This Family Trip to Iceland Will Teach Kids About Climate Change to Inspire a Better Future
Iceland's legendary glaciers are disappearing with each passing year. They have receded by about 18 percent since 1890, and scientists predict these once slow-moving masses will largely vanish in the next 100 to 200 years.
While the impacts of climate change are increasingly evident the world over, Iceland provides a soul-stirring example of the alarming effect the human race is having on the planet — one that travelers of all ages, even young children, can easily observe and understand.
It's a point not lost on Jennifer Spatz, CEO of Global Family Travels.
As the world turns its attention to the United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place in Glasgow, Spatz has just announced her company's latest attempt to turn travelers into changemakers — a unique, transformational trip to Iceland designed to inspire climate action among travelers, including family travelers and the youngest of visitors.
"It has become abundantly clear that we have about one decade left to take meaningful action addressing the climate crisis in order to avoid irreversible changes and further harm to many of earth's natural systems," Spatz, whose company is a signatory and launch partner of the Glasgow Declaration to accelerate climate action in tourism, told Travel + Leisure. "It's my hope that travelers of all ages who immerse in Iceland's living science during this adventure return home with a deeper understanding of our climate emergency and set some intentions about actions they can take to reduce their carbon footprint and protect our environment."
During nine days, travelers will be immersed in educational experiences about how the warming climate is dramatically altering Iceland's natural environment — from witnessing nature's reaction to retreating glaciers to the impacts of the warming ocean on local puffins, whose population has declined by 20 percent since the start of the century due to changing ocean temperatures.
There will also be vivid examples of how Iceland has harnessed natural resources to transition away from reliance on oil to renewable energy sources, including a meal in a geothermal greenhouse. All of this education will of course, come with a hefty dose of family fun as well, including snowmobiling on a glacier that's home to several volcanoes and Iceland's highest peak, and hiking to witness a volcano that is oozing lava.
"From beginning to end, this trip was created to educate family travelers about our changing climate and inspire them to take up the cause, spreading the critical message about the need to protect this planet we call home," says Spatz.