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Fun Sustainable Summer Activities for the Family

by Michelle Konov

Summers are an easy time to reconnect with your family. Once you’re out the office door on that last day before your break, there are no more work calls or business meetings, and there’s that huge sense of freedom. There’s a special feeling that comes from leaving the office on that first day that might just be a mixture of relief and excitement and even potentially disbelief.

More recently, with so much work from home, it’s the feeling of shutting your laptop with a distinct ‘click’ for the last time before your break and getting up with a huge stretch. That hits the spot.

Now it’s just you and your loved ones, a ton of quality time, and a really enjoyable break. Planning is the stressful part, and it can be hard to make the most satisfying trip you can. As you start to plan, it might be an idea to look at ways to enjoy a sustainable vacation together. It’s not as hard as you think and can still give you the same level of satisfaction as the ones you’ve had before – and in a new way!

Consider an environmentally friendly activity

…like planting trees or going to a farm and learning how to feed the animals. Go hiking in the forest and see the world from way up high. Go to your neighborhood park and take in the beauty of the small haven of nature around you. Head over to the beach and get a nice drink as you watch the waves.

These are probably activities a lot of people have never considered for one reason or another, but they provide a fresh perspective on life and can help make you and your family a lot more well-rounded.

Not only are you creating life and/or leaving yourself open to seeing how life is treated, these types of activities can also be quite cost-friendly!

planting trees, plant, tree, environment
train, scenery, public transportation

Now, if you live in the city and you want to make it out to the farm, the beach, the mountain, or wherever you’ve set your mind to, most people tend to turn straight to driving. Nowadays, we live in a society where our transportation systems are a lot more advanced and have a wide network.

Why NOT take the train?

It uses up less fuel per person and avoids the stop and start of traffic and stoplights. It can take you from point A to point B while you’re doing something else, too, and won’t leave you as exhausted as driving would usually. 

An added bonus of taking the train is the journey: you might see something interesting while you’re driving, but it’s not something you can stop at. If you’re not in a rush

and you’re taking the train, you can get out at the next station and give it a look. “The world is your oyster,” as they say. 

[And with gas prices as they are right now, are you really willing to spend all your cash on the drive over??]

Want to do some sightseeing?

Rent or bring a bike with you, or even walk it! It’s the perfect way to stay healthy with all those delicious foods you’re planning on trying. You get a real feel for the city if you’re walking it, and you can stop at just about anything that catches your eye. Some cities in the world can be quite difficult to get around by car, as well – particularly in Europe.

My favorite activity when I go sightseeing is finding a quaint cafe somewhere busy and doing some people-watching. You can learn so much from how the people around you are acting.

Going with the whole family? Lots of rental bike shops have multi-person bikes that’ll make getting around a breeze!

bike riding, biking, city, cycling

None of these suggestions are super crazy, but they might sound a little bit mind-blowing. I mean, I’m going on vacation – I don’t want to work for it. Everyone wants to relax and enjoy a good vacation with the family, especially after the stresses of work. But it’s also because of those stresses that we need a little bit more fulfillment in our lives, and sometimes that comes with doing something that uses the body and leaves your mind happy, too. 

[Getting your kid to enjoy a bike ride isn’t as hard as you think, either.] 

Consider doing something to broaden your minds and still experience interesting things while minimizing your carbon footprint. It’s a big change but a little, perfectly doable step!

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