Kayaking with Nature
Kelly Ann Schneider
On our journey, we each had an individual kayak provided by the Foundation, and our guide from REI San Diego paddled with us West, under the Interstate 5 bridge towards the ocean, then farther West under railroad trestles into a part of the lagoon rarely seen by passersby. Quietly, we glided in the shallow lagoon, and passed sandbars filled with sea birds, sometimes with just a few birds, other times with hundreds of birds, native vegetation, sand formations and gentle breezes. Since this is an area not accessible to humans, the birds just carried on their normal business, not really aware that we were in awe of them while observing their quirky bird ways, of feeding and flocking together, chirping and creating their own special bird song. It was a special time to self-reflect on my own life; experiencing the quietness of the kayak and the tiny sounds of life, in an area where there are no humans. Quite a respite from our usual busy life, and yet for a few hours, I was a part of the lagoon life, the peacefulness, the gentleness, the abundance of nature in an almost meditative-like experience. Yet so close to home.
Green Romantic Getaways
By Elisabeth Bailey
There's something intoxicating about the romantic getaway. Stealing time away with your partner to make a little personal history (and a little something else) is an unparalleled pleasure.
If overconsuming the earth's resources doesn't seem very romantic to you, though, you might run into a few planning challenges. How can you best love one another and the earth at the same time? Well, here are a few places to begin:
Play Tourist in your home city or region. Whether you live in a big city or a small town, there are local secrets to discover together. Rather than Getting Away, Get More Present--with your partner and with the world you both share. Museums, historic sites, walking tours, hiking and biking trails, parks, berry picking--choose your pleasure. Give yourself permission to have nothing but fun, right where you are.
Blow Your Mind with a learning opportunity. Look for a way to take your shared interests deeper--a local foods cooking class, permaculture seminar, or organic wine tasting, anyone?
Appreciate the Body and schedule each other's for some luxury treatment. Consider spending a day together at a spa or yoga retreat, or just enjoy some organic massage oil and a lot of creative stretching at home. Experiment with a sensual breathing exercise, and see where it leads you.
Enjoy Some Earthly Delights together. Whether at home or away, invite romance by immersing your senses. Get your blood moving by planting a tree together. Go birdwatching. Cook your love a local, organic foods dinner. (Don't forget to pick up some organic wine and chocolates for the occasion.) Get closer to the earth--and closer to each other at the same time.
Keep It Green when you do stray far from home at a certified "green" hotel. www.greenhotels.com is a handy guide for finding the spot for your tryst. For the rare big trip or honeymoon, consider something both poshly romantic and ecologically friendly, like Ecocamp in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile or Hotel Terra in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The natural beauty and romance of the Tetons is hard to beat!
By Elisabeth Bailey
Camping is a great way for people of all ages to get to know and love their environment a little more. For responsible family campers, fun and stewardship of the land go hand in hand. The lessons your kids learn while camping will provide the base for their lifelong love affairs with the earth.
So what exactly does responsible family camping look like? Here are a few tips to ensure a happy, safe, and environmentally friendly trip: