Yellowstone National Park Insider Tips – Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872 and is the world’s first and probably the best-known national park.
Designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1976 and World Heritage Site in 1978, the Yellowstone Park is a melting pot of natural environment, specific climate, unique animal and plant life as well as iconic historical sights and long-lasting human imprint.
The breathtaking scenery and otherworldly beauty are attracting even today more than 4 million visitors annually, making the Yellowstone park one of the best-visited parks in the world as well.
And, for a reason; Yellowstone National Park offers over 2 million acres of untouched nature, rugged wilderness, abundant wildlife, and countless geysers and thermal features.
Because of the park’s size, Yellowstone is divided into different regions, across three states.
Each area has different habitats that include geysers, fumaroles, and other geothermal features.
There is also a canyon, a lake, and numerous limestone terraces, all of which is filled with abundant wildlife and endless natural beauty.
Because there is so much to see, it can be hard to establish a Yellowstone visiting plan.
Sure, you can read some tourist guides, or even pay for a research paper to gain as much information as possible regarding the Yellowstone park, but they usually present the standard Yellowstone visiting practices.
Yellowstone National Park Insider Tips
However, we have gathered some insider tips and sights recommendations that might help you create the best visiting route and have you experience Yellowstone at its best.
The breathtaking and almost overwhelming beauty of the colorful canyon with walls over 1,300 feet high will leave anyone in awe.
One can see the Yellowstone River making its way through the canyon, while the two waterfalls tumble down into the canyon, creating a heavenly sight one would assume is only for the Gods.
The canyon area feels like our planet is trying to put all of its beauty in one single scenery, showing us humans how massive and scary, but at the same time, gentle and homely a place can be.
The canyon area can be visited any time, regardless of the season.
However, if one is a big fan of exciting hikes, glorious sceneries, and mesmerizing colors, I would recommend visiting in the late summer or mid-autumn for the best experience, which would be late August and September.
Mammoth Hot Springs and Cabins
A lesser-known attraction of the Yellowstone National Park are the Mammoth Hot Springs.
Located in the Northern-Range, the hot springs offer an insight into a spectacular nature and amazing winter wildlife watching opportunities that one cannot miss.
As you can imagine, the hot springs are usually the best to visit in the winter because of the excellent ski trails and of course, the hot springs.
During the day, it is recommended to go skiing, explore the Lamar Valley wildlife or the Norris geyser basin; and in the evening, to relax at the Mammoth Hot Springs cabins.
If one is not a big fan of the winter, the Mammoth Hot Springs are great in the autumn as well; there is an excellent camping ground at Mammoth where you can enjoy looking at the starts or the elk herds, not far from the camp.
This is an entirely unique experience because there is less of the crowd and you are one with nature, far away from the modern and hectic life.
The Roosevelt Arche and Lodge
Yellowstone National Park is not just a natural sight with breathtaking sceneries; it is also a significant historical sight essential to the American identity.
The Roosevelt Arche, for example, is located in the North Entrance town of Gardiner, Montana.
This is the undoubtedly best way to enter the park, take an awesome photo and spend a few moments thinking about the history of this place.
On the other hand, there are the Roosevelt park lodges, as perfect time-traveling to the Old West.
This is an excellent way to experience a ride in a stagecoach or a horse and enjoy a taste of a Wild West Adventure.
Not to mention the Old West Cookout and the outstanding dinner options; we would recommend ribs at the Roosevelt Lodge Dining Room.
Other interesting tips and recommendations
Here are some useful and exciting insider tips and recommendations you can use to create a great Yellowstone route if you don’t want to explore the park the same, old-fashioned way as everyone does;
Early morning exploring
The wildlife at the park is the most active in the early morning, so if you’re eager to see the elks and other animals, make sure to rise and shine and experience the sun bringing to life the whole Yellowstone area.
Not to mention that this way you will beat the crowds and get to enjoy hiking, trails, and geysers when there are no people.
Exploring with a Ranger
The Yellowstone park rangers offer an exploring program in order to help visitors get the best out of Yellowstone.
These programs are intended to get everyone an in-depth adventure at the park, offering help in walks and cruises, wildlife watching, sky observation and more.
Before you even leave on your holiday, there are plenty of ways to start off on a more eco-friendly path.
The steps you take during your planning, packing, and initial traveling stages are going to get you off on the right foot!
Here are some things you should take into consideration when planning your Ionian Sea adventure:
Whether you stay for one week, or travel around the islands for an extended period of time, the duration of your stay is incredibly important for your environmental impact.
This can also help you pack more sustainable products to last your entire journey.
Your packing list should include a reusable water bottle, environmentally friendly utensil options, plastic free travel containers, eco-friendly travel gear, and whatever you feel will help you to lower your carbon footprint as you travel.
Train travel is considered to be the most eco-friendly form of transportation.
However, if you need to cross the Atlantic, or make your way from Australia, then flying is your only option.
In that case, keep your flights to a minimum if you can.
Lowering your carbon footprint and finding more sustainable avenues for travel will not only help our planet, but it will also allow for you to have a more enjoyable holiday knowing you’ve done as much as you can to be more green!
Being a bit more specific and breaking down your daily routine, and the various adventures you may have on the flotilla, will also help you to plan more extensively.
The Time to Travel The Ionian Seas
Focusing on the duration of your holiday, you can delve into the pros and cons of a long journey versus a short holiday.
Thankfully, there are plenty of options as far as the length of your flotilla holiday.
There are lots of fun activities and sailing experiences to be had on the Ionian Sea.
The time you choose to spend on holiday will be a huge factor in how little or large your carbon footprint is on the planet.
Whether you’re traveling during a busy holiday season with the whole family, or taking some time with a small group of friends, there is a lot of things to consider when talking about the length of your holiday!
Knowing what to expect with these various itineraries is going to be extremely important for planning how to be eco-conscious.
You can take two weeks to ski, kayak, paraglide, or you can spend a single week hopping from one glorious island to the next.
Booking your holiday to be all-inclusive, while still keeping the planet in mind can make all the difference!
Food, Beverages, and Snacks
There are tons of ways to make your holiday greener when it comes to food and drink.
While traveling around the islands of Meganisi, Ithaca, and Cephalonia, you’ll be able to buy local produce, eat at local eateries, and make eco-friendly choices when it comes to the food you carry on the flotilla with you.
No matter where you are in the world, by eating locally sourced foods, you’re helping to reduce your carbon footprint!
If you’re wondering why you should eat locally, there are plenty of ways that your health and the planet can both benefit from local produce and meats.
You can help to reduce emissions levels by cutting down on the transportation of foods from faraway places!
Sailing on a flotilla will also be extremely eco-friendly in that your primary means of fuel will be wind!
Of course, there may be a day or two where mother nature has her own plans, and in those cases, you will need to use a fuel engine.
There are however, ways to make using a fuel engine a little more environmentally sound.
Talk to your chartered yacht’s skipper to see if they can follow these guidelines to make the trip a little greener:
Fill up the gas at the dock, and not while moving
Carefully examine the fuel tank for no cracks or damage
Only use the engine when ABSOLUTELY necessary
Don’t overfill the fuel tank to avoid unnecessary spillage
Oil leaks, gas drainage, and fuel pollutants can not only harm the fish in the water, but birds, large marine animals, and all sorts of coastal wildlife.
By traveling around the Ionian Sea for a few weeks, island-hopping and enjoying the beautiful scenery via sailing, you’re managing to travel in a green way!
If you decide to spend a day or two on mainland Greece, then make sure you travel primarily by train!
Avoid unnecessary air pollutants with planes and automobiles.
That way you can spend your days shopping, eating amazing Greek foods, and truly enjoying your holiday!
Stop Overs While Sailing The Ionian Seas
Choosing the right hotels in the different ports is a big part of making your sailing experience more environmentally sound.
Traveling around Lefkas and Kastos will not only allow you to immerse yourself in the wonders of Greek culture, but you can also find yourself spending the warm nights in a green hotel.
Green hotels are known around the world for providing services that will not only give you a relaxing stay, but will also help to lower your environmental impact while being away from home.
Green hotels include the following services and products:
No unnecessarily cleaning linens everyday
Eco-friendly cleaning products
Locally sourced foods available
Earth friendly toiletries
Recycled materials throughout the hotel
And so much more!
If you’re booking your flotilla holiday through an agency, you can request that they book you at green hotels throughout your vacation!
When I think back to the winter I spent backpacking around Eastern Europe, I remember the smell of mulled wine, the sight of kids sledding down man-made hills at Christmas markets, and the wonderful feeling of stepping out of subzero temperatures and into a warm museum.
Christmas in Europe is beautiful in the winter and the cold keeps most of the tourists at bay, so you have the opportunity to explore historic cities without the crowds.
I would highly recommend it.
Here’s a look at Christmas in eight European cities.
Europe is a continent that has retained its “Old World” charm and this is, undoubtedly, what makes Christmas in Europe as diverse as it is festive.
From the Christmas markets of Germany to the singing of yuletide carols in Austria, Christmas in Europe makes for a great vacation.
Jena, Germany: Christmas Market
Christmas in Europe is celebrated differently and starts early, too.
The Jena Christmas market, for instance, is held in Germany’s Thuringia region.
Villages and towns begin decorating in November and in a time-honored tradition, Jena’s Christmas market officially opens when the first cut of the four-meter long stollen, or cake, is made.
The market is decorated with lights and the ubiqiuitous Christmas trees where a trumpet sounds off every day at 5 PM to welcome revelers.
Stollen and Glühwein, a.k.a. Christmas cake and mulled wine, respectively, are sold in nearly all the stalls of the Jena market alongside Äpplewoi (hot apple cider), Bratwurst, and roasted chestnuts.
The Jenaer Weihnachtsmarkt, or Christmas market in Jena, runs from November 25 to December 22.
Visitors flock to Thuringia, home to the reformer Martin Luther, the poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe, and the composer Johann Sebastian Bach, for Jena’s Christmas market to buy exquisitely-carved wooden toys and Christmas decorations.
Traditional Christmas music, most of them by Bach, is performed by local musicians and small orchestras and played while shoppers go through colorful marionettes, nutcrackers in various designs, woven baskets, and Christmas cribs of the baby Jesus.
While Germany has a plethora of Christmas markets, that of Jena shouldn’t be missed.
Prague, Czech Republic: Old Town Square
The Czech Republic has one of the best Christmas markets outside of Germany.
These Christmas markets, or Vanocni trh, as they are called there, have colorful stalls that sell fine Bohemian crystal, classic marionettes, hand-carved wooden toys, and handmade jewelry.
Unknown to many, the Czechs make one of the most delicious sweet treats.
These include honeyed gingerbread, the braided, raisin-studded pastry called vánocvka, and the cookies made with rum known as vosí hnízda’ that resemble “wasps nests” made from butter, cream, and firm walnut dough.
The best Christmas market is located in the Old Town Square’s medieval movie-like set.
Christmas in Prague’s Old Town Square is characterized by its entertainment program which typically features choirs from the country and overseas who sing carols while shoppers and revelers roam the place for a good meal or a bargain find.
In Christmases past, National Theater and State Opera soloists have performed in the Square.
The Old Town Square is famous for the interesting merchandise that its Christmas markets sell.
Embroidered lace, hand-painted ceramics, scented candles, hand-sewn gloves, blown glassware, beautifully-dressed dolls, and bespoke hats are only some of the items that collectors look for in the Square’s Christmas markets.
The Christmas market in Prague’s Old Town Square is the biggest in terms of visitor attraction and space.
With a shiny Christmas tree in the Square’s central area, this market is surrounded by breath-taking architecture of Gothic buildings like the Baroque-designed St. Nicholas Church that lends classic elegance to the Christmas market.
If you want to taste local honey, buy crystal jewelry or sip hot and spicy mulled wine called Svarák, head for the Old Town Square early to avoid the queues that become longer before lunch.
Take a look at the replicas of the nativity scene after lunch in the Square, which dates back to 1296, and buy an inexpensive version to take back home.
Barcelona, Spain: Solar Powered Christmas Tree
Spend an environmental-friendly Christmas in Barcelona, as this Spanish city plays host to a solar powered Christmas tree, the first of its kind in the European continent.
This Catalan city leads the way in harnessing solar energy to bring light to locals and visitors alike at Christmas with it sustainable, eco-friendly Christmas tree.
With reflective silver and blue solar panels, it is, literally, a bright idea that is not only unique but a reflection of the effort to educate Barcelona residents and tourists of the efficacy of solar power.
The tree, installed in Mercat Santa Catalina square, is powered entirely by bicycles.
It may look like a useless, ugly piece of construction during the day, but the cone-shaped tree lights up at night.
Passersby are requested to pump the tree’s bicycle pedals for several minutes in order to “boost” the tree’s solar energy. But the solar powered Christmas tree is not the only attraction in Barcelona.
The Catalan city has Christmas markets, a magic fountain (Font Magica) which spews a fantastic show of water and light to the cheerful sounds of Spanish Christmas carols, a skating rink in Barcelona’s central square of Plaza Cataluña, and the Copa Nadal, a 200 meter swimming dash to the Barcelona harbor on December 25th, in freezing water.
And speaking of Christmas markets, these have been an annual affair in Barcelona for more than 225 years.
Majority of the stalls in these markets sell nativity scenes, friction drums called zambombas, artisanal treats like native honey, cheese, wine, pastries, and chocolate confectionery, and the ubiquitous handmade Spanish fans.
Vienna, Austria: City Hall
The aroma of baked goods and the scent of fragrant hot punch spike the air from Vienna’s Christmas markets that open at the start of Advent.
Swarming with over 150 stalls, the one put up in in front of Vienna’s city hall is considered a classic, as well as those in Am Hof, Spittelberg, and Karlskirche.
Christmas tree ornaments, ceramics, traditional Austrian sweets such as the Spritzgebäck cookies, roasted chestnuts, candied fruits, and other traditional Viennese delicacies are on sale at these stalls.
The trees surrounding city hall’s park are lit with Christmas lights and provides an almost surreal setting for shoppers and strollers alike.
Listen to international choirs sing Christmas carols on Advent weekends or gear up for open-air concerts for free at the Rathauspark (City Hall Park).
And in between performances, enjoy mulled wine, Wiener Schnitzel, roast chestnuts, langos (deep fried potato bread bathed in garlic paste), and the Christmas punch called Weihnachtspunsch.
City Hall Square on Christmas Eve is replete with a spectacle of trees decorated with glittering lights while listening to piped-in carol music.
Rome, Italy: The Colosseum
The Colosseum is one of three major sights – the other two being the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill – that is closed on December 25th (and on December 31st) but there are other activities to be enjoyed around the area.
Like in many parts of the world during the holiday season, Rome has its own unique Christmas markets.
Abundant displays of food, Christmas tree ornaments, trinkets, and handmade crafts are only some of the things in these Christmas markets.
Street performers, Christmas carol songs, and sparkling Christmas lights characterize these Christmas markets, especially at night.
Various sized Christmas trees go up at the Spanish Steps, the Vaticcan and the Colosseum, called Colosseo in Italian, to complement elaborate crèches or the Nativity scene.
The Colosseo has the biggest of these fir trees where it becomes the exquisite focal point of the elegant backdrop set against the starry sky.
Although the Colosseum is more popularly visited during the summer months, Christmas is the best time to be there.
While the Colosseum itself is closed, the Christmas markets around the area will have authentic Italian food, Renaissance-inspired crafts including handmade jewelry, and rare antiques and knick-knacks.
Paris, France: The Eiffel Tower
You can visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris any time of the year but if you choose to visit it at Christmas time, you will see the Christmas markets in the Champ-de-Mars and Quai Branly that sell fresh local produce and handcrafted Christmas ornaments, an open-air ice skating rink, and a recreated Christmas village at the Place de la Bastille.
Holiday lights deck Parisian buildings, monuments, and streets at Christmas time including the Eiffel Tower, of course, as well as the Champs-Elysées with the most dazzling display of bright lights lining the city’s long boulevard.
Three hundred freshly cut fir trees spruce up the traffic circle Rond-Point’s ring with twinkling lights.
What is Christmas without shopping? Even window shopping is festive in Paris at this time of the year.
Locals and visitors alike queue to department stores a stone’s throw away from the Eiffel Tower like Galeries Lafayette, Bon Marché, and Printemps for some serious window shopping, which the French call lèche-vitrine, or “window licking.”
Kids will enjoy the Christmas carousel, known as Manèges de Noël, which nearly every Parisian neighborhood has.
Practically all the Christmas markets near the Eiffel Tower will have a plethora of pastries, from the traditional Yule log (bûche de Noël) to those chocolate cups with a creamy custard filling called puits d’amour.
The Eiffel Tower is open even on Christmas day itself.
Have Christmas dinner at Le Jules Verne, a restaurant up the famous tower which serves contemporary French cuisine, while gazing at the spectacular display of scintillating lights scattered all over the City of Lights.
Spend Christmas in Europe and experience an unforgettable holiday.
Other countries may celebrate the holidays in similarly cheerful fashion, but nothing beats Christmas in Europe countries which are characterized by diversity.
Where else can you have Neapolitan honey pastry (struffoli) while listening to a Mozart concert?
mummy dogs (which you could easily make vegetarian or vegan with meatless hot dogs)
orange dream punch (make sure you choose dye-free ingredients)
Party Favors: Eco-Friendly and Edible
Typically made of plastic and with little prospect for long-term use, party favors are one of the most wasteful elements of a party.
Plastic spider rings are fun for the first 5 minutes, but will likely end up in the trash in a few days.
To come up with a truly green party favor idea, focus on making your party favors useful and memorable.
One of my favorite ideas for Halloween party favors is a cookie or cake mix in a Mason jar.
You can use any recipe, but recipes that are make of appealing layers work best.
Here’s an example of a cute final product (note that you’d want to avoid the M&Ms and go with a more natural candy choice).
You could also bake a cupcake in a jar for each of your guests.
For a kids’ party, you could buy inexpensive wooden toys or make homemade playdough; both will last much longer than plastic ghosts and spiders.
Looking for more awesome green Halloween ideas?
Check out our Top 7 Green Halloween Tips.
What are your best green Halloween party ideas?
For more awesome ideas, be sure to check out our Top 7 Green Halloween Tips for ways to make your Halloween more environmentally-friendly.
Green Halloween Tips: Top Tips to Green Your Halloween
With Halloween less than a week away, are you ready to celebrate a green Halloween?
You will be after you read this.
Here are our favorite green Halloween party tips, recipes, and costume and decoration ideas for an eco-friendly Halloween.
Easy Party Tips & Recipe Ideas for your Green Halloween Tips
If you’re throwing a party for All Hollows’ Eve, be sure to read our own Green Halloween Party: Ideas for a Spooky Good Time, which covers everything from invitations and food to costume ideas and favors, and the Joyful Organizer’s Host your own Green Halloween Party or Neighborhood Bash, another comprehensive guide.
The Daily Green’s Top 10 Ways to Go Green This Halloween
Do you have green Halloween tips that we missed?
Share them in the comments.
Top St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations Worldwide: Go Green in March
Originating as a Catholic holiday, St. Patrick’s Day has long been regarded as the party of the year in cities proud of Irish heritage.
Ireland hardly holds a monopoly on the holiday, however: St. Patrick’s Day celebrations can be found worldwide.
Wherever you’re roaming, a parade, festival, or at least a leprechaun is sure to be featured on March 17th.
Below are the top St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in five cities in which you can raise your pint of Guinness (many of which are considered green cities all year round!).
The most exciting day-of celebration is not found in Dublin, Ireland, or even Boston, MA (those both come close).
Chicago’s TWO huge St. Patrick’s Day parades aren’t to be missed.
Chicago’s downtown St. Patrick’s Day celebration begins when the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers dye the Chicago River green.
If St. Pat’s Day doesn’t fall on a Saturday, the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade is always the Saturday before.
The annual St. Patrick’s Day parade goes down Columbus Drive and is filled with traditional pipe bands, giant floats, and Irish dancers.
Of course, the party continues all night in Chicago’s many bars and nightclubs.
Chicago River Green on St. Patrick’s Day
Chicago’s second St. Pat’s Parade is held on the south side.
The South Side Irish Parade is another fun family event and has become another tradition since it had been reestablished in 1979.
Yes, the party is bigger in Boston than in Dublin, with festivities beginning over a week before the holiday.
Almost one million visitors descend upon Boston annually for St. Patrick’s Day, ready to listen to Irish bands and performers, taste food and drink specialties at the many Irish restaurants and pubs, or be among the over 600,000 spectators lining the streets for the day-of parade.
Stay in town after the crowds depart to experience all the many attractions and history that Boston has to offer.
Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Festival runs generally around March 16-19th each year, and includes a surprising amount of family and kid-oriented programming, not the least of which is a science show by Dublin City of Science and a treasure hunt.
The highlights, however, include the “city at play” fun fairs in the streets and the annual Festival Parade.
Another top St. Patrick’s Day spot is in Sydney.
25% of Australia’s population descends from Ireland and Irish heritage is still alive and well in the capital city.
The Sydney St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Family Day (the only one of its size funded totally by the local Irish community) begins with dancing on George Street, followed by the traditional parade and activities for families in Hyde Park.
Of course, adults continue celebrating in exuberant Aussie style throughout the evening.
Like the above cities, festivities will begin early, with the city in party-mode most of the week.
Visitors will find celebrity MCs, Irish phrase lessons, and dance instruction throughout London.
Bonus pick: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
If you’re looking for a unique St. Patrick’s Day pick, check out the festivities in Dubai, held annually at the city’s famed McGettigan’s Pub.
Here are lots of ways to drink green wherever you are.
There’s more to celebrating St. Pat’s Day than drinking green beer. With these picks for top St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, you will have a great time whether you are Irish or not.
Will you be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in any of the above cities?
Have another favorite pick?
And while you’re at it, share the location of that famed pot of gold!
Green Thanksgiving Tips – Give Thanks
Thanksgiving is Unfortunately, to me, Thanksgiving just signals the start of the endless list of Things To Do over the holiday season.
Shop for gifts, attend holiday parties, decorate the house, eat, drink, travel, repeat.
Thanksgiving is simply a springboard for all of this hustle and bustle. But it doesn’t have to be.
I originally came up with a great list of a large number of things you can do to celebrate a green Thanksgiving.
Volunteer, eat local, eat organic., etc.
If you’re looking for that sort of list see what I’ve compiled below.
But it occurred to me that this would be just another list of Things To Do (or not do) list.
Even the most eco-conscious of people don’t want to spend their Thanksgiving holiday stressing out about how to have the greenest of all green Thanksgivings.
And then it occurred to me, all of these things really boil one down to just one overarching way to be green on Thanksgiving:
That’s right – be truly thankful for all that you have on Thanksgiving and you will be celebrating a green Thanksgiving.
Because I believe that if you are truly conscious of your surroundings and thankful for all that you have you will more likely to take it slow, eat healthier and less, and not leave anything to waste.
You’ll be more likely to help others in need and not take what you have for granted. And that’s what being “green” is all about.
(Yet, being truly thankful is not always easy.
It requires stopping, taking a breath, and considering all of your blessings.
And sometimes, it’s easier to just follow a list.
If a list is what you’re looking for check out these articles from: Treehugger, EarthFirst, and Earth911.)
Green Thanksgiving Tips: How to Lessen Your Turkey Day Waste
Families across the US will come together to celebrate Thanksgiving.
It’s a time of community and warmth — and it shouldn’t be a time of waste.
Learn everything from what food to buy to what to do with leftovers with our top 10 green Thanksgiving tips.
Buy a Hormone-Free, Free-Range Turkey
If you’re eating a turkey, make sure it was humanely and sustainably raised.
Check out these turkey-finding tips from Wellness Mama.
Opt for organic produce, dairy, and meat over conventional.
Sure, it’s more expensive, but it’s worth it.
When you go organic, you avoid synthetic chemicals and hormones.
Plus, the animals you’re eating are generally treated better so you can feel good about your choices.
Stock Up on Local Ingredients
Buy local ingredients for Turkey Day.
If you’re traveling during Thanksgiving, make a unique Thanksgiving meal using local ingredients.
Check out our Thanksgiving in Argentina post for inspiration.
Pick Seasonal Produce
Most traditional Thanksgiving dishes are made with fall produce, so finding seasonal produce to use won’t be very difficult.
The closer your produce is grown, the smaller its environmental impact.
Our Sustainable Dining Guide has more great ideas on greening your Thanksgiving meal, or any meal.
Rather than traveling across the country, consider getting together with family and friends who live in your area.
Not only will you avoid the hassle of holiday travel, you’ll decrease your environmental impact by staying close to home.
Use Cloth Napkins
I’m a huge advocate of using cloth napkins at every meal, but at Thanksgiving especially.
It’s much less wasteful and it can add a bit of festivity to the occasion.
You can buy a set of three organic cloth napkins for $15.00.
Toss any Turkey Day scraps in the compost bin instead of the trash.
You can pick up a kitchen composter for under $20.
When we lived in DC, Elizabeth and I volunteered with a local nonprofit on Thanksgiving.
We delivered meals to people who were home-bound or couldn’t afford to buy Thanksgiving dinner.
It was an incredibly fulfilling way to spend the day.
Save Your Leftovers
If you can’t stomach the idea of eating more turkey, toss your leftovers in the freez
Thanksgiving leftovers freeze really well and you might just enjoy them more later.
Slow down and take the time to be thankful on Thanksgiving.
Being grateful for — and aware of — what you have means you’ll consume less and leave less waste.
Plus, you’ll probably enjoy Thanksgiving more.
What are your green Thanksgiving tips?
Best tips for how to take pictures of kids while traveling
Whether you’re a practiced photographer or new to taking great travel photos, capturing kids during a vacation or family trip can be daunting.
I’m not a professional photographer, but I’ve been traveling with kids (and taking thousands of photos of them en route) for over 13 years.
Here’s what I’ve learned about how to take pictures of kids while traveling in 10 easy photo tips.
Get down to their level
I love to take photos of my kids learning something or viewing something meaningful to them while traveling.
To do that, I often need to bend down to ‘see’ what they see through their eyes.
Only then can my camera capture the angel fish in the aquarium or the scope of the Lincoln Monument from their perspective.
Sometimes this takes effort (and risks attracting a few stares) but sitting down on the floor or getting onto my knees for the best shot is worth it!
Use sports mode
Of course, it’s great to have an ideal camera for travel, but it’s not crucial.
Even if you can’t change the shutter speed on your point-and-shoot camera, you likely have a “sports” or a “kids and pets” setting.
This allows your camera to catch action in a way that won’t translate to blurry photos when you finally download them.
And if your travels are anything like ours, they’re filled with action!
Get those iconic shots, but in a natural way
Instead of posing everyone in front of the London Eye, grab a shot of your child on tip-toe, trying to see the city through one of the coin-operated view-finders.
Or bypass the ‘photo op’ line in front of the Roman Colosseum in favor of a close-up of your child touching the crumbling rock wall of one arch.
One of our favorite shots of our family ‘in front’ of the Statue of Liberty was actually taken in-motion on a New York water taxi.
We never thought it would turn out!
Capture the less ‘important’ moments.
Everyone remembers to get their camera out at the big sights, but some of our favorite travel moments with kids occur between the ‘biggies’: playing on the steps of the Louvre, perhaps, or polishing off that ice cream sundae at Ghirardelli Square.
Those photos will elicit stronger memories later. To be successful in capturing these everyday moments, you’ll need to have your camera always at the ready.
It is okay to use your smart phone camera as well. Better to take the picture than to miss the opportunity trying to use the perfect camera.
Below is one of my favorite photos of the light changing as we relaxed on a B.C., Canada ferry at the end of a busy summer travel day.
Shoot video as well as stills
Even if you don’t think you’ll need video of your trip (and yes, you do!), video can capture moments that happen too quickly to get as still shots.
Once the videos are downloaded, it’s fairly easy to isolate frames and change them to still shots with almost all video editing software.
This is especially useful for photographing toddlers and preschoolers who are always on the go.
Hand the camera off to your child
Try to get yourself in some photos too!
A great way to do this is to hand the camera to your child.
Mine love to be in charge of documenting our trip for a few minutes, and I end up with many shots of myself (not all flattering, but still endearing to see how you look from your child’s perspective).
Keep backgrounds simple
Parents try too hard to capture the location in the background of their family shots.
Instead, let the subject of your photo be your child’s enjoyment of the destination instead of the destination itself.
On the shores of Nantucket, our 10-year-old son spent hours combing the shallow bay for shells.
When we wanted to remember how small he looked in the wide sea, we didn’t need signage or buildings behind him to remember where he was.
Get eating shots
Everyone hates it when the camera comes out at mealtimes, but aside from funny faces made mid-bite, food shots can bring back great trip memories.
Get a shot of the clam chowder everyone loved at the pier, or the Mickey bar your toddler mostly wore on her face at Disneyland.
Take photos of your child experiencing an attraction, not the attraction itself
Some of my favorite family vacation photos are of my kids’ backs, as the camera lens follows their engagement in a sight or attraction.
This is another way to capture a kids’ perspective: what did they see, what were they interacting with?
For example, this photo of Manhattan barely shows the scenery, but focuses instead on my six-year-old’s study of the view.
If you return to the same beach cottage or mountain lodge every summer, document this in photos with an annual family portrait.
We like to write the year in the sand in front of the kids.
Watching your family grow in a cherished vacation spot is well-worth the time it takes to take a photo in the same place every year.
Be sure to enjoy the moments you experience, not just snap away, taking pictures you may never look at.
Still, be sure to get one or two from each key stop on your travels.
It is easier to appreciate them if you have a few good ones to frame and enjoy instead of shifting through hundreds of them.
Take better quality photos by using our how to take pictures of kids while traveling top tips.
Do you have travel photo tips?
How do you capture those vacation memories with your kids?
Sustainable Adventures – If, like me, you’re a big fan of travelling, you probably spend most of your time on sites like Kandoo, planning your next big trip.
Now, if you’re also a big fan of the planet Earth, you’re probably also searching for ways to go about your daily activities in a way that’s as sustainable as it gets.
Well, this article is going to bring you the best of both worlds: traveling and sustainability, and is going to show you how I manage to travel while also caring for this beautiful planet we all call home.
Sustainable Adventures Where to Go?
There are countless of places where you could go.
Those individuals who are most passionate about sustainability are likely to tell you that you should stay at home, or if you must, travel somewhere nearby.
I’m not going to tell you that. You spend all of the rest of your days at home, so you deserve a few days away from it every once in a while.
If you’d like to experience a different country, try to use your money to reward places that care about conservation.
Just do a bit of research online, and you’ll be sure to find plenty of such places.
You can also approach service trips, or trips where you get to work with scientist.
There are also plenty of environmental entities that offer trips, and going on those trips is a wonderful way of supporting them, while having a blast.
Getting to your destination, and then coming back is most likely going to take up the biggest chunk of carbon of your whole vacation, particularly if you’re flying there.
The best solution, of course, would be driving, as long as there isn’t just you in the car.
However, as we’ve already covered, if you’re going overseas, that’s not going to be an option.
When flying, the best option would be choosing a nonstop flight, since this results in a more efficiently-used plane.
Coach is also an option that’s more sustainable than first class, since less space is occupied.
In addition, you should try your best to pack as lightly as possible, since the more luggage you have, the more the aircraft will be weight down.
In addition, a good thing to keep in mind is to try and go on a longer vacation rather than a few, shorter ones, since this is going to mean that you’re travelling less, which will result in less carbon being used.
Use Public Transport
While when you’re in a new country, taxis can be a great deal easier to use, public transport is going to impact the environment a whole lot less.
Another great benefit of using this means of traveling is that it will give you the opportunity to interact with the locals, thus giving you a more authentic experience of the country you’re visiting.
Enjoy Local Foods
Whether you’re eating or drinking, try to enjoy specialties that are made with ingredients that are locally grown.
This way, you’re going to cut on the mileage the food has gone through to get to you.
Plus, this is another great way of making your trip more authentic, since you’re going to be diving into the new culture even more.
Think of Your Hotel as Your Home
When I’m on vacation, I love to feel pampered, and I’m sure you do too.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that just because you’re on a vacation, it doesn’t mean you should be wasting things more than you normally would.
As such, try to not have showers that are longer than the ones you have at home.
Also, don’t get clean towels unless it’s necessarily, and remember to turn the TV off when you’re not watching it.
Stay on the Path
If you’re going to hike, which you should, make sure to stay on the trails that are marked.
This is incredibly important for your safety, and for ensuring that you’re not going to get lost, turning your lovely trip into a terrifying experience.
However, it is also crucial because this way, you’re not going to trample on endangered or protected plants.
Don’t Use Too Many Bags
Ideally, you shouldn’t be using any bags at all, but there are some situations where this may prove to be quite hard to do.
As such, remember to bag only the items that absolutely must be bagged, and find other ways of packing the rest of them.
Traveling is an incredible experience, and everyone should try their best to do it as often as possible.
However, it is also important to make sure that you’re caring for the planet as best as you can.
I hope that this article gave you some precious insights into a few things you could be doing to accomplish this.
Sources for Sustainable Adventures: How I’ve Decided to Travel and Protect the Planet:
If you are joining a tour, you might want to opt for a green tour company.
The green tour company can introduce you to green products during the trip.
They will help the tourists to contribute to the environment during the travel.
Green tour companies respect the flora/fauna and promote ethical practices.
Dine in a Local Restaurant
When hungry, you should visit the local restaurants to taste their cuisine and help in reducing carbon footprint at the same time.
When searching for a restaurant, look for one that uses local produce to cook the dishes.
If you are someone who is casual, you can opt to eat your meals in the mom-and-pop-style restaurant.
When picking the food, don’t choose a recipe that is made with endangered species animal.
How to Make Your Life More Environmentally Friendly
More and more individuals are starting environmentally friendly living, and thankfully, businesses and governments the world over have followed suit as well.
Alternative sources of energy like hydro, solar panels, and wind turbines are all being developed and operated.
Lifestyle changes are being made by individuals and families too.
Using modes of transportation with lower emissions such as solar-powered cars and buses, growing food produce in backyards, and the reduction, recycling, using less water and reusing of waste materials are becoming more common place.
Not to mention manufacturing and patronizing eco-friendly products in commercial and residential establishments.
Often called an eco-label, this identifies the product’s overall environmental quality based on its life cycle.
This product could be goods or services.
This label is given by a third party to a product which meets environmental criteria and can be multi-sectoral or multi-regional.
Some examples of products that have been awarded an ISO Type I label are Nordic Swan of Scandinavian countries such as Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, Ecomark of India, Blue Angel of Germany, and EU Flower of European Union-member countries such as Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
ISO-Type I-Like Ecolable
This type is often called as sustainability labeling and shares Type I’s characteristics, albeit these have specific impacts such as agricultural practice or energy consumption.
This type is applied to a particular sector such as that of appliances and agricultural commodities that consume energy.
Some of these ISO Type I-Like certifications cover organic labels, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), a non-profit that sets standards sustainable practices for fishing and fishery companies.
LEGO, for instance, has the FSC logo on all their packaging materials.
Snorkel Great Barrier Reef
ISO Type II Ecolable
This type is an informative, self-declared claims made by manufacturers, distributors or importers of products that are not verified by third parties and do not utilize accepted reference or pre-determined criteria.
It is also, arguably, the environmental label which is least informative among ISO categories.
A product which claims it is biodegradable without any definition of terms may not be compliant with ISO Type II labeling.
All claims are required to be backed by readily available information from a third party like an independent test for biodegradability data from a laboratory compliant with ISO standards.
Type II products require information explaining any claim’s reasons and most governments regulate these claims independently with legislation that protects consumers.
In Australia, for instance, the Consumer Protection guideline requires businesses that have self-declared their products as eco-friendly to:
Detail specific part or parts of any product or the process it refers to in a language that consumers will easily understand.
Explain significance of benefits which may be obtained from the use of the product or process.
Substantiate any and all claims made by the product or process with necessary documents, verified tests, etc.
Be truthful and honest in disseminating information on the labels of the product or process.
ISO Type III Ecolable
Intended primarily for use as a business-to-business or B2B communication tool, Type III does not “judge” a product and leaves that action to the consumer.
This type reports its output as an EPD, short for Environmental Product Declaration, in compliance with standards of Product Category Rules.
This ensures that a product’s EPD produced by different entities has the same category, data scope, and metrics.
What is good about a product categorized as Type III is that it is subject to review procedures by the manufacturing product’s major stakeholders, with a report published in public domains by registrars that are country-based.
This ensures consistency within a particular industry as well as enables consumers to compare different products using EPDs before making a purchase.
Eco Friendly Products for Your Home
Going green has changed the lives of people for the better and eco-friendly products have never been more in demand as today.
By having greater awareness, people now know that they have choices on how to heat, travel, use water, and buy products manufactured in environmentally-sound processes.
Shopping Tips for Going green is the new and better alternative to meeting requirements of daily living.
This awareness leads to the practice of conservation such as turning off lights and building homes using eco-friendly materials.
There are sustainable ways to building and furnishing a home with sustainable resources as much as purchasing items for household and personal usage.
Here are some of the best eco-friendly products (or environmentally friendly products) you may want to consider (in no particular order):
Environmentally Friendly Living Bathroom Mat
Living Moss Bathroom Mat
Ditch the plastic bathroom mats and get the Moss Carpet by Nguyen La Chang which looks and feels like grass.
Made from plastazote, a kind of imputrescible foam, it comes with three different kinds of moss: island, forest, and ball.
Your bathroom’s humidity ensures that this green and lush lawn grows indoors and underfoot.
Your bathroom’s humidity ensures that this green and lush lawn grows indoors and underfoot.
This same humidity from your daily rituals in the bathroom is the only maintenance for the Moss Carpet since the mosses thrive off of it.
Even just taking a short shower provides so much efficiency for this bathroom carpet day or night.
“Float” Cork Pendant Lamp
Designed by Benjamin Hubert using Portuguese cork blocks sourced from a wine cork-manufacturing company, the Float is a cork pendant lamp which can be installed in the ceiling as a lighting solution which is as elegant as it is eco-friendly.
The cork’s surface emits a warm glow when it is illuminated.
London-based Hubert launched his Float design in 2009 as an eco-friendly classic, simple design.
While leftover dust volume results from its production, the same dust is used to create other agglomerated cork blocks to produce more lamps.
The Float is stripped of detailing typically seen in lighting and has been praised for its innovative use of a highly-sustainable material like cork.
Additionally, these eco-friendly dome-shaped lamps are not as fragile as traditional crystalline lights.
Capable of converting water ions into clean energy, the patented technology also includes a memory chip that is built in for time memory so there’s no need for resetting.
It has the “Squirt” feature which you fill with water that can last for six months before replenishing.
This “Squirt” has an on and off alarm and a control panel for your convenience and measures only 3.5 inches (height) by 4.5 inches (diameter).
Consider the Bedol clock über chic in colors such as blue, charcoal gray, purple, orange, and green.
At under $20, you can have a colorful and energy-efficient Bedol water clock in every room of your eco-friendly home.
You read that right. The same cork that you find as sealants of wines, bulletin boards, and even heels of espadrilles is now a valuable material for eco chairs.
Functional and stylish is what cork is all about when used to manufacture furniture like chairs, not to mention how sustainable and reusable this buoyant substance from the cork oak’s outer bark can be.
The Sonoma Cork Club Chair with armrests and backs designed by Rodrigo Vairinhos of Neo Studios, stools made of agglomerate cork by Jasper Morrison which can also be used as side table and ottoman, and French designer Antoine Phelouzat’s Corky Chair of molded cork and chromed steel wires are only three examples of chairs which can be manufactured using recyclable light brown cork.
Build Your Own Eco House
Build Your Own Eco House on a Budget
Perhaps the ultimate action of going green is making your very own eco-friendly home.
If you are on a budget, however, you may have to consider some factors to make this happen.
First, you need to know that most building materials for creating an eco house may not come cheap.
In case they do, consider the quality and durability.
Sourcing building materials locally such as earth, straw, small diameter-sized wood, and straw, for instance, are sustainable construction materials that can cut your housing cost to rock bottom price tags.
Depending on where you live, you may consider using wind turbines to generate energy.
Here are several types of eco-friendly homes which use novel building methods that you may want to consider for yourself and for your family.
Earthbag Building Eco House
This method, courtesy of military engineering, evolved from building structures with the use of sandbags that were resistant to bullets and grenade blasts for a century.
Modern house use the same process basically: fill the bags with sand and then stack them.
An earthbag building is resistant to tornadoes, molds, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, rodents, insects, and floods.
Extremely low in cost, with no need for expensive tools and equipment, all you need for your earthbag house are shovels, a ladder, buckets, and a garden hose.
Even unskilled individuals can learn the construction step by step by watching available videos on YouTube.
You can build any shape you want including roundhouses, vaults, domes or typical rectangular- or square-shaped houses.
Small Diameter-Sized Wood
You actually help forest health in the reduction of forest fires when you use small diameter-sized wood from forests which have become overcrowded and fire-prone.
You can get this kind of wood for your construction lumber instead of purchasing the much higher cost variety from building and construction supply stores.
You can peel off the bark for use in a pole frame’s round, a stronger option than the typical sawn lumber which needs less processing.
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) aficionados will have fun milling their very own wood for trusses, joists, trim, beams, cabinets, purlins, door and window frames, and furniture.
Sustainably-harvested small diameter-sized wood is also more visually-arresting.
Earthen Plaster Eco House
Search the words “earth plaster” on the internet and see some of the most beautiful wall finishes.
Contrary to the notion of a majority of people, earthen plaster is not all dull, dreary, and drab brown walls.
The plethora of clay types, textures, and colors, in fact, seems almost limitless when you use earthen plaster that is really just clay and sand mixed in exact proportions.
Durable and beautiful, earthen plaster can eliminate your need to paint your home and reduce your construction costs even more.
Natural pigments are added to white plaster for colorful tints which you can create yourself from periwinkle to Carolina peach to sapphire or whatever shade you desire.
Wide overhangs of the roof will keep snow and rain off walls to make the plaster last.
Tamped Earth Flooring Eco House
Earth floors are not new to human civilization because poured earth floors have been utilized by many ancient cultures for centuries when wood floors and linoleum were unknown.
Poured earth flooring takes much longer to dry and may be impractical in locations that do not have dry and hot climates than floors made from tampered earth dries faster.
A tamped earth floor looks like leather once its construction has been completed and is now being used in customized homes.
Such floors can be walked on two or three days after they have been installed.
Do you think you can build your own tamped floor?
The procedure is not all that difficult.
Take a look at this flooring guide:
Screen appropriate soil or road base through a mesh measuring three eights of an inch and spread this out at tampered level in layers of two inches.
Repeat this process until you reach your desired height.
Screen the top coat through a mesh measuring an eight of an inch with soil that you hand trowel and burnish with just the right amount of water for it to bond.
Seal the floor with five coats of turpentine-thinned linseed oil after it has dried thoroughly.
If you prefer to explore more options, you may find additional topics on sustainable home building and construction and more information on other low cost building methods and materials on the internet from various eco websites.
Green Cleaning Products
Top Green Cleaning Products
Not all cleaning products that have the words “eco-friendly” on their labels are made equal.
Terms such as “eco-safe” and “all natural” have no specific or legal definitions and products with those and similar words may still have VOCs or volatile organic compounds which cause respiratory irritations and, in some cases, even cancer.
To ensure safety for you and your family, read the label on any household product that you intend to use before buying it.
Additionally, check out the list on the label for full ingredients. Green Spring Cleaning Checklist: 8 Tips for Your Home
To help you shop smartly the next time around, here are some products that you may want to consider using as household items (categorized by use):
All-Purpose Green Cleaner
Bon Ami All Purpose Cleaner is an awesome, non-toxic, biodegradable, and does not contain VOCs or other chemicals which can combine and produce carcinogen-forming nitrosamines.
Construction and architecture are activities which contribute significantly to carbon emission.
That’s why modern green homes as alternatives have become increasingly popular.
These use the best kind of technologies to make their construction more durable as much as comfortable, stylish, and function.
Take a look at some examples of the best modern green homes today:
This means the home’s design is either completely below ground or partially below the ground.
Promoted by Malcolm Wells, the earth sheltered home makes use of surrounding plant life and soils as an energy source.
Unusually designed, the materials for the recycled modern home include reusable trash, bottles, old tires, cans, and shipping containers, among others.
Argentina’s La Casa de Botella, for instance, was constructed using six million beer bottles which have been recycled.
The best thing about a recycled modern home is that it is truly affordable and can be readily customized to the resident’s desire.
Organic and Domed
Bucky Fukker’s design has a geodesic dome’s half circle with interconnected triangles that make use of lesser materials to add more space to the home’s living area.
Organic by nature, Fuller designed the home using the Earth’s natural shapes which manufacturers sell at reasonable prices.
Sturdy infrastructure and huge space at economical rates are good starters for an eco home.
Tract and Prefab
From Arizona and then to Washington and New York State, tract housing using prefab materials have become more affordable and energy efficient.
Built relatively smaller than other eco friendly houses, this type is nevertheless non-toxic as well.
Ideally, prefab materials make no use of synthetics, are resistant to decay and insect attacks, and can withstand heavy rains and high winds.
Rammed Earth Green Homes
The concept of houses made from, literally, the Earth’s soil has been around in Europe and Asia since the beginning of time when man left the cave and built a mud home.
As mentioned earlier, this combination of sand and clay can make bricks used as walls to provide excellent insulation and durability in rough weather.
The GO Home in Belfast, Maine is the state’s first ever certified Passive Home.
GO Logic designers constructed a model that has zero energy which cost only as much as any standard home.
According to GO Logic architect Matthew O’Malia, the idea of a Passive House sounded unattainable and even absurd.
After its completion, it received a LEED qualification for Homes Platinum.
The prototype is part of the 36-unit Belfast Cohousing and Ecovillage project which has phase two underway.
The structure’s shell has the ability to reduce heating load by as much as 90% and a rooftop solar array takes care of the other heating requirements.
Body and cooking heat provide the warmth in the GO home.
The Tremont Pointe Project in Cleveland, Ohio is one of several multi-family projects that are affordable with 190 units for former tenants of public housing, people who seek market-rate housing, and residents who have low income generation.
It has a community space of 3,000 square feet with access to bus routes, the Tremont Health Clinic, and other private and public establishments.
Top 10 Environmentally Friendly Green Products
Manufacturers and businesses are developing new and innovative ways to integrate into their respective brands as the growing number of consumers is becoming more and more environmentally-conscious.
Here’s a quick rundown (in no particular order) on the top ten green products that have proven to be efficient in lessening carbon footprints.
Large balls with spikes on the surface, these help separate clothes for quicker drying.
These rubber balls also keep clothes soft and are reusable to boot, rendering the use of conventional dryer sheets practically obsolete and saving you money along the way.
The only downside is that they can be noisy, a fact that you can overlook if you do your chores in the morning when everybody’s up.
Solar panels are embedded seamlessly on the system’s top for optimal sunlight absorption.
Green Vampire Power Outlets – Vampire Slayers
No more vampire power loss to jack up your utility bills with green vampire power outlets which allow cut-off of all power to appliances, gadgets, equipment, and other electrically-operated devices with just a turn of the dial.
Currently available in retail and online stores, these green outlets eliminate the issues of conventional varieties that continue to consume power even when appliances are turned off.
Although the portability of GPS units has proven indispensable to drivers for more than a decade, none has yet come up with a configuration for eco-friendly usage in mind.
Until the Pama Eco Navigator Satellite, that is.
This navigation system is the lone GPS unit that helps the car owner minimize his or her vehicle’s carbon footprint.
It can provide you with numerous features to asses fuel efficiency including: GPS Units
Routes which are fuel-efficient.
Detailed diagnostic of the car’s performance.
Automatic log of all routes driven.
Eco-Friendly Apps Sustainable Travel
‘Certified Green’ Verification Phone App
This free downloadable application for mobile phones called Eco Label – with a streamlined and seamless user-friendly interface.
From Consumer Reports has numerous lists of products which have been certified green to help shoppers make informed purchase decisions and avoid being scammed, duped, or coerced by false advertising and unethical marketing practices.
Solar Laptop Charger – Solar Backpack Charger
The Voltaic Generator Solar Laptop Charger is an array of top rate quality solar panels mounted on a waterproof casing with specifically-calibrated batteries that can absorb solar power efficiently and which you can use to power or charge all your household’s mainstream electronics.
The stylish-looking case has a cool appeal even for solar panels.
Solar-Powered Water Heaters
Of course these solar-powered water heaters are not entirely news to consumers because of its widespread popularity.
Superior to their conventional counterpart, the solar powered-water heater has a higher overall efficiency rating, longer unit lifespan, and money-saving performance that can vastly reduce a household’s energy consumption bill by as much as 70%.
Energy Efficient TVs
In times past, your refrigerator was the single largest energy using appliance in a home, but today it is flat screen tv’s, DVR & home video game consoles.
Look for a television that has an Energy Star certification to ensure that what you purchase comes from a manufacturer committed to the environment through energy efficiency.
TV models released in the past ten years have been designed to require less power to function properly, a much appreciated move since TVs are an electronic device used by a majority of households for long periods.
LED light bulbs contain no toxic chemicals like mercury, produce zero ultra-violet (UV) emissions, have longevity (use of 60,000 hours and seven year lifespan), will not heat up, will not potentially cause burns and fires, and can withstand vibration, extreme temperature, and shock.
The use of LED lights Bulb in your household is the first easiest step in making your home environmentally-friendly.
More Resources on Environmentally Friendly and Eco living:
With our tips, you’ll hopefully have the best, most rejuvenating, and most eco-friendly trip of your life.
Why New York is a Great Place To Visit
New York city, also called the “Big Apple”, is a lively metropolitan city with multinational populations and unmatched opportunities for entertainments, and cultural diversity.
If you’re not already convinced, let me give you only three reasons to visit, after that I’m pretty sure you’ll be sold 🙂
New York truly is a city that never sleeps, and you’ll have as much fun exploring the city by day as you will by night.
From world class venues like Broadway, to small local venues with local bands playing – there is something for every taste, every night of the week.
You can enjoy a quiet night at a laid back Jazz pub, or party hard in one of the hippest clubs in the city – if you manage to get in, that is.
New York is full of landmarks that are worth checking out.
For starters, you have the Statue of Liberty, perhaps the most recognizable landmark in the world, but unfortunately also the most difficult attraction to reach…
Then you have Wall Street with New York stock Exchange and Federal Hall, and nearby, the National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center Site which commemorates the victims of that fateful day.
For beautiful views, head over to the Brooklyn Bridge where you’ll get an awesome photo opportunity capturing the skyline of New York.
New York has some incredible shopping malls and shopping streets that shopaholics will go crazy over.
Some neighborhoods boast more shopping than most other American cities, so giving you advice on exactly where to go is a bit difficult.
You should really get a guide purely for the shopping, as there are so many different areas to go.
If you like to get good deals, then check out Century 21, a discount department store where you can find high end brands for cheaper prices.
The shop is located across Church Street from the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
For electronics you have the J&R Megastore, which is farther north by the City Hall, for stylish trendy shopping, Nolita (North of Little Italy) has become a very popular place to go shopping lately.
Another area not to be missed is East Village, a funky, sassy and generally pretty cheap shopping area.
Visitors will quickly discover why New Yorkers are passionate about food.
The city boasts an amazing variety of delicious choices, haute cuisine to street carts, with prices to match…enjoy this Foodie Travel Guide to New York City.
New York has always had a reputation as a culinary melting pot.
From Jewish delicatessens to Mexican taco joints to the United Nations Delegates’ dining room, people can enjoy a staggering range at every price range.
They can order a hot dog at Gray’s Papaya or a hamburger at DB Bistro Moderne.
Diners are a New York institution found in almost every neighborhood, serving from breakfast through dinner with a wide variety of choices from snacks, sandwiches, and salads to full meals, all at moderate prices.
The city’s top-drawer restaurants take pride in serving the very best of French cuisine.
Fashions in Food
Fashions are vital in New York, and the contemporary fashion is for famous-name kitchens fronted by celebrity chefs, both homegrown and from as far afield as London, Paris, and Italy.
Current stars include Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Alain Ducasse, and Daniel Boulud.
Another current fashion is to preface food styles by the words ‘haute’ and ‘real,’ stressing the quality and authenticity.
‘Haute Italian’ describes Italian cuisine at its most elaborate, for example.
Menus that change with the seasons, stressing foods fresh from local farms, are points of pride for many restaurants, as are organically grown vegetables and preservative-free meats and poultry.
While ‘vegetarian’ has graduated from a regular option to a mainstay, with vegan choices increasingly available, the extreme theme is continue with diets containing the prefix ‘free’ (‘dairy-free’ or ‘wheat-free,’ for example).
These terms are sprinkled over all but the least fashionable menus in New York, making it possible for everyone to find suitable food, whatever their dietary requirements.
Food Trends by Area
Some of the world’s finest and most expensive restaurants.
Four Seasons, Le Bernadin, and Alain Ducasse’s Adour at the St Regis to name but a few – are located in Midtown.
Many Manhattan mainstays are here too, with the longevity prize going to the fabulous nonagenarian Oyster Bar at Grand Central Terminal.
For Midtown dining, ti pays to do your homework.
While spontaneity is fun farther Downtown, in Midtown it’s best to make reservations, especially to dine before or after the theater.
Restaurants here, especially the more expensive ones, often have formal dress codes.
Men are suited (or at least jacketed) and women go groomed for a glamorous night on the town.
Many Midtown restaurants are closed Sundays, and for lunch on Saturdays, as their corporate customers have gone.
Chelsea, Soho, and Tribeca
The Meatpacking District is good for both dining and posing, even if the patrons are often wafer-thin models who look as if they never eat.
Chelsea Market, at Ninth Avenue and 15th Street, is heaven for food fetishists – a dozen or so bakeries, meat markets, kitchen suppliers, and other stores of gastronomic bent, along with trendy dining places.
Once Soho gained recognition as an artistic center, people began streaming here in search of ‘the scene.
The restaurant tariffs reflect Soho’s now-dominant chicness, but there’s no need to go hungry, or to pay through the nose.
You can shell out for a steak at Balthazar, but you can also each for plenty less at Fanelli Cafe.
In bordering Tribeca, the star element plays a big part, this time in the shape of actor Robert De Niro.
Now one of Tribec’s most famous diners, he moved here in 1976, and began investing in restaurants such as Nobu, and the Tribeca Grill.
He promoted his ‘hood’ as a cool area in which to hand out, and it still is.
East Village and Lower East Side
While once there was little reason to venture into these neighborhoods, and certainly not at night, they now come alive then the sun goes down, and, for many New Yorkers, the best two reasons to visit the Lower East Side and East Village are to drink and to dine.
The once-mean streets of the Lower East Side, an enclave of immigration in previous centuries, are now very much the domain of hipsters.
To witness this renaissance, check out the restaurants around Ludlow and Clinton streets.
Even once-lowly Bowery is becoming a restaurant mecca.
For a taste of the area’s heritage, however, visit Katz’s Delicatessen (“When Harry Met Sally” fame) or seek out the colorful, inexpensive Indian restaurants along Sixth Street between Second and First avenues, known collectively as Curry Row.
For a look at the East Village scene, check out hip bars and restaurants along avenues A and B, although expect to feel old if you’re over 40, unfashionable if you’re wearing a color other than black, and out of sync if you show up before 10 o’clock.
Upper West Side
This part of town, home to the Lincoln Center and the focal point of the New York Jewish community, is good for understated neighborhood dining.
Columbus Circle and the Lincoln Center area have fine-dining choices, long topped by Jean-Georges.
The arrival of the Time Warner Center upped the culinary sweepstakes (with the price tags) even higher, with Michael Lomonaco’s highly regarded Porter House New York, Thomas Keller’s ‘edible art’ at Per Se, and the always-booked Masa, current holder of the highest price tag of any Manhattan dining experience.
Keller’s Bouchon Bakery offers light meals and decadent desserts with a far less stratospheric tab.
Upper East Side
With sky-high real-estate prices and stores to match, the upscale Upper East Side is where ladies of leisure like to lunch.
You can dine very well indeed in this part of town, and the neighborhood demographics supply the sort of crowd that appreciates upmarket dining.
Many of the neighborhood’s best restaurants are old standbys that seem tailor-made for special occasions, or to wine and dine a client or a visiting in-law.
The neighborhood has attracted chefs such as Daniel Boulud and Philippe Bertineau, in search of customers with refined taste buds and big dining budgets.
For the most part, the best restaurants are concentrated in the western part of the neighborhood, on leafy streets lined with palatial townhouses and white-glove apartment homes.
In general, the farther east you go, the younger the restaurant crowd becomes.
Second Avenue, especially, is noted for its noisy bars and eateries catering to restless singles on the prowl.
Weekends are when New Yorkers stroll instead of sprint.
On Saturday and Sunday mornings, restaurants are filled with Manhattanites enjoying a slow start to the day, eating brunch in the company of a friend, with a partner or spouse, or alone with the newspaper or a book. Sunday brunch in particular is a local tradition.
Most restaurants offer a set-price brunch menu, but here are some stand-out choices.
In the heart of Central Park on the edge of a pond dotted with colorful rowboats, the Boathouse wins the prize for charm.
The menu is good, too; try the smoked salmon frittata, French toast or steak and eggs.
For the best French-inspired brunch, head for Balthazar in Soho, and dip your croissant into a gigantic cup of the house hot chocolate.
For bohemian appeal, head over to Brooklyn, which excel s at laid back weekends.
Before you Travel to New York
Make sure that you do your homework on Visas before you travel to the USA.
If you are from a participating country you may be eligible for an ESTA visa.
ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization and was introduced in 2009.
Travelers who are spending less than 90 days in the US and who are from a participating country may apply for a Visa Waiver.
The ESTA Visa Waiver Program is administered by the Department of Homeland Security and you can find out more about US Visa requirements at www.estafasttrack.org.uk
Mary Kay Museum – If you’re a fan of makeup, women who’ve influenced the world, or entrepreneurial history overall, visiting the Mary Kay Museum in Addison, TX should be on your list.
Combining a short but rich history of a powerful industry today, you’ll receive a lesson on perseverance and grit when you enter the museum.
Visiting the Mary Kay Museum in Texas
Who Was Mary Kay?
As you’ll find when you walk through the museum, Mary Kay Ash was a businesswoman and American entrepreneur who started a revolution in the cosmetic industry.
Not only did she leave an enormous footprint in the cosmetic industry, but she also started a revolution for businesswomen around the world.
What did she sell?
A line of nine beauty products at first.
But that wasn’t all she did.
She offered an opportunity for women to create and achieve.
By opening the company’s strategy to independent consultants, Mary Kay’s advisors could create revenue as much or as little as they could manage, toggling between family and other personal obligations.
Where is the Mary Kay Museum?
The museum is in Addison, Texas, and it’s located inside the Mary Kay Corporate Headquarters.
You can visit the museum from Monday through Friday, and you do not need a previous appointment to enter.
We recommend calling in advance to plan your visit, as hours may vary in case of events.
As of the time of this posting, there was no fee to enter, and a security guard will point you to the beginning of the exhibit.
Be sure to check in with the guard who will offer a brochure.
You can walk through the museum at your own pace, stopping at the multiple exhibits.
Can You Eat at the Museum?
As with any museum, exhibits are considered delicate.
When hungry, we recommend stepping out to the first-floor restaurant and enjoying a snack away from the exhibits.
Are Children Allowed in the Museum?
Yes, children are allowed in the museum.
Any minor aged 10 or under must be in the museum accompanied by an adult.
What Does Mary Kay Sell Today?
Today the Mary Kay brand sells cosmetics, body care and skin care, among other products.
Product quality is one of the pillars of this company, and of course, the empowerment of businesswomen.
For the many fans and sales associates of the Mary Kay brand, the museum is particularly sentimental.
They will be able to take a walk through the decades of the brand and see what it took to build the empire known today.
Why the Pink Cadillac?
To make a long story short, it’s a measurement of achievement for consultants in the Mary Kay company.
However, there’s more to the history of it.
As you’ll see on the museum’s website, the car was painted pink at Mary Kay’s request.
She may not have known it back in the 1960s when she made this request, but others would desire this pink Caddy as much as she did.
Either way you look at it, if you’re in sales you’ll agree: It’s simply great branding.
Part of United States Women’s History
The story of the Mary Kay brand remains in American History as one of the greatest entrepreneurial achievements for women in business.
Stepping into a man’s world in the 1960s, Mary Kay showed her passion for the American Dream and a belief in herself and other women.
Selling not just makeup, she gave women hope.
Today, the company stays relevant.
Be sure to visit the Mary Kay Museum in Addison, Texas, to find out more about the achievements of this influential woman and the company she created.
In this article, it will explain the tricks of exploring Scandinavia on a reasonable budget tremendously.
Tips on Winter Scandinavia Travel
Where to Go Backpacking in Scandinavia
A trip backpacking in Scandinavia will precisely show you all the beautiful natural landscapes, a diverse culture, and a unique history.
Backpacking in Scandinavia is a trip that makes you feel like a king or a queen.
Travel to the foggy fjords of Norway.
Climb the Kings Trail via the Sweden of wilds.
Come across the delicious food culture in Denmark and be delighted by the Northern Lights of Finland.
Scandinavia has all sorts of lovely nature photography, exploring tiny villages, hiking, excellent cuisine, and coming across all big cities.
Get a Wonderful Adventure to Travel in Scandinavia Cities
Let your journey kick off by going to see these eye-catching cities: Stockholm, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Oslo, and Bergen.
Stockholm is a gorgeous city to explore.
If you are in love with museums, this is the best place for you.
There are more than 100 museums in Stockholm to fit the blazing desire of every tourist.
The famous ancient town, Gamla Stan is one of the highly conserved in old districts of any main European capital.
Pass over the cobblestone roads going in the small shops, restaurant, before visiting the Stockholm’s Royal Palace.
After full and half day travel in Stockholm, it’s now the right time to move to Copenhagen and Denmark.
Take the sights of the striking Danish capital before your backpacking Scandinavian adventure comes to an accomplishment.
A stroll along the old harbor of Nyhavn and an exploration to the top of the Round Tower are inevitable.
Lapland is home to some of the most beautiful national parks in the world; eighteen in total.
The green spaces, including the Urho Kekkonen National Park in Finland, are where to come to hike through stunning landscapes, get up close to the reindeer and enjoy an abundance of sports such as skiing, snowboarding and ice fishing.
Guided tours are available year round and these can be on foot, snowmobile or in some areas on husky-driven sleighs.
Booking eco tour of the parks by locally operated tour guides will help to financially support the local community.
Engaging with the indigenous population
If you’re travelling to northern Norway you can meet some of the indigenous Sami population and enjoy traditional reindeer sledging as well as exploring the Sami capital of Karasjok in Finnmark.
There are a number of Sami festivals each year including Sami Week in Tromso, where visitors can buy hand-crafted goods as well as traditional food from the markets.
There is always the option to purchase locally-made Sami products from Finnish villages like Enontekiö, including reindeer skins, wooden and leather goods and clothes from the many traditional sellers.
Eco-friendly accommodation and Eco Lodge
There’s no shortage of options if you’re looking for eco-accommodation or an Eco Lodge in Lapland.
In Swedish Lapland, the Ice Hotel has to be redesigned and rebuilt every year, always with the environment in mind when it comes to innovative lighting and heating systems.
In addition, the people behind the TreeHotel in Sweden have actually found a way to secure cabins high up in the trees without damaging the trunks with nails.
Elsewhere, the Igloo Village in Kakslauttanen, Finland is another amazing Eco Lodge accommodation option, with igloos constructed from thermal glass (so heat energy efficient), under which you can fall asleep to the sight of the Northern Lights.
Supporting the environment and EcoTourism
There are holiday companies that take their responsibilities to the environment seriously and you can help promote ecotourism by choosing a responsible travel company.
Many Eco tour operators will give a percentage of each booking towards environmental and conservation concerns; this is usually in the form of a voluntary donation by the traveler during the booking process.
Flight emissions are another concern and many holiday companies provide the option of making a small financial offset, which will then be donated to organizations such as Climatecare.