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Spring for a Greener Break

March 24, 2012

Local schools let classes out for spring break on Friday and this year we’re starting out with a much warmer beginning than last year’s spring snow flurries. Whether you’re traveling somewhere tropical or enjoying the break locally, 8 Goes Green wants to share some helpful hints on how to make a green spring break even greener.

Snack Organic for an Extra Spring in your Step

No spring break is successful without delicious travel snacks. Though it’s easy to spring for the processed cheese curls and slurpees, healthy organic alternatives will give you more energy for when you arrive at your destination.

The internet is swimming in DIY snacks. 8 Goes Green narrowed it down to some original snack ideas that fit our strict criteria: tasty, easy-to-make, healthy, mess-free, and organic.

Avocado Crackers: Mix ½ of an avocado with a pinch of garlic powder, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Put avocado dip into a travel-size container. Eat with whole-wheat or organic crackers like Mary’s Gone Crackers.

Serving Size: ¼ avocado + 13 crackers = 220 calories

Homemade Oatmeal Raisin Sugar-free “Larabars”: This recipe is a favorite on the healthy dessert blog, “Chocolate Covered Katie”.

Food process 6 T of oats, then add ½ cup of raisins, ½ cup of walnuts, 1/8 tsp of salt, and ¼ tsp of vanilla extract and food process again until the mixture can be mashed into a dough. Use the dough to form bars or balls and store them in a travel-friendly container.

Of course, for a prep-free snack, fruits, vegetables, and nuts are always an excellent option. Remember that springing for easy-to-eat fruit like blueberries and grapes is healthier than dried fruit, which contains no water and has a much higher concentration of sugar.

Products for a Greener Break 

Now that your body is fueled for a green-tastic break, it’s time to lather on organic sunscreen and pack up your clothes into that organic luggage.  And don’t forget your cruelty-free makeup!

If you’re leaving: Green Cities 

If you haven’t decided where to go yet, spending time in a “greener” city with more hiking, public transport, and sustainability is a great option!

Here are some top picks for U.S. “green” destinations:

-Austin, TX (How can you go wrong with 206 parks, 50 miles of trails, and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center?)

Climb Mt. Bonnell in Austin, TX for a manageable hike and beautiful view!

-Chicago, IL (Even though it’s more of an urban jungle, it still has more than 2.5 million square feet of plant life on city roofs!)

-Berkeley, CA (This place is the best place to eat green with an array of organic and vegetarian restaurants eateries, and sustainable businesses.)

-Portland, OR (Portlandia may have tipped you off to this greentastic city. Travel about town completely green with 200 miles of bike lanes!)

(Source: http://www.mnn.com/health/allergies/photos/top-10-green-us-cities)

If you’re staying: Green Places & Events in Columbia

Katy Trail – See how long you can hike on Missouri’s famous Katy Trail

Earth Hour 2012 – On March 31st turn lights and electronics off from 8:30-9:30 p.m. and use that hour to walk, hike, or head to bed early!

Dog Parks – The warm weather means there’s no excuse not to take Fido for a walk! Take your pooch, or borrow a friend’s, and check out one of Columbia’s dog parks.

Wineries – Carpool with your friends to local wineries, like Les Bourgeois.

And don’t forget to download the best “green” music to play when you travel:

1. Bicycle Race – Queen

2. Green Green Grass of Home – Johnny Cash

3. Where the Green Grass Grows – Tim McGraw

Enjoy the time off and be sure to make it a safe and green spring break – over break you’ll probably discover that it’s actually pretty easy being green!

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