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Experience an Eco-friendly Outing

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Green field trips provide lots to discover and enjoy

While many museums and theme parks offer hours of fun and learning for kids, there are also countless eco-friendly attractions that make great field trip destinations. From young children to teens, everyone will find something fascinating about a green excursion.

Teach kids about sustainable agriculture by visiting a local farm. Local Harvest lets you search for dairy farms, farmer's markets and more using their online directory. Many farm workers are more than eager to share their business with school groups and families, letting kids get up close to friendly animals, milk a cow, participate in harvesting processes and see how organic vegetables are canned. Children will get a first-hand look at how farms impact communities and the local economy, and they'll also leave knowing where many of their favorite foods and flavors come from.

Get ready to bike the day away. Whether you're taking the crew out on a Saturday to run errands or going to a local museum or park, try having everyone ride a bicycle. Although your little ones don't drive yet, early awareness and habits regarding alternative transportation will stick with them for years to come. Parents can set an example early on by using bike buggies and trailers for those too young to ride on their own. Websites like www.mapmyride.com can help you plan a safe and efficient route, and kids will love checking the map to see where the nearby parks and picnic spots are.

Recycling Centers can make for interesting outings that let kids see advanced technology and participate in hands-on activities. At websites like www.recyclingcenters.org, you can search for recycling centers in your area and find contact and visiting information. Before you go to your local branch, have your kids use the Footprint Calculator at RecyclingCenters.org to see just how much their daily activities impact the environment. At the recycling center, kids will be fascinated by the large machinery and massive piles of bottles, cans and more. Back at home and school, you may find that they're more inclined to use recycle bins and sorting methods once they discover where all the trash will end up.

Both kids and adults will undoubtedly learn something new on an eco-friendly outing. And with so many environmentally-conscious attractions and tours popping up all over the country, you're bound to find something exciting - and educational - in your neighborhood.

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