Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Get in the water and swim with polar bears in Cochrane, Ontario, Canada.
Polar Bear Habitat & Heritage Village offers visitors the chance to get up close and personal with the furry animals in the water.
This is the world's first and only polar bear rehabilitation center with a special pool to allow guests to swim next to the amazing creatures – with a thick glass wall separating the two spaces, of course.
The non-profit polar bear habitat rescues polar bears whose well-being is endangered. Right now, the center is home to three bears – Nanook, age 24, and Nikita and Aurora, four-year-old twins, who are playful and cute and people-friendly, and safe to play with on the other side of a glass wall.
You don't have to jump in the chilly water with them, but it's more fun than watching them from dry land. The polar bear habitat and museum village is open year round, but chance to swim with the polar bears is only open from mid-May to mid-October.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
The Simpsons Ride opens in May at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando, based, of course on the blockbuster Simpsons movie and hit TV series.
Through what Universal is calling a "green" conversion process, "The Simpsons Ride" will use some 55-thousand less watts per hour than the ride it replaces.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Support the local economy -- buy souvenirs made locally. I was appalled on a recent visit to the West Point Museum to see t-shirts and other souvenirs bearing a Made in China label. The museum gift shop at the United States Military Academy sells things not made in America. Shameful.
Support the local economy -- skip the chain restaurants. Seek out locally-owned eateries. Again, that ensures your dining dollars stay local.
Use public transportation to get around. That will help save the environment as well as your green travel dollars. Plus, you'll have a better understanding of the city you are visiting.
Rent a fuel efficient or hybrid car. Save money at the gas station, save the environment.
Yes, it's easy to travel green.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
One -- Take a re-usable shopping bag to the store with you. If you are like me, you have dozens of plastic bags from the last supermarket trip and dozens of cloth tote bags, too. Use them. What is the logic in bringing home yet another plastic bag just to add it to your local landfill? In many parts of the world, shops don't give you a bag, you have to supply your own.
Two -- Stop buying bottled water. Americans spend something like $16 billion on bottled water, and that doesn't count the cost of the oil to manufacturer and transport the bottles, including to the landfills where they wind up. An astounding 80% of water bottles wind up in landfill, according to Nalgene, which makes re-usable water bottles.
Filter your own tap water. That's what several of the dollar-a-bottle brands do. You'll save green -- both the environment and your wallet.
Three -- Slow down. Driving 65 mph, rather than 75 mph, can improve your fuel economy by 15 percent. There are more tips on saving money at the gas pump on my Great Drives blog.
Yes, my friends, it's easy to be green. Also less espensive.
Monday, April 14, 2008
What's a fair without celebrities? Lauren Koslow from “Days of our Lives” will be just one of the celebs on hand to autograph eco-friendly bags and help dispense energy efficient light bulbs at the Environmental Media Association’s booth.
Another highlight of the Eco-Fair will be the collection of hazardous waste materials sponsored by the City and County of Los Angeles. Guests who bring in an item for safe disposal get free parking.
Green is universal. And Universal is green.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Garden tours are an adventure of color and shape, for nature lovers, photographers, and, of course, gardeners, who combine green thumbs with green travels.
Perhaps the most famous spring garden is Keukenhof Gardens, one hour from Amsterdam, that blooms with more than seven million tulips, in nearly as many colors. Some of these blooms are rarely seen outside the garden's gates. Seven million tulips. It boggles the mind.
Back to the flower festivals -- pardon the pun, but they are blooming everywhere in botanical gardens. Nearly every city of any size has one.
Ah, the flowers that bloom in the spring. Tra la. Definitely great green travel.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Or, begin your whale-watching expedition from Reykjavik, Iceland's charming capital city, with Elding Tours. Their large cruiser holds 150 passengers with 3 viewing platforms. But I would choose the smaller yacht, carrying up to 38 passengers which is more maneuverable, so it can turn around more quickly to follow the breaching whales.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Strasburg Rail Road is America's oldest short-line, celebrating 50 years since its rebirth in 1958. That's when a group of twenty-four visionaries saved the line from abandonment, keeping it alive to introduce and entertain a new generation to the wonders of travel by train.