"We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as its other creatures do." ~ Barbara Ward
For many, summertime equals vacation time, but how does one travel sustainably during this climate crisis? Encompassing a range of goods and services such as transportation, lodging, meals, and entertainment, tourism is responsible for roughly 8% of the world's carbon emissions. One of the best ways to minimize your carbon footprint is to take a staycation.
Theme Party. ‘Move’ your home to a new country for a night! With your family or some friends, you can “travel” to another country by decorating your house with motifs, playing music, and serving food of the foreign country of choice. Everyone can even dress like a “local.” Make it a potluck by asking guests to bring a dish from the selected country. And, of course, go zero waste by using reusable tableware, including cloth napkins.
Backyard Retreat. Got kids? Pitch a tent, grab the bug spray (natural preferably), and go star-gazing. Backyard camping will, at the very least, keep your outdoor skills in practice and the use of those digital devices to a minimum. Have a swimming pool? Mix some cocktails or mocktails and decorate with paper umbrellas. Even better yet, make some deluxe popsicles to cool off. Lounging in the sun, cooling off in the water, and reading a good book poolside will create your very own tropical resort.
Explore Your City. Our towns and cities change even when we’re not noticing. So, now is the time to explore your own “backyard”: Meet friends on new walks, picnic in your favorite park, bike along country roads, and check out new restaurants. Patches of wilderness exist in parks and vacant parking lots, while art of all kinds resides in front yards and business areas. Bonus: Get a bug kit and learn about the world of insects.
Taking a staycation also has other benefits: It may give you a relaxing experience and save you money since it avoids the crowds and high costs of travel destinations.