Nature Photos from my Alaskan Adventure

Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska |

My family just returned from an Alaskan cruise, and I wanted to post some of the beautiful nature and wildlife photos we took while there. Although a cruise is certainly not an eco-friendly travel option, the trip was wonderful, made even more so by the friends we vacationed with. One of our favorite excursions was whale watching, where we saw about eight humpback whales in Auke Bay, Juneau. We were close enough to hear them breathing. I managed to capture several of their tail fins after diving under as well as a calf who showed more of himself while playing with a sea lion.             We had anticipated seeing lots of glacial action, however, due to a medical crisis with one of the ship’s guests, the Tracy Arm Fjord part of our trip was cancelled. Still, we managed to see Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau. Did you know … Continue reading

Family Nature Getaway in #PerfectVT

#PerfectVT | Eco-Mothering

Last month, a friend and I headed up to Vermont for a blogger retreat (a.k.a. weekend getaway). Like all moms, I’d been feeling the need for some time away, ideally spent soaking in nature or indulging in awesome food and spa-like activities. And, except for the spa bit, I found it all in the tiny town of Pittsfield, just north of Killington, Vermont. I discovered the area through my hosts, Tom and Erlin, the founders of Perfect Vermont Retreats. The young couple organizes fitness and nature retreats (for corporations, groups of friends, wedding parties and families) where they  “challenge guests to get outdoors, live consciously and experience life simplified.” Such a retreat might involve yoga classes, guided biking tours, hikes on 30 miles of mountain trails or “re-wilding” instruction from an expert on foraging and wilderness survival. Pretty cool, huh? I love that Tom and Erlin’s business is run as an ongoing … Continue reading

Beat the Winter Blues and Prep for Camping Season With These Green Tips

This is a guest post by Douglas Moore. It’s never too early to start thinking about camping season, especially while hibernating during the dead of winter. Suffering from cabin fever? Look ahead to an adventurous camping excursion with your family once this brutal winter finally breaks. A camping trip is the family’s warm light at the end of a snow-flurried, bone-chilling winter tunnel. Plan an upcoming camping trip that’s not only super fun, but kind to our earth. Eco-Packing Tips Start with the essentials — a tent and sleeping bags for shelter and staying warm at night. Unless you’re avid campers, ask family or friends if you can borrow a tent or sleeping bags. Before investing in a collection of camping gear, think about whether you’ll actually get use out of your investment or if the gear will just collect dust and take up space in your garage. For the … Continue reading

3 Unique Weekend Getaways for Nature-Loving Families

Nature Getaways |

This is a guest post by Dolores Edwards. Environmental mindfulness starts at home with simple green living habits like recycling and using homemade natural products. Nature, however, is the best teacher for showing our children Earth’s beauty and why it’s our responsibility to honor and preserve it. Educational outdoor landmarks provide families with hands-on experiences that can foster a green spirit. The following three unique trips can also engage your little ones with Mother Earth. Family Field Trips (Moab, Utah) Discover the majestic sandstone of the Colorado Plateau and sheer cliffs formed in deep canyons while adventuring along the Colorado River. Journey into Labyrinth Canyon as you and your family paddle down the Green River. Your family can experience a memorable white water expedition with Canyonlands Field Institute (CFI), an outdoor non-profit organization that offers wild canyon country getaways and river explorations. During a one-day or private custom trip, learn … Continue reading

How To Green Your Next Vacation

Eco-Friendly Travel Tips |

This is a guest post from Cliff Barre. Stepping out to explore new places and break the pattern of everyday life is what appeals to most travelers. And with a mind toward keeping things green, no doubt you’re also seeking for ways to minimize your impact. Below are some easy steps to make your next travel experience earth-friendly. Before You Leave Save Energy. You can minimize your ecological footprint before you even start your trip by cutting down on the amount of energy your house consumes while you’re away. First, unplug your electronic appliances. Even when they’re turned off, most appliances have standby modes that leak electricity. Unplugging them saves energy and saves you money. Second, turn the water heater and thermostat down to their lowest settings. Reduce your paper trail. Paperless booking saves resources and makes travel super easy. Many airlines now allow you to use your phone or … Continue reading

Natural Remedies for Motion Sickness

Motion Sickness Remedies |

This is a guest post by Nicole Cunningham. Whether for an extended period of time or just a quick weekend getaway, summer is a favorite time for travel. Time to escape the hustle and bustle of our daily lifestyle. But travel often means car, boat, train and plane rides — rides that leave some of us nauseous, dizzy and vomiting. People prone to motion sickness have a variety of over-the-counter medications to choose from. While these medications may work, they may also cause unwanted side effects. For something as simple as motion sickness, there are loads of natural remedies that are safe, effective and inexpensive (even free in some cases)! The following are just a few options to get you through that bumpy ride. Please note that these may ease your symptoms but may not completely take them away.  Lime  Cutting a piece of lime and smelling it throughout the … Continue reading

How to Pack for a Family Vacation

Packing Tips |

I got the packing gene from my father. I’m good at organizing stuff into spaces, and quite frankly, my husband sucks at it. So I have become the family packer for our trips. I don’t mind. I’ve got it down to a science now. While I’m packing for our summer travels, I thought I’d share some tips with you (as well as my checklists — scroll to the bottom to download those). Prepare ahead of time. Last-minute packing will cause you more stress (running to the store at 10:00 p.m. the night before you leave) and more money (buying overpriced forgotten necessities on vacation). My husband is a last-minute packer, but then he’s only packing his own stuff. I’m packing for the family. About a week before we leave, I’ll get the suitcases out. I’ll get laundry done and set aside those clothes I know we’re bringing. Piles begin to … Continue reading

Top 5 Outdoor Family Vacations

Outdoor Family Vacations |

Treehouse Adventure Out’n’About is a unique “treesort” consisting of 36 acres of pasture and woods near Oregon’s Siskiyou National Forest. And, yes, you really do stay in a treehouse. Accommodations range from The Majestree some 47 feet up a Douglas fir (for six people with a kitchenette, loft and private deck) to the smaller Treeloon, designed to look like an Old West-style saloon, to the roomier Swiss Family Complex (a pair of treehouses connected by a swinging bridge). In some treehouses, you can choose to exit by swinging down a rope or sliding down a fire pole! Area activities include treehouse ziplining, horseback riding, river rafting, arts and crafts, hiking, biking and lessons on building your own tree fort. Out-n-About is a family-run, family-friendly unique vacation. The Hills are Alive Fans of The Sound of Music will love visiting this gorgeous site in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Built by … Continue reading