With winter break just around the corner, you’re probably looking for something fun to do with the family. However, if you’re like most families, you’re trying to find a way to be more eco-friendly, especially with vacations. While it’s fun to jet to a tropical destination for a few days during the coldest parts of the year, is it really the most sustainable family activity?
Finding truly sustainable family activities isn’t as hard as you might think, and you may have even more fun with some of these trips than you would on something more extravagant.
Explore Your National Parks
One of the greatest things about living in America is the abundance of national parks, especially out west. The National Park Service operates 61 different parks across the country, ranging from the red rock desert of Zion National Park, to the high alpine setting of Yosemite.
If you’re lucky enough to live near any of these parks, they’re highly worth your time to explore. You and the family won’t struggle with finding things to do, as parks are full of hiking trails, points of interest, and gift shops. No matter how diverse your family’s interests are, a trip to a national park is sure to help everyone find something they love to do.
Related: Connecting Children to Nature
Do a Staycation
Sometimes, staycations get a bad rap. However, they’re among the most sustainable family activities, because your environmental impact is so small. Instead of loading up the car and trekking for hours – or sometimes days – across the country, staying and exploring the unique things that make your town so special can be a really memorable experience.
Most towns and cities have some sort of tourism department, so if you’re not sure what to see, check with these officials. They’ll be more than happy to point you in the direction of something spectacular that will make your staycation as interesting as any long trip to a place hundreds of miles away.
One Last Trip
Depending on where you live in the country, and when your winter break is, you might have the chance to squeeze in one last camping trip before the snow starts flying. If that’s not an option, then ice fishing is always a fun activity that’s relatively carbon-neutral. Regardless of which outdoor activity you love, there’s a good chance you have a shot to do it once more before the snow prevents you from doing so. And who knows? Maybe you’ll fall in love with these late-season excursions!
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that not every trip or family get-together has to be a big affair. Most important, though, is remembering that these get-togethers don’t have to come at the expense of the environment. If every family was willing to scale down their winter break activities, that would help immensely in reducing global carbon emissions. It may be asking a lot, but we have to be willing to do quite a lot if we want to help save and preserve our planet.