5 Unique Ways to Enjoy the Great Outdoors

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In these warm, beautiful summer months, few things are as tempting as getting outdoors. Something about the notion of “going out to play” appeals to the kid in all of us! So, why not maximize your opportunities during the remainder of this golden season? Along with picnics, swimming, and BBQs, these ideas offer additional inspiration for fun in the sun: Read the rest of this entry »

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How to Reconnect Kids with Nature

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Does your family spend much time outdoors? Sadly, it’s nearly a lost art for many of us, with parents and kids indoors all day for work and school. Once home, we may simply trade computers for TV─between managing phones, iPods, and iPads, of course. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation study, some kids spend as much as 60 hours a week involved in electronic media! Read the rest of this entry »

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Best Outdoor Vacations: USA

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Since many of us spend the majority of our waking hours in classrooms, offices, or other indoor work zones, it’s no wonder we periodically dream of getting away from it all. That’s the beauty of a vacation, especially one that offers a perfect balance of activity, nature, fresh air, sunshine, and relaxation. Outdoor vacations are a fabulous way to rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit! Ready to create your dream itinerary? These fun ideas are sure to inspire: Read the rest of this entry »

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Outdoor Health & Beauty Essentials

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Do you love the great outdoors? If so, summer is probably among your favorite seasons. In fact, many families practically live outside in the sunny months, between the beach, hiking, camping, swimming, tennis, golf, BBQs and picnics, or just lounging on the deck, enjoying iced tea or wine with friends.
As enjoyable as open air pursuits are, we also need to take care of ourselves and our children along the way, which requires some planning. These “essentials” can help you enjoy your time outside─beautifully and safely: Read the rest of this entry »

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Fun, Low-Cost Outdoor Pursuits

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It’s summer time, and the living is easy. While a European vacation might be nice, this is the best time of the year to play close to home without breaking the bank. These ideas for cheap, outdoor fun for kids of all ages may inspire you: Read the rest of this entry »

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Stress Free Holiday Travel Tips

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Do you travel over the holidays? Some families do so annually, which makes sense, given that most of us get some vacation time in late December. And many great travel deals are offered through sites like www.go-today.com and www.funjet.com.

Also, as December is a chilly affair in much of the nation, it’s no surprise that a sunny destination might be tempting. And certainly, many families visit relatives in other areas for shared celebrations. Whatever your reason for holiday travel, how can you make it as safe and stress-free as possible?

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Green Vacation Essentials

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Many people working hard all year look forward to an annual vacation. However, green-minded individuals may worry about their carbon footprint when traveling. This is a consciousness we all must have, since nearly one billion tourists travel around the world each year, making for an extraordinary level of carbon emissions. So, how can you reconcile a planet-friendly mindset with your wish to enjoy that well-deserved vacation? Fear not, you can still create memorable adventures with these eco-travel tips:

Consider a “staycation”

While you might dream of foreign cultures, vacationing closer to home has many benefits. Not only will you use fewer resources, you’ll also save money. And you may realize you have an untapped wealth of possibilities right in your own backyard. You can either visit a nearby city for cultural events, or seek out natural settings close to you for wine tasting, hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, etc. You have a great opportunity to make some exciting discoveries in your own general vicinity while minimizing your impact on the earth. Read the rest of this entry »

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10 Tips: Eco-friendly Camping

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Summertime is a fantastic time to get outside and soak up the sun and fresh air. Camping is a great way to relax and enjoy nature by yourself or with loved ones. It can also an eco-friendly and frugal way to vacation! To make sure that your next camping trip is as green as can be, check out our top 10 tips!

1. Stay local.

Find the closest campsite to you so that you can minimize travel time and expended fuel! Bonus points if you can find an appropriate campsite within hiking or biking distance from your home – then hike or bike there! Check out Reserve America’s campsite finder.

2. Pitch an eco-tent.

Obviously, staying in an RV is not as green as staying in a tent. If you’re looking to invest in something of high quality, the Big Agnes Salt Creek tent is very green. With recycled components, 100% recycled, dye-free polyester, and eco-friendly anodizing, its footprint is minimized. It’s lightweight, sturdy and durable, too. But if your price range is much lower, consider borrowing a friend’s tent or purchasing a used one of good quality. This eliminates the waste from purchasing a new tent made of raw materials, and helps you save money.

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Celebrate Ireland’s True Green Colors!

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When many of us celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, we are not only remembering Saint Patrick, but the country in which his story takes place – Ireland! Shamrocks, the popular image of clover leaves, and other green decorations fill the day’s celebrations. Anyone who can claim a drop of Irish blood proudly wears “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” somewhere – a button or tee shirt. Potato-based dishes, cabbage and corned beef are on many menus this day.

Considering what green means to us, we’ll be celebrating another aspect of Ireland this month. We’re celebrating the country’s choices to protect the integrity of its beautiful land and waters. Check out these four wonderful ways that Ireland is green!

What happened to all the plastic?

Ireland, also known as The Emerald Isle for its many shades of green, has made a bold move to end the widespread use of plastic bags – and it worked! Ireland’s government started charging a tax of 33 cents per bag back in 2002 and saw a 94% drop in plastic bag use within weeks! Who would have ever thought that it could be so easy? Talk about instant green gratification!

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The (Green) Beach Reads

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Even if you don’t have easy access to sand and surf, these books can keep you company while you relax in your backyard or on your roof top deck.

Cleaning Green:
Clean House Clean Planet by Karen Logan
Keeping a sparkling clean home doesn’t have to mean saturating it with harmful chemicals. Keep your home and everyone in it (not to mention the planet) as healthy as you can with this guide to natural housekeeping. The Shopping List on page 39 is especially helpful. Instead of producing a headache-inducing chemical smell, these methods will result in a refreshed environment inside your home and beyond.

If this was already on your book club list, try: Organic Housekeeping by Ellen Sandbeck Read the rest of this entry »

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