger King Star Wars watch he won at  a Fun Friday auction.

happy-earth-day-bag

Bring a Bag

On my Las Vegas trip I found my rayon Vons shopping bags to be very useful.  I used them to schlep stuff from the car and to store my sunscreen, key and sunglasses when I headed to the pool.  If you are like me, you will also end up shopping for some snacks and forgetten items.  Bringing your own bag  will help you to keep your shopping green even during your travels. 

My friend Sharon mother and entrepreneur makes chic shopping  bags out of recycled fabric (I’ve been giving her some of those clothes with rips and impossible stains to transform into an amazing creation.)  Your new bag may be Ken’s shirt!  Currently she is selling kid sized versions of these beautiful bags at Dreamy in Encinitas.  They would make a perfect earth friendly place to store your little ones toys and crayons on their travels.  You can also contact me @bridgetasmith at Twitter if you would like to purchase one of Sharon’s adult sized bags, and I’ll post when she has her online shop up and running.

Destiny Models Sharon's Creation

Destiny Models Sharon's Creation

 May all your 2009 adventures be happy and green!

P.S. In non Earth Day related news there is a children’s book party with free books being given away at the Spreckels organ pavillion at Balboa park between 8:30 and 10 am.  Don’t know if I will be up early enough to make it, but I sure wish I could.  Sounds like fun…refreshments and books what more do I need? http://www.childrensbookparty.org/bookparty_2009.htm

Dreaming of travel to fun and exotic places? Ck out Delicious Babies Photo Friday http://www.deliciousbaby.com/journal/2009/apr/23/photo-friday-reading-rome/ .

Love her latest post “Reading in Rome”

Happy Trails,

Bridget

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