Summer is here! Which means it’s vacation time! Of course, vacations are a little different with a little one in tow.
Before having a baby, my husband and I used to love vacationing in Thailand. We didn’t even mind the 24 hours in transit to get there, or the insane jet lag. Things are a little different now though. I have no desire to sit on a plane for hours, lug equipment through security, or deal with a jet lagged baby. Also, since we are trying to reduce our carbon footprint below what it was before having a child, flying is simply out of the question because of the pollution it creates.
A new study in the journal Environmental Science and Technology confirms what we have known for a while. We can protect the planet by avoiding flying, driving alone, and driving big cars. Instead, we can choose the train, bus or an efficient car with at least three people in it.
And vacationing locally can be a lot of fun! We have discovered the fun of camping at a local park filled with shark teeth fossils. We found another park with a gorgeous biking route along the beach. And we are planning to drive down to Charleston, SC for our longer family vacation. It’s amazing what local gems can be turned up if you do a little research! The good news for families is that vacations nearby can also be a lot cheaper.
So this summer, find a local gem, save some money and save the planet for your baby while you’re at it!
What are your favorite local vacation spots?
Keya Chatterjee is a Climate Change and Environment expert, and Senior Director for Renewable Energy and Footprint Outreach at World Wildlife Fund. She is also author of the new book, The Zero Footprint Baby.