Spring Break is just around the corner! Are you making plans to make this your most sustainable one yet? Unfortunately, tourism is one of the worst contributors to climate change. It can lead to the depletion of local natural resources, pollution and waste issues, and increasing water use. We laid out tips on how to make your break as green as can be. Remember wherever you go, leave it better than you found it!
1. Support the local economy
When you travel, eat locally sourced food and support locally-owned businesses. Check out local artisan markets instead of gift shops, and bring a reusable bag. Supporting local business during your visit can help boost the local economy while giving you the chance to explore authentic goods and experiences!
2. Avoid Plastics
8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans each year. Skip the plastic altogether and invest in alternatives such as reusable water bottles, metal straws, bamboo silverware, reusable sandwich bags, etc. There’s no need for a cooler full of single-use plastics!
3. Be cautious of delicate ecosystems
Hawaii passed a ban on chemically based sunscreen, voting to ban sunscreens with the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate. Scientists have found that chemically based sunscreens can induce coral bleaching. For some sustainable options, check here.
4. Consider your transportation
Help curb carbon pollution by carpooling, booking non-stop flights, choosing electric/hybrid rental cars, and using public transportation. Once you’re there, walk or ride a bike.
5. Sleep in Green places
Check on Airbnb, stay with a friend, or go camping. Look for sustainably certified hotels to reduce your carbon footprint. Book Different is a great place to find somewhere to sleep that’s sustainable.
6. Clean up
Pick up after yourself and while you’re at it, pick up after those who didn’t. Leave it better than how you found it! For a “Leave No Trace” Guide look here.
7. Choose Eco-friendly activities
Every activity you do has an impact on the environment. Try activities such as hiking, biking, swimming, canoeing, or paddle boarding. They’re fun and don’t strain the environment!
If you plan to stay home, explore your city and all it has to offer. Check out museums, local shops, and parks and don’t stay indoors binge-watching TV. Get outside and enjoy the fresh air! Head here for ideas on outdoor activities in Orlando. Be sure to check their environmental impact beforehand.
9. Consider an alternative spring break
Choosing an alternative spring break is a great option for helping your community and being more sustainable. Instead of elaborate vacations, you can volunteer with local organizations and really make a difference. Search online for opportunities or check out UCF’s Alternative Break organization.