Organic farmer's market in Australia. Photo by avlxyz via Flickr
Wondering how to green your summer vacation? Seeking healthy places to stay, eat, and visit? Here's a one-stop guide to green smoke-free hotels that don't use toxic cleaning products, and organic eateries from restaurants and delis to groceries serving organic foods, location of local farmers markets, and even pesticide-free parks. No more excuses while on the road to resort to a fast food chain -- or starve. You can hit the road (even the freeways) and eat well thanks to the Organic Travel online source:
Organic Travel publishes guides highlighting natural food markets, organic farms, organic wineries, natural and eco-friendly attractions, and more. It even notes organic nurseries and garden stores in your hometown for seeds, starters and supplies. When planning your itinerary, it saves the trouble of finding a farmer's market in the town you're visiting or that perfect spot to pick up an organic picnic box lunch for a long hike or bike ride.
Locally grown organic tomatoes. Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography
The site lists current "certified organic restaurants" in the U.S., such as Restaurant Nora in DC (since 1999), Ukiah Brewing in California, and Bleeding Heart Bakery in Chicago. To be certified organic, 95% or more of the food served must be certified organic and are approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Also listed are places serving certified organic and/or grass-fed beef hamburgers.
Skip the Del Taco
For fresh Mexican food, with locally-grown vegetable and grass-fed meat, Chipotle eateries are listed, for example. Though a chain restaurant, Treehugger wrote about Chipotle's environmental practices and cuisine. Let's face it, when traveling the Interstates, chain eateries are everywhere - here's an option.
In 2006, Tara and Len Kain, who love to travel, but found it challenging to stay healthy on trips, published Organic Travel, an online guide with 10,000 listings in the U.S. and Canada. Now they're filling in worldwide spots. The Dog Friendly website is helpful when trekking with pets who will appreciate pesticide-free parks.
Acknowledging the list of organic establishments is ever-growing, the website invites readers' suggestions. So if you know of a deserving addition, let them know. I proposed Sublime in Ft. Lauderdale, a primarily vegetarian eatery using organic ingredients. Famous veggies Pamela Anderson, Paul McCartney, Alicia Silverstone, and Bob Barker have all dined there. Make your suggestion of a favorite spot. Then plan your next holiday and eat like a healthy local.
More on green travel:
Best of Green: Travel & Nature (Slideshow)
7 Best Green Vacations in Canada
7 Luxury Ways to Travel That are Also Easy on the Earth