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7 Eco-Friendly Florida Vacation Tips

7 Eco-Friendly Florida Vacation Tips

You’ve finally managed to get some family time, so you’re gathering everyone up and traveling to the Sunshine State. There’s only one problem—you have no idea what to do when you get there! Don’t stress out. Here are 7 eco-friendly Florida vacation ideas that will keep your fun in the sun environmentally responsible, too.

Go Snorkeling

While you’re in Florida, why not go snorkeling? The Florida Keys span a staggering 120 miles and feature the only living coral barrier reef in the United States. Here there are thousands of fish to discover, with two major areas for snorkelers: a shallow reef for inexperienced snorkelers, and deeper reefs for those with more experience. The dive sites also have mooring buoys that you can tie your boat to, rather than dropping an anchor and damaging any creatures.

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Go Searching for Ghosts

If you find yourself in Key West, you have to take the Key West Ghost and Mysteries Tour. The tours run 90 minutes and you’ll explore the haunted and hidden side of the Island. The team at Key West Ghost and Mysteries has spent more than a decade researching the stories of the city to bring you the best and creepiest stories. The tour is family friendly, so feel free to bring your little ones. Space is fairly limited, so you need to call ahead.

Visit the Everglades National Park

The Everglades National Park is located in lower Florida and protects the Southern 20 percent of the original Everglades. The Everglades National Park rests on 1.5 million acres of land and is home to bald eagles, birds, alligators, deer, and hundreds of other species. There are many activities to do there, such as going on a guided tour, canoeing, camping, geocaching, and bird watching. There are also occasional special events held there.

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Unwind by Golfing

If you’re feeling cramped up from being surrounded by your family for the entire trip, unwind at the Key West Golf Club. The Key West Golf Club covers more than 200 acres. The course, designed by Rees Jones, has 18 holes and contains the challenging Mangrove Hole course, which spans 143 yards. It’s also the only Caribbean golf course in the United States.

Head Out on the Water

While you’re in Key West, head out to Aquaholic Adventures and rent a paddleboard or kayak. They also offer lessons, guided tours, and exercise classes—so if you’re not graceful on the water, don’t freak out. They’ll also eventually be offering paddleboard snorkeling trips. Renting a paddleboard only runs to $20 per hour with a two-hour minimum, and the rentals include a life jacket, so when you eventually fall overboard, your ego might be a bit bruised, but you’ll be alright.

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Experience a Jet-pack

One thing that many people have always wanted to experience is using a jet-pack. Now, thanks to a creative inventor, you have the chance to do just that—sort of. Some places offer the JetLev R200 flight pack for rental.

It’s a jet-pack that you strap on to your back. It’s tethered to a boat with a pump that propels you using seawater. The controls allow you to take off, make turns, hover in place, and land. It’s truly something that has to be experienced if you ever have the opportunity. Just bear in mind that you may have to take a training class before you’re allowed to use the jet-pack.

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Participate in a Volunteer Effort

While in Florida, what could be more worthwhile than volunteering? If you’re a diver, you can help in reef restoration and coral restoration, then join marine scientists on a mission to preserve the coral reefs. You’ll learn all about the environmental impacts on the coral reefs from lectures and actual dives to restore the endangered staghorn and elkhorn corals. The goal is to re-establish the mature coral colonies so they can successfully reproduce and repopulate the reefs.

These are only a few of the eco-friendly things you can do while in Florida. There are literally hundreds of other activities you can participate in. The last time you and your family went to Florida, what did you do for fun? Can you think of any other eco-friendly activities that you would add to the list? Let us know in the comments!

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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