Our family recently traveled to San Diego, California. While there is some discussion among those who are interested in and participating in a more eco-friendly lifestyle that travel may be harmful to the environment, we do not subscribe to that view. We found that if you want to be more environmentally friendly and aware that travel can actually broaden our horizons and open our eyes to topics and opportunities we didn’t consider before.
If you want to travel and learn more about being environmentally conscious San Diego, California is one of the best travel destinations. Not only can you learn a great deal about the environment, alternatives, and eco-friendly opportunities, but you can also see many green initiatives in practice and travel to each of these exhibits and attractions using San Diego’s many forms of public transportation.
Green Travel and Transportation in San Diego
Rail: North Coast Transit Coaster Train Travels from Oceanside to San Deigo, the Sprinter Train travels Oceanside to Escondido and Amtrak runs rails up and down the California coast.
Trolleys: San Diego Red Trolley is throughout the area. The Blue Line connects the US/Mexican Border with Old Town San Diego and the Orange Line connects downtown to El Cajon. The Green Line runs from Old Town to Santee.
Bike lanes on most major roadways and even parts of the interstate.
Buses: The San Diego busing system uses compressed natural gas and reducing carbon emissions. Find out more about the North Coast Transit and the Metropolitan Transit.
You can also use the Coronado Passenger Ferry to travel to and from San Diego. Once in Coronado rent a bike or it is an easy walk to the famous Hotel Coronado and many parks, beaches and dining establishments.
Interested in animal wildlife, the oceans, and conservation? Your trip to San Diego must include these travel stops:
Legoland Sea Life Aquarium
A beautifully designed sea life aquarium with several ocean habitats on display Of course there is a center devoted to underwater exploration complete with Legoland deep sea explorers. Children will enjoy the many interactive exhibits including the one on tide pool life. Instead of hotdogs and French fries, we dined on organic yogurts and fruits.
San Diego Wildlife Animal Park
This is a wildlife sanctuary home to over 3,500 animals representing 429 species. You can view endangered animals in a more natural environment and learn what you can do to save them.
This is more a ecological and environmental habitat the spans the globe than a zoo. Not only does the San Diego Zoo feature many unique species of animals and wildlife, fish and fowl but it also creates a natural environment that provides a home to many plants also. Some of these plants – such as bamboo are used to provide food to not only animals at the San Diego Zoo, but other zoos around the country. Exhibits include information such as where each animal is on the endangered species list and important facts about the animals (and plant life).
Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography
This amazing aquarium is home to Pacific marine life. There are more than 60 different habitats represented and it is also a research center for the University of California, San Diego. One side provides you with a close up and personal view of each habitat, important environmental and ecological information and the opportunities to view and touch tide pool life. On the other side there are many interactive exhibits providing ecological information as well as information on what we can do to save earth’s water and the environment. My personal favorite exhibit; the difference between a “clean” coral reef and one damaged by waste. My children loved the learning opportunities as well as the chance to touch sea life.
Interested in eating green? Do you want your meals to be certified organic? San Diego has dining choices for you.
Stone Brewing Bistro and Garden is a dining and drinking establishment that no one should miss. The bistro and garden are made from the area’s stones with lovely water gardens in the outer garden seating area. Meals are a little on the pricey side but include Buffalo and Duck. Their motto “Slow Food.” Foods that shorten the distance between “plow to plate.” Meals are made with regional and seasonal foods.San Diego County has more organic farms than any other county in the United States. Visit the San Diego Wine and Culinary Center in downtown San Diego to purchase organic, sustainable and regional foods. Start with a wine tasting of area wines and continue shopping, supporting regional farmers.
Other notable organic, sustainable dining includes George’s California Modern in La Jolla (and you get a great view of those beautiful clean beaches), Stingaree (Downtown San Diego), Carry out dinner from Waters Fine Foods to Go in Solano Beach or downtown or try Lean and Green Dining in La Jolla.
Some items of note in San Diego:
*$1,000 fine for littering on the interstate and beaches
*organic food choices in the grocery stores are more plentiful
*almost everywhere you go there are opportunities to recycle
*even drinks in the zoo are eco-friendly with no lids; no straws and they are re-fillable at a reasonable costs.
Travel can be done in an environmentally friendly manner. It opens your eyes to the broader world around you, giving you ideas for how to make changes in your life and live a little better and greener. My husband is now encouraging me in purchasing organics, supporting the local farmer’s market, purchasing certified organically grown meats, cleaning with natural cleaners, expressing more interest in environmentally sound home improvements and making other changes in our lifestyle. So whether you are just beginning your search for a greener lifestyle or you are a so-called “tree hugger” San Diego is definitely a travel destination for you and/or your family, where the ocean and sky are blue and the living is green.