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How to Teach Your Child to Be an Eco-Friendly Traveler

by Holly Riddle

May 8, 2019

Dmytro Zinkevych – Dreamstime.com

Age Specific / Kids

Eco-friendly travel doesn’t mean you have to give up luxuries and modern conveniences, especially when those conveniences are so vital to travel with a young child. You can still travel sustainably while teaching your children to be eco-friendly travelers in the process through example and formidable childhood experiences.


Go Local

Show your children the importance of supporting the local economy wherever you might be traveling by choosing locally owned accommodations, like boutique hotels, and local restaurants and locally owned and operated experiences. All are opportunities to start conversations about knowing where your money is going. This is a good habit that can extend to your non-travel experiences as well when you explore the local food options and attractions right in your own community.


Consider Your Transportation

Public transportation with children can be a bit difficult, but it’s certainly more eco-friendly than loading everyone into an Uber every time you need to travel across a city or just a few blocks. Plus, if you have more than two kids tagging along, auto travel isn’t feasible anyway.


Take the somewhat intimidating plunge and introduce your kids to the subway, bus or train, and walk to those spots nearest you. Younger kids are often fascinated by rail and bus travel anyway, and introducing them to public transportation as children will mean they’re more likely to consider it as an option when they’re older. If your kids are preteens or older, renting bikes is also an option.


Traveling with children by bus.

Traveling with children by bus. Photo: Elizaveta Galitskaya – Dreamstime.com


Choose Your Destination Wisely

It’s easier to practice sustainability and eco-friendliness in certain destinations. Choose your destination wisely and also consider taking your family to a destination that will allow them to better understand what it is their eco-friendly actions are saving. It’s hard to visualize the majestic forests and waterways your actions impact while standing in the middle of New York City. When you’re camping or at a lodge surrounded by the great outdoors in the middle of the country, however, it’s a lot easier to see why our planet’s worth saving.


Lead by Example

Lastly, make sure you’re leading by example. Are you apt to go through three or four disposable water bottles each day? Switch to a reusable water bottle for travel by car, plane or any method. Avoid single-use plastic and paper items and practice good recycling habits on the go as much as possible.


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