Posted by: webbhouston | July 11, 2009

Travelling Green

Long time, no update… I know I know.. bad blogger.

I just came back from vacation and realized how hard it is to keep a green lifestyle while travelling. They dont make it easy on you, especially if you have kids.

Mike mentioned that he was thankful that I always did what I could to make sure that even while travelling we were healthy and eating well but I honestly did not feel like we did a great job.

We went to a couple of parks and such.  Amusement parks are incredibly wasteful…and some make it almost impossible to stay green.

We went to Schlitterbahn and stayed on the resort at the rapids part.  My reasoning was this. We did not have to drive to the park, the prices at the resort were not that different than a hotel around New Braunfels, we could go back to the hotel to have lunch/dinner/etc. and it would be easier on the kids.

My reasons were all right and we did do all of those things… I have to say that I loved staying there and I loved the park. They encourage people to bring in their own food and drinks, they do not allow styrofoam containers and they really are friendly to packing your own stuff.  It makes it much easier to save money and eat healthier foods. You bring your cooler along and go to town. This part wasnt so bad…

Then we went to Sea World and it all went downhill from there.  Not going into the issues that I have with Sea World (which will be in another post rest assured) they are really awful at helping families eat well while they are there. Their food is outrageously expensive and they do not let you bring in any foods or drinks. For our family with two young children this is incredibly difficult because we have to give them water and food every few minutes, especially in 105+ degree heat in central Texas. We spent a fortune and the food was no better than a McDonalds or Burger King, two places where my children have never eaten and that I hope they dont in a long time…  I have to say that I have no desire to go back to Sea World and that I feel truly guilty for how wasteful we were during this day. They give you everything in paper/carboard. They have nowhere to recycle it, it is all just trashed. While they do have recycling for plastic bottles I saw 3 of those recycling baskets in the whole park (there might be more but not nearly enough) and while I wanted to purchase a reusable sports bottle that they give (a souvenir one with Shamu on it) so that we wouldnt have to purchase and throw away more paper cups with plastic lids, the 4 places where I asked about them were out. I dont understand it. Apart from being the most expensive (by far) day of our trip it was probably the one that we enjoyed the least. We went as part of a family tradition of going and because Mike thought that the kids would enjoy it. They did enjoy parts of it, I wont lie… it wasnt a total bust. The aquarium was really cool for both of them and Kate loved seeing the sharks… but I would have preferred an aquarium, not an amusement park owned by Budweiser. .. I digress. The quality of the food was just abismal. I got 7 strawberries for 5 dollars because I really wanted my children to have fruits/veggies and not just fried chicken strips and french fries while out.

Going back to the rest of the trip. What helped us in trying to both save money and not be wasteful was a) our cooler b) ice and c) local grocery stores and d) our Kleen Kanteens. We loaded those puppies up before we left and they lasted us 3 days so we did not have to get bottled water while we were in our rooms or pay for the overpriced stuff that was being sold in vending machines at the hotels.

We stopped at a Super S Foods is Johnson City and gathered some supplies in the middle of our journey across the Hill Country in central Texas. With those provisions we had fresh fruit, sandwich material, and were able to stop at Pedernales State Park for a picnic and eat at our hotel room. You can never have enough ice. Ever.

What would I have done differently? Had some more shelf stable foods. Made some more snacks like granola bars and cookies. I made muffins and they were great but they did not last very long with a family of 4 in a 7 day road trip.

I will be posting more random ideas that come to me as I get them but I learned a great deal on this trip regarding how to keep your ethical/moral beliefs while enjoying a vacation in a world that does not understand why you dont want to feed your kids doritos and koolad jammers for breakfast/lunch/dinner.


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