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Archive for Eco Friendly Travel

July 3rd, 2014

Kale is the New Carrot and Other Summer Scenes

Groovy Green Livin Kale

Kale is on my mind. Keep reading and you’ll see why.

I hope everyone’s having a wonderful summer. Unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to write much this week so I thought I’d share with you a few of my latest photos from my summer adventures. If you’d like to check out more photos please come and find me on Instagram. I’d love to see what you’re sharing too.

This photo was one of my favorites from this week:  Kale is the new carrot. It was hidden under a pile of art work by artist Dug NapVoted Vermont’s best cartoonist in 2012, best poet in 2011, and best visual artist for 2008 & 2009 by the readers of Seven Days, Vermont’s alternative newspaper, Dug Nap is a self-taught artist who was born and raised in Vermont. His work is fabulous.

Groovy Green Livin Kale

Cycling along the roads of Vermont I came across this.

Groovy Green Livin Kale

Yet another reason to love Vermont!

I mailed many letters to my three boys who are away at summer camp from this adorable post office.

Groovy Green Livin Kale

One of my favorite breakfasts of the summer to date was this plate of fruit. So simple and easy to prepare. My second favorite breakfast was a smoothie made with many of these fruits and a little kale.

Groovy Green Livin kale

Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July. If you’re firing up those grills here are a few tips to help keep your grilling safe. And don’t forget to use green accessories for the barbecue!

Let me know if you have any incredible summer adventures planned. I would love to hear!

 

January 21st, 2014

5 Tips for Traveling Abroad With a Teen

Groovy Green Livin Traveling Abroad

Traveling abroad with a teen is a whole different ball game.

The good news it that traveling abroad with a teen is actually much simpler then traveling with toddlers. There are a few tricks that help keep everyone on the right track (and those teenage hormones in check).

As I write this I’m sitting on an airplane next to my sister. I feel very privileged to be returning from a week long adventure in Israel with my oldest son, my father, my sister and her oldest son.  The return flight from Tel Aviv, Israel to Boston is unbearably long.  I’m trying very hard not to calculate the number of hours I’ve been sitting.

The week was spectacular. We jumped head first into a culture that is overflowing with history. This week wasn’t the height of the travel season in Israel, yet the sheer number of visitors was mind boggling. People from every culture and religion had traveled from all over the world to get a glimpse of some of the most significant religious and historic sights.

Groovy Green Livin Traveling abroad

This was my second trip to Israel. My father and sister have each been a few times and this was the first time for both boys. If you want to see a few photos of our journey make sure you’re following me on Instagram, where I tried to document some of our trip.

The sheer number of facts and stories I have packed into my brain right now is overwhelming. The true test will be revealing how much I’ve retained.

Western influence has really moved in since the last time I visited Israel in 1989. Even the golden arches of McDonald’s have made their way onto the landscape of one of Israel’s top tourist attractions-Masada. But rich history and culture still prevail.

Traveling abroad with two teen aged boys added a new spin onto our trip. Viewing a country and culture through their eyes was sensational. I giggled, jumped, ran, hiked and climbed.

In hindsight there were a few things that made traveling abroad this trip seamless and perfect for our two teens.

1. Spend time talking about the trip before you leave. As a family we spent a lot of time discussing where we were going. I pulled out a globe and had my son find Israel just to provide a little perspective on the distance we were travelling.  We also spent time talking about the length of the flights (the first leg was 7 hours and the second leg was about 4 hours). My intention was to cut down the number of times I was asked “how much longer?”

2. Prepare for jet lag. Israel is 7 hours ahead of Boston. Once we boarded the plane we changed our watches to the destination time zone. It was tempting to continually count backwards to figure out what time it was at home, but we tried not to do this. The only time it was necessary was when we were calling home (Viber was fantastic for free calling and texting).

3. Have a hands on experience each day. This was key. Each day our guide scheduled an activity completely geared towards the teens. We rode on camels, we hiked the most challenging (and vertical) hike I’ve ever been on, we floated in the Dead Sea. On our way home I asked both boys what they remembered most about the trip and these adventures were at the top of their list (and my list too).

Groovy Green Livin Traveling Abroad

4. Make time for meals and snacks. This was one of our biggest challenges. With so much to see lunch didn’t always fit into the picture. This was a mistake. Two hungry, cranky teens is not ideal when traveling. Try to schedule time for lunch and snacks and if that doesn’t fit into the schedule make sure to pack a few snacks to bring along.

5. Get enough sleep and drink enough waterSleeping through the night for the first two nights was difficult. We chugged water before bed and tried to go to sleep at a reasonable hour. We were picked up early each morning so a good nights sleep was important.

HERE are a few ways to keep your travel green.

Would love to hear your tips for traveling abroad with a teen.

 

April 24th, 2012

Green Doesn’t Take a Vacation

green vacation

In my everyday life I work hard to care for my little corner of the earth. I’m not perfect, but I try to make a difference. Whether it’s recycling, eating organic foods or supporting companies that share my views, I continue to plug along-taking baby steps towards making the world a better place.

Being green on vacation takes effort

I just landed from an incredible family vacation. Incredible in the sense that we just spent 10 days hanging out, eating well, watching the sun set and doing a whole lotta nothing-together.  What I noticed on this vacation is how easy it was to place most of my efforts to make the world a better place on hold.

Being green on vacation seems to be counter-intuitive. Vacation is for relaxing and letting go of all effort. So why does it take so much more of an effort to be green and make eco-friendly choices?

I think it comes down to being outside of our normal routine. Also, I’m relaxed and just plain lazy on vacation. Isn’t that a sign that the vacation is doing its job?

Now that I’m home I thought I would take a moment to reflect on my eco-errors and make a list of all the things I could have done to make this vacation, and all vacations, greener. I’m bringing this list with me next vacation!

How to have a green vacation

Bring reusable bags

There’s always enough room in the suitcase for a few reusable bags. We did a lot of grocery shopping this trip and it would have been nice to have my arsenal of reusable bags on hand.

Pack reusable water bottles

We all know that you can’t bring liquids through security. The solution is to pack a few empty reusable water bottles for the family. When you arrive at your destination fill them up and use them for the duration of the trip. Say goodbye to those plastic water bottles that are calling your name in every airport.

Conserve those towels and sheets

Many hotels have sheet and towel cards asking guests to consider not having sheets and towels changed every day. I don’t change my towels and sheets every day at home so why would I need that service on vacation? What a simple way to conserve water and energy.

Recycle

Our room didn’t have any recycling options. It would have been simple to designate one of the garbage cans as a recycling bin to use throughout our stay. There were recycling bins on the grounds which could have been used to dump the recyclables from our room.

Bottom line: Vacation is a lot of fun, but we all have to work a little harder to keep it green.

Are you as green on vacation?

Photo courtesy of my groovy husband, Joel.

 

September 5th, 2011

10 Tips for Greener Travel

airplane taking off

 

I’m at the tail end of my wonderful staycation and already looking forward to the next. Maybe next time I’ll take a vacation to a far off exotic (or maybe not so exotic) place.  As a self-proclaimed “greenie” it has been at times challenging to find ways to make my travel eco friendly. Over the years I have gathered travel tips that have helped reduce my carbon footprint while on the road.

Here are my  10 Green Family Travel Tips which I shared with my friends over at Practically Green.

When you’re finished reading the post be sure to take a look around Practically Green’s site. Take the  Practically Green quiz to see how green you really are and discover what your next green steps could be. Let me know what you find.

What are your tips for greener travel?

[Photo used under Creative Commons from Abdallah/Flickr]

August 30th, 2011

Staycation and Other Odds & Ends

Vacation

Staycation

As of today I will be taking a short staycation: a vacation where I won’t be blogging and I’ll be sticking pretty close to home (low carbon emissions during this vacation!) for a few days. During my staycation  I’ll be spending time with my three lovely boys before the back-to-school frenzy hits hard next week. We have a few things to accomplish while we’re staycationing:

We will be getting much needed haircuts.

haircut

 

We will be trading in our highwaters (they came in handy this week during flooding from Hurricane Irene) for pants that actually fit.

pants that fit

 

We will be brushing our hair for possibly the first time all summer. I’m anticipating this task will take a minimum of one to two days to complete. Our hair looks something like the one on the right (our lips look nothing like either pair of lips).

hair

Before signing off  I wanted to share two interesting and important articles that were recently published. Take a look when you have a chance.

  1. Mail Online reported : Scented laundry products (dryer sheets etc…) could be releasing cancer-causing chemicals when clothes are tumble-dried.
  2. The New York Times reported: The anti-bacterial chemical, triclosan, raises safety issues. Triclosan is commonly found in anti-bacterial soaps, kitchen cutting boards and even a best-selling toothpaste, Colgate Total.

Although I won’t be posting much for a few days, there will still be a few not-to-be- missed things happening at Groovy Green Livin :

  • Don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY for a Kids Konserve reusable lunch sack with great coupons inside for free products. Entries will be accepted until midnight, August 30, 2011 and 5 winners will be selected.  I will announce the winners on September 1, 2011.
  • JOIN ME FOR A TWITTER PARTY: Want to learn some tips and tricks for non-toxic living on a nickel? Join me on Thursday, September 1 at 6pm PST/9pm EST  for a Twitter Party with Healthy Child Healthy World.  I will be a panelist along with Paige Wolfe “Author of Spit That Out”, blogging at spitthatoutthebook.com , Rene of Budget Saving Mom, Emi The Cloth Diaper Report and Easy Peasy Japanesey. We will be discussing how creating a cleaner, greener, safer home does NOT need to cost an arm and a leg (really!).

We will return to our regular scheduled programming after Labor Day. Have a wonderful few days!

 

[Photos used under Creative Commons from Jeff Turner, D.Sharon Pruitt and Saffy/Flickr]

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I hope you'll join me as I continue on my journey to live a healthy life. Along the way I just might stop to make some noise about issues that affect the health and safety of our families. Come along with me as I fight for a safer world for all of us. Together we'll discover that simple, small changes in your life can lead to a non-toxic, healthier lifestyle and a greener planet.

Click HERE to contact Lori

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Lori on ABC World News

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